The Catholic Church and the Modern Era

On March 13, 2013, the Roman Catholic Church elected Pope Francis, who now leads a church that has had trouble adapting to modern times. The Church struggles to deal with important issues such as how to accept homosexuality and birth control, recruit new members, and engage current members.

Catholicism still remains the dominant religion throughout much of Europe. In Italy, France and Malta, three of Europe’s most Catholic countries, church attendance has decreased over the past decade, especially among the millennial generation.

This project examines how the Church is changing and adapting by investigating attendance trends, the “Pope Francis Effect,” and the overall influence of Catholic doctrine in Italy, France and Malta.

The Power of Pope Francis

Despite torrential downpours, Pope Francis drew large crowds during a recent visit to Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere. Young and old were eager to receive a blessing from "Papa Francesco."