New Zealand Catholic Bishops welcomed the Census 2013 figures on religious affiliation published today and noted that the majority of New Zealanders identify with a diverse range of religions, although the number that don’t have a religious affiliation is increasing.
“The number of Catholics is fairly similar to the number published in 2006, with about 492,000 indentifying as themselves as Catholic, however religion obviously is an important part of many people’s lives, said Archbishop John Dew, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference.
“Although New Zealand is often referred to as a secular country, and certainly there is separation between Church and State, in terms of spirituality and religion it continues to be part of our make-up and identity as a nation.” Archbishop Dew said.
“The figures out today give us some indications of the Catholic population however, we will take some time to look more closely at the regional breakdowns as well, as this impacts on our pastoral decisions in different areas.”
“We know that many prefer to identify themselves as Christian, and we need to consider the grouping of all Christian denominations together because we work very closely with each other.”