DETAILED figures about
many aspects of the Church and the Catholic population in Scotland are contained in a report issued on Wednesday. It has been compiled by Mr. Anthony Spencer, for the Pastoral Research Centre.
The report contains tables listing and analysing a wide range of Church statistics and giving breakdowns for both diocesan and local government areas.
The Catholic population at December 31„ 1967, as reported by the clergy; was 817,000, a drop of 6,000 over 12 months. This compared with an estimated drop of 4,000 in the population of Scotland as a whole between June, 1966, and June, 1967.
The Pastoral Research
Centre's estimate of the number of Scottish Catholics was 888,000, for which there is no earlier comparable figure.
Of the total reported by the clergy, 96,500 were aged under five (representing 20.2 per cent of the complete population in that age group), 181,000 (20.8 per cent) were aged 5 to 14, and 540,000 (14.1 per cent) were over 15.
Infant baptisms during 1967 totalled 21,904 under the age of one (an increase of 1.9 per cent) and 957 aged between one and 13 (a rise of 2.7 per eent). The number of confirmations fell by 4.3 per cent to 20,444.
During the year the number of converts fell by 3.4 per cent, from 1,285 to 1,241. The proportion of married converts rose from 20 to 24 per cent.
There were 7,074 marriages
in Catholic churches, an increase of 2.9 per cent. As a proportion of total marriages in Scotland, those celebrated in Catholic churches rose from 16.4 per cent to 16.8 per cent. The proportion of mixed marriages rose from 36 per cent to 38 per cent.
Confirmations fell by 4.3 per cent from 21,371 to 20,444.
Attendance at Mass, based on figures for three Sundays, in June, August and November, averaged 435,300 — about 53 per cent of the Catholic population. This compared with 52 _per cent for England and Wales in 1966. Confessions, based on counts for the same three Sundays, was 55,400, representing 12.7 per cent of Mass attendance.
The number of Sunday communicants averaged 148,000.