Major new survey finds decline in US Catholic population, as adults leave Church [CWN]

The number of Americans who are not affiliated with any religious group has jumped in recent years, while the number of Christians has declined, a major new survey shows.In a massive …


This is the same pew research group that skewed the 2014 election toward democrats by 5 points as pointed by Nate silver. I imagine that this servuy is skewed more toward democrats who are increasingly becoming single family and non-religious in nature.

The medium is the message…

Check this out.

That is sad news. It doesn’t surprise me. I just hope it won’t get worse.

Wasn’t there just a recent survey that said exactly the opposite?

The survey is junk.

The survey was conducted at the same time during the mid term elections.

Nate silver who is the leading U.S. Statistician has already pointed out that every survey
Was skewed toward a higher democratic turnout.

Why does this matter ?

Because the same survey was used to ask religious affiliation.

If you adjust the numbers by removing the bias the numbers have stayed the same.

Still the message is clear as American Catholics we do a poor job of preaching Christs message to all.

Seems like adults have been leaving the Church for the past 50-60 years.

No, this survey is not junk.

And Catholics continue to be in denial, saying that the Church keeps growing at a slow rate around the world, that the Church is the largest charitable organization, yada yada.

Look, it’s official. The sky is falling for American Catholics.

I just heard Gus Lloyd on Catholic Channel, XM radio this morning, discussing this poll.

We’re talking a 23% to 20% drop of Millenials (ages 18-35) in only seven years. 3% of America is over 9,000,000 people. This is a crisis. No business would tolerate such a drop in numbers, and neither should a church.

We need to reexamine ourselves and our parishes, and figure out how to reconstruct them from the beginning.

We need to triple our efforts to catechize to adults and children. Protestants are good at this, why can’t Catholics be?

We need to triple our efforts to make Catholic school more affordable for nonwhite Americans. We are losing Hispanic American Catholics because of this.

We need to triple our efforts to study up on our faith and figure out how to counterargue Protestant evangelists. Because Protestants are good at arguing their faith.

We need to make confession more accessible and much gentler. Confession is already embarrassing as is.

We need to get rid of the tough-love nuns. How many horror stories do we have about tough nuns? Too many. They have traumatized an entire generation of Catholics.

We need to make priests and deacons more accessible.

We need to reexamine our marriages.

Personally I think the reason millenials fall away from religion is that they see how their parents are not fully practicing their faith. This includes the divorce and remarriage of their parents. But this also includes how the Catholic Church has not been fully compassionate to divorced people.

It may be that the Church will reluctantly have to create a theology of divorce, and a pathway to remarriage after divorce, much like how the Orthodox are doing.

It may be that the Church will reluctantly have to allow priests to marry, to lessen the possibility of sex scandal. Other rites allow this, why can’t the Latin Rite?

Another reason is that people around the world are discovering that it is possible, after all, to live happy without religion. Despite their problems, the bottom line is that cohabitation, contraception, and abortion do work for people! People don’t even understand what’s so bad about sin. People sin and get away with it, and feel ok. How does one’s gay relationship affect you, anyway? The Church needs to communicate its message of why it’s even relevant in this world to begin with.

Another reason is that women are educated with the idea that the Catholic Church is oppressive to women because of its teachings on abortion and women’s ordination.

From the article:

The Pew survey showed a decline in the US Catholic population, from 53 million to 51 million. But Pew analysts said that the actual decline in Catholic population may have been more modest than the survey figures indicated, and other experts told the Wall Street Journal that their own studies have not shown any decrease in the overall Catholic population.

This is only one survey, which Pew says is likely wrong.

Even if the decline is exaggerated, it’s no excuse for Catholics to sit there and be content with the status quo.

As someone who has gone to college and graduate school, I have witnessed how spiritually dark young adulthood is. From observation, I would say less than 10% of a public college campus goes to church regularly. Protestants commonly cite a statistic that only 4% of people under 30 attend church regularly.

It’s like criminal defense. That many horror stories, whether about police misconduct or about declining churches, can’t all be wrong.

What the heck are we gonna do about it? Vatican II was clear about the layperson’s role in evangelization. But instead we misinterpret Vatican II to mean the Church has changed its moral teaching, and go back to Vatican I and leave evangelism to the clergy!

You can’t force people to believe. As Jesus said “let them go” :shrug:

I was just looking at the breakdown by age & other factors. It is interesting that the mainline religions are diversified by age, but the “nones”, Hindu’s & Muslims are weighted heavily toward the youth. Maybe wisdom does come with age. :smiley:

The twelve disciples didn’t force people to believe, but they didn’t just let go when it came to evangelizing…

The power of Muslims comes from sharia governments and terrorist groups. (One could argue that about Christianity as well, but I digress.) The average Muslim is like the average Christian, not very devout. Many Muslims drink alcohol, for example.

An excerpt from an article on the ‘research blog for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University’ regarding the Pew poll says in the last paragraph:

As a scientist I will always follow the data. But I am rarely convinced by a finding that is inconsistent with what most others are registering. I’ve read Pew’s report. I’m generally a fan of their work. But I still feel I have no credible evidence that the Catholic population is declining in the United States. It is possible but not very likely. In other words, statistically speaking, don’t bet on it.

The poll is not junk and my estimation is that the number of Catholics that have left is still far greater than what the poll depicts. Think of all those that call themselves Catholics, but in no way practice the Faith outside of the Church building or those that dont really believe? Those are considered fallen away too.

I think the greater point is that the numbers are flat.

Meaning the numbers are flat due to birth rates replacing those that have moved on to heaven.

We do need to fight against the coming tide of secular dominance where there is no right and wrong.

We do that through how we live and evangilizing the young.

God bless.

One of the problems with American Catholics [and the American media] is that we tend to look at the Church through a [somewhat arrogant] American lens. The Catholic Church is global. We forget that US Catholics only account for about 7% of the Church as a whole. The Church in many parts of the world is thriving. I feel like the so-called ‘Third World’ will end up re-evangelizing the ‘First World.’ We have become a little too comfortable and rich. We think the world revolves around us and we do not need God anymore. People who have fewer material possessions tend to have an easier time recognizing their utter dependence on God.

:confused: I thought the Catholic Church in the United States had about 58 million registered parishioners and a lot of Catholics don’t register. This business of people leaving the Catholic Church in droves doesn’t reflect what I have seen locally, unless of course you mean right after Mass.:stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t agree with that caricature, it’s very simplistic and doesn’t account for many realities. First, American Catholic parishes pray for crises and concerns around the world, and give to missions and relief efforts in countries that we may never be able to afford to visit. Second, a lot of the reason Americans are American-centric is because we don’t have the same opportunities for exposure as a lot of the world. Travelling between countries is prohibitively expensive for most Americans. Unlike Europeans, for example, we can’t hop on a train or cheap puddle-jumper and visit a whole new culture. Also, there is simply more cultural exchange between the average non-American universities. The U.S. has far too many universities for interested non-Americans to saturate. There may be plenty at a few of the top universities, but it’s not a possibility the numerous state universities between the coasts. When I went to university in the U.S., I met one student actually from South America (i.e., not a U.S. resident) in four years. Then I did a one-year program in London, and had several South Americans in my classes.

So yes, Americans are American-centric in some regards, but I wouldn’t chalk it all up to arrogance and lack of concern for the rest of the world.

I might have expressed myself inelegantly…i didn’t mean to say we don’t care about the rest of the world or the universal Church, just that we tend to exaggerate the importance of what is happening here, and tend to forget we are a small minority of the Catholic Church as a whole.

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