We’ve known that things were bad for the Church in France, but a new study shows just how bad they are for the “eldest daughter of the Church.”

The IFOP Institute recently completed a survey on Catholicism in France for the daily La Croix. Among their findings:

    - 81% of the French described themselves as Catholics in 1965. In 2009, the number is less than 64%.

    - Whereas 27% of French Catholics attended Mass once a week in 1965, in 2009, no more than 4.5% of French Catholics do so.

    - Sixty-three percent of practicing Catholics in France believe that all religions are the same.

Observers are saying that while none of this is new, the results are even more dramatic than was expected.

To demonstrate that all is not lost, here’s an article by Mary Jo Anderson from Women for Faith and Family. She points out that there are some small glimmers of hope.

Among the signs of hope, Anderson points out that according to a 2001 report from the French Bishops Conference, there was a surprising finding - Thousands of adult converts.

Bishop André Dupleix, national director of catechumens, listed 8,934 adults preparing for baptism: 59% were in the 25-to-40 age range; 25% were in the 18-to-24 range; and 16% were older than 40.