World's Catholic population continues to grow [CC]

The world’s Catholic population grew in 2013 by slightly more than the overall population, the latest Statistical Yearbook of the Church reports.The number of Catholic priests also …

More…

I wonder how many of those are practicing Catholics, though. :hmmm:

No matter once a Catholic always a Catholic, as for practicing we have to pray for the ones that don’t realize when you have a Pearl you should treasure it, not leave it at the back of a draw for the light never to shine upon it.

I’ve always felt that “once Catholic always Catholic” was a bit silly. A person’s religious position is based on their beliefs, not the nature of their parents or whether they were part of ceremonies as children.

Also, it’s deceptive. Nowhere in the Catholic Herald article does it reveal that the figure includes those who were baptised but who are either a different denomination of christian or are non-christians. An outsider who cites that number would naturally believe that number is accurate as best as the author could determine, just as we would assume that if the SBC (or some other church) says they have X million followers that they’ve done their due diligence to not include those who have left.

Well, I don’t know, but if the number of priests increased at the same time, it suggests that the numbers are basically real.

That’s the important part. Not all Catholics are guaranteed heaven.

That’s true, but you can also turn it around, because there are also a lot of people who are in some stage of conversion (ie. in process of moving towards the Church) that don’t get counted. For instance, I was Catholic as far as my beliefs for years before I officially entered the Church. During that time I wouldn’t have counted in this statistic, but I was Catholic as far as my beliefs.

That’s very true. There are people who should be counted among the number of Catholics who aren’t, just as there are those who should not be counter among Catholics who are.

The thing is we don’t just wan’t to assume that those two numbers are equal. We want as accurate a count as possible. And where as a person who strongly wishes to be added to the tally as Catholics has ways to make that happen, a person who has left the church or felt that he or she should never have been counted in the first place has no avenue available to him or her not to be counted. It’s this disparity in policy that makes me feel the numbers are inflated.

" I’ve always felt that “once Catholic always Catholic” was a bit silly"., just as I think its illogical and very silly to be an atheist

My remarks weren’t an attempt to mock Catholicism in general, just the idea of being counted as a Catholic when one isn’t.

You used the word illogical, so I want to break down my take on this logically.

  1. Let’s assume there is a devout Catholic. Let’s call him Mr. Rowsdower.
  2. For whatever reason Mr. Rowsdower decides to leave the Catholic Church and join the Presbyterian Church (USA).
  3. Mr. Rowsdower signs all documentation to officially register as a member of the PC(USA).
  4. The Pew Forum does their regular survey to determine the breakdown of church membership. Based on what the churches themselves say, Mr. Rowsdower is counted twice: once as a Catholic and again as part of the PC(USA).

That is illogical. We don’t make special rules if someone leaves a church, joins RCIA, and becomes a Catholic. Why is there such a problem the other way? Each church, both Catholic and non-Catholic, believes itself to be the epitome of holy truth, yet these other churches will (as far as has been shown) try to give an accurate number as to their membership.

And of the practicing ones, how many are genuinely practicing and not going for the show or wrong reasons. And of those how many take the teachings seriously and try to honestly deploy them in real life. One could quibble about that too.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.