Number of Catholics in the US dropping?


#1

Hope this is in the right forum. Does anyone know if there are any reliable numbers of the rate of change in the number of Catholics in the United States. What I mean is do we know how many people are joining or leaving the Church in the last few years?


#2

[quote=Jabronie]Hope this is in the right forum. Does anyone know if there are any reliable numbers of the rate of change in the number of Catholics in the United States. What I mean is do we know how many people are joining or leaving the Church in the last few years?
[/quote]

Try this link for some info: usccb.org/comm/profile.shtml


#3

Here’s some information from Gallup Polls, 1992-2001. The data show a decrease between 2000 to 2001 from 27% to 25% who said they were Catholic, but if you look at the whole data series it does not look significant and is probably due to polling error. For example, the percentage was 24% in 1994, then rose to 27% in 1995. The percentage of Catholics (and other religious groups) in the USA seems to have remained constant over those ten years.

adherents.com/rel_USA.html#gallup


#4

One thing that has disturbed me greatly is a perceived drop in the level of involvement of the average Catholic family.

I don’t have any idea how this can be statistically analysed, but it is my belief that a large proportion of baptised Catholics are today unchurched, or at least not practicing.

I wonder what proportion of the US Catholic population attends Mass at least three weekends per month? What proportion makes a confession at least once per year?

Also I would like to know what proportion of baptised Catholics are registered in a parish and what proportion of the registered Catholics give regular financial support to the parish they are registered in.

This kind of information could give us a far better understanding of the health of the church.


#5

Thanks for the concern. I have the same concern about the apathy in the Orthodox Church. After Catholic Mass I often attend Russian Ortho services in NYC with my girlfriend where there is a large Russian population and the attendance is abysmal. People wander around during the services and constantly chat and gossip. We have been to other Russian Ortho churches and the same chaotic things occur. People come and go throughout the service so it’s not even clear when it starts or ends.I see lots of candle offerings and beautiful icons but I don’t see much reverence of Christ Jesus in the people. This makes me question the leadership of the priests.

I also wonder, if Orthodox are Christians, where are their sponsored hospitals, schools and nursing homes? I’d be hard pressed to name one in my area. Meanwhile, Catholic sponsorship of these types of organizations is ubiquitous and growing. We are carrying out Christ’s message of love but I find the Orthodox a general no show in this regard. You have an awesome opportunity to evangelize in this regard but ostensibly choose not to.

Dominus tecum.

[quote=Hesychios]One thing that has disturbed me greatly is a perceived drop in the level of involvement of the average Catholic family.

I don’t have any idea how this can be statistically analysed, but it is my belief that a large proportion of baptised Catholics are today unchurched, or at least not practicing.

I wonder what proportion of the US Catholic population attends Mass at least three weekends per month? What proportion makes a confession at least once per year?

Also I would like to know what proportion of baptised Catholics are registered in a parish and what proportion of the registered Catholics give regular financial support to the parish they are registered in.

This kind of information could give us a far better understanding of the health of the church.
[/quote]


#6

Dear srp643,

If we stop for a moment, and consider the number of
people involved, of course the RCC has more
hospitals, nursing homes etc., because of a much
higher # of people to donate funds to support these
Christian activities.

It also helps to keep in mind, that in the area in
which I live, my great-grandparents and my
grandparents i.e., *their *generations -helped provide
funds for many of the buildings that offer this merciful
care. I think that we stand on the shoulders of
giants, with regard to the effort they made to
help create, financially, these institutions.

More recent generations have helped to fund the
building of suburban churches, and are responding to
fund-raising appeals for institutions already built
by previous generations*.*

Considering the income levels of those previous
generations, I hope that we’re all doing as well as
they did !

When the Orthodox have numbers that parallel
that of the RCC in the U.S., then I’d be willing to
take a closer look at their efforts.

Besides, I have no knowledge at all of how the
Orthodox respond in charity in those areas of
the world where they are much greater in number,
than in the West.

Is there an Orthodox Christian who can address
that issue? If there is, many thanks.

reen12


#7

[quote=srp643]Thanks for the concern. I have the same concern about the apathy in the Orthodox Church. After Catholic Mass I often attend Russian Ortho services in NYC with my girlfriend where there is a large Russian population and the attendance is abysmal. People wander around during the services and constantly chat and gossip. We have been to other Russian Ortho churches and the same chaotic things occur. People come and go throughout the service so it’s not even clear when it starts or ends.I see lots of candle offerings and beautiful icons but I don’t see much reverence of Christ Jesus in the people. This makes me question the leadership of the priests.

I also wonder, if Orthodox are Christians, where are their sponsored hospitals, schools and nursing homes? I’d be hard pressed to name one in my area. Meanwhile, Catholic sponsorship of these types of organizations is ubiquitous and growing. We are carrying out Christ’s message of love but I find the Orthodox a general no show in this regard. You have an awesome opportunity to evangelize in this regard but ostensibly choose not to.

Dominus tecum.
[/quote]

Excuse me?

Is this thread about the Catholic church or not? What has Russian Orthodoxy got to do with this? Do you take me for someone who comes here to mock the church and start a fight? If you thought I was a Catholic, or my sign-in name was “Saint Patrick” or something like that would you be prompted to take a dump on the Russian Orthodox right now?!?

I didn’t post on this thread to start a pissing contest! :mad:

For your information, I am not Orthodox contrary to popular belief, but it shouldn’t matter because I don’t post things to rip on the church. Quite frankly I am tired of this carping and I am beginning to think I should just make the move I have strenuously resisted and leave you guys behind.

It is really hard to carry on a discussion around here without peoples biases getting in the way.


#8

Hello, Hesychios,

quote: Hesychios

For your information, I am not Orthodox contrary to popular belief, but it shouldn’t matter because I don’t post things to rip on the church. Quite frankly I am tired of this carping and I am beginning to think I should just make the move I have strenuously resisted and leave you guys behind

.

Think of Jesus.

Can you imagine His emotional response, when,
after being with the Apostles for quite a while,
He finds that they’re arguing over who is going
to sit at His right hand in the Kingdom???

Or His response to *their *response, when He
spoke of the Good Samaritan? Or the Samaritan
woman at the well?

I’m reading a book of daily prayer, with commentary,
by Dr. Joseph Hertz, who was the chief rabbi of
the British Empire, at one point.

The commentary I find wonderful, because it
addresses, with frequency, the way human beings
might relate well with one another, based on their love
of God.

I hope that you choose to remain, Hesychios, or
maybe come back, after a break. To me, you
make valuable contributions on these forums.

Best regards,
reen12


#9

Hesychios,

Although I can’t speak for srp643, I don’t think he or she meant that comment as a slight to you. When I read it, I got the impression that srp643 was trying to say, “The Russian Orthodox church has an awesome opportunity to evangelize in this regard but ostensibly chooses not to.” Using the word “you” instead of “The Russian church” or the word “one” as in “One has an awesome opportunity…”


#10

Thanks. A couple points. Not-for-profit hospitals, for example, are built primarily from tax-exempt bond proceeds, not donations. There are plenty of start-up hospitals which have little to no cash but develop strategic plans which Wall Street and banks find credible in many cases. The bond proceeds, often insured by the federal government, fund construction and professional fees and interest during construction. The tax-exempt debt, with the lowest possible interest rates, is then paid off over 30 years. Donations help, but they are not necessary. In most markets, it may make more sense to develop some form of co-sponsorship with an existing hospital. Maybe there are opportunities to co-sponsor hospitals with Catholic organizations - this idea has huge potential for facilitating reconciliation!

As far as the limited numbers of Orthodox goes, how many examples of unlikely success stories are there in this country and elsewhere? Don’t look for excuses, have your churches take the initiative. What percentage of the population is Jewish (around 2?) - yet the Jewish faith is incredibly proactive in this area. Challenge your church leaders on this. No one seems to understand the Orthodox partially because of their limited visibility in this regard. There are plenty Orthodox in my area yet I have never once seen anything sponsored by their churches. Most other religions, with the exception of Islam, are represented pretty well in the area of community service. Would love to see the Orthodox get proactive in this regard. This type of effort aligns with the message of Jesus Christ.

Pax tecum.

[quote=reen12]Dear srp643,

If we stop for a moment, and consider the number of
people involved, of course the RCC has more
hospitals, nursing homes etc., because of a much
higher # of people to donate funds to support these
Christian activities.

It also helps to keep in mind, that in the area in
which I live, my great-grandparents and my
grandparents i.e., *their *generations -helped provide
funds for many of the buildings that offer this merciful
care. I think that we stand on the shoulders of
giants, with regard to the effort they made to
help create, financially, these institutions.

More recent generations have helped to fund the
building of suburban churches, and are responding to
fund-raising appeals for institutions already built
by previous generations*.*

Considering the income levels of those previous
generations, I hope that we’re all doing as well as
they did !

When the Orthodox have numbers that parallel
that of the RCC in the U.S., then I’d be willing to
take a closer look at their efforts.

Besides, I have no knowledge at all of how the
Orthodox respond in charity in those areas of
the world where they are much greater in number,
than in the West.

Is there an Orthodox Christian who can address
that issue? If there is, many thanks.

reen12
[/quote]


#11

In response to the original question:

The U.S. Catholic population at the start of 2004, according to the directory, was 67,259,768 – an increase of some 850,000 over the 66,407,702 reported in 2003. Catholics continue to make up 23 percent of the total U.S. population. (This is according to the “Kenedy Directory”, the 2,300-page directory is an annual publication that provides detailed information about diocesan offices and Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, religious houses and personnel in each U.S. diocese. It has statistical data on church life ranging from the number of baptisms and first Communions in the past year to the number of parishes, schools and hospitals and the number of patients treated in Catholic health facilities.)


#12

No offense Hesychios but i recognize your name from many of the Catholic - Orthodox threads. I expressed gratitude for your concern about Catholics but saw it as an opportunity to open the question up as I have similar concerns about the Orthodox (this is a non-Catholic forum). No dumping, just some observations and a challenge for improvement. As Catholics, we also need to improve and act out the message of Christ better. Just would like to see us do it together. Should have opened the question up to include other Christians but I see us reconciling with Orthodoxy before we do with any other Christian religions.

Stay with us, brother.

[quote=Hesychios]Excuse me?

Is this thread about the Catholic church or not? What has Russian Orthodoxy got to do with this? Do you take me for someone who comes here to mock the church and start a fight? If you thought I was a Catholic, or my sign-in name was “Saint Patrick” or something like that would you be prompted to take a dump on the Russian Orthodox right now?!?

I didn’t post on this thread to start a pissing contest! :mad:

For your information, I am not Orthodox contrary to popular belief, but it shouldn’t matter because I don’t post things to rip on the church. Quite frankly I am tired of this carping and I am beginning to think I should just make the move I have strenuously resisted and leave you guys behind.

It is really hard to carry on a discussion around here without peoples biases getting in the way.
[/quote]


#13

Yes, there is a huge fall-off in the percentage of Catholics in the US. Hardly captured by that poll. The illusion is that the catholic church is holding steady - but that is because of only the large Hispanic immigration. And more and more Hispanics are embracing Evangelicalism.

If you remove the immigrant Hispanics from thje picute, the Catholic churh in the US has had by far the largest decline in membership. Fatr more than even the Episcopal church. By the end of this cebtury the Catholic church in the US will be lucky to be 10% of the population. if trends continue.


#14

[quote=Randy2]Yes, there is a huge fall-off in the percentage of Catholics in the US. Hardly captured by that poll. The illusion is that the catholic church is holding steady - but that is because of only the large Hispanic immigration. And more and more Hispanics are embracing Evangelicalism.

If you remove the immigrant Hispanics from thje picute, the Catholic churh in the US has had by far the largest decline in membership. Fatr more than even the Episcopal church. By the end of this cebtury the Catholic church in the US will be lucky to be 10% of the population. if trends continue.
[/quote]

Sources please! Opinions and wishful thinking do not refute the conclusion of my source.


#15

The original query was on the “rate of change” in the number of Catholics in the U.S.

Even if the term is qualified by “number of Catholics leaving or number of Catholics joining,” it is extremely difficult to gauge the “change.”

But based on the official reports of the USCCB, there is a general trend of “increase” in the number of Catholics in the U.S.: i.e., net of deaths and emigration. The increase is fuelled by (1) more than a million babies being baptized into the Catholic Church yearly; (2) conversions from other religious confessions (more than 150,000 on Easter Vigil 2005 alone); and (2) immigration (especially from Hispanic countries).

For an analysis of the demographic trends in the U.S. Catholic Church, please access the USCCB’s site at:

usccb.org/comm/cip.shtml

And to srp643:

Michael (Hesychios) is as Catholic as you and me! If by frequenting the Catholic-Orthodox discussion just like me, a cradle papist, means he is Orthodox then I, too, is an Orthodox and other Catholics, Eastern and Latin, who participate therein.

It seems you have not met many an Eastern Catholic in this board! Not that Hysechios is an Eastern Catholic now (although he loves and continues to attend a Byzantine Catholic Church), but he is a Roman looking East and who eventually might join the Eastern lung of the Catholic Church.

And that’s not a problem for those in the know!


#16

[quote=Randy2]Yes, there is a huge fall-off in the percentage of Catholics in the US. Hardly captured by that poll. The illusion is that the catholic church is holding steady - but that is because of only the large Hispanic immigration. And more and more Hispanics are embracing Evangelicalism.

If you remove the immigrant Hispanics from thje picute, the Catholic churh in the US has had by far the largest decline in membership. Fatr more than even the Episcopal church. By the end of this cebtury the Catholic church in the US will be lucky to be 10% of the population. if trends continue.
[/quote]

I’ve seen numerous attempts to portray the Catholic Church in the U.S. as worse than it is. The fact that, without immigration, the US would not have a growing population, is lost by these analysts. They also use the baby boom and baby bust statistics to make things look worse then they are. Could the numbers be better? - Yes. What can an individual Catholic do?

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