Tuesday, May 12, 2015


When one becomes a liberal Catholic, one has one foot already outside of the true Faith. When a Catholic leaves the Catholic Church (apart from some kind of scandal or the scandals that have plagued us and the media's incessant reporting of it), why do they leave? Is it because they believe as Catholics or because they have lost a significant amount of their Catholic Faith or lost it completely?

How can we keep Catholics in the Church when they have lost huge portions of their Faith in the truth?

Bottom line: Catholic must believe what the Church teaches in the areas of Faith and Morals. If a Catholic becomes so liberal as to lose that belief what will keep them in the Church? Of course, a belief what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass accomplishes for their salvation and the ability to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord to strengthen us on our pilgrimage of faith with its crosses to carry. But do liberal Catholics believe in the Mass as the unbloody renewal of Calvary and that Christ is truly present? If not, no wonder liberal Catholics leave the Church. Why stay if one has lost one's faith and doesn't want to stay to wait patiently for God to restore the true Faith to them?

Pew survey: Percentage of US Catholics drops and Catholicism is losing members faster than any denomination 

For years, two truisms dominated coverage of the US Catholic Church: about one quarter of the population is Catholic and each year at Easter, Catholics entering the church offset those leaving it.
But new data suggests a new story.

A report released Tuesday by the Pew Forum finds that the total number of Catholics in the United States dropped by 3 million since 2007, now comprising about 20 percent – or one-fifth – of the total population.

And perhaps more troubling for the church, for every one Catholic convert, more than six Catholics leave the church. Taken a step further, Catholicism loses more members than it gains at a higher rate than any other denomination, with nearly 13 percent of all Americans describing themselves as “former Catholics.”
The report, America’s Changing Religious Landscape, found that in 2014, the overall share of Christians in the United States dropped to an all-time low of just under 71 percent, down about 7 percentage points from 2007.

The big winner in terms of growing numbers is the unaffiliated, or the so-called “nones,” shooting up to about 23 percent of the total population from just 16 percent seven years ago. The 56 million adults not belonging to any faith tradition outnumber both Catholics and mainline Protestants; only Evangelical Christians comprise a larger share of the population.

Big demographic shifts within Catholicism continue to change the face of the church. Hispanic Catholics now comprise 41 percent of the US church, up 6 points from 2007. And the average Catholic is getting a bit older, with the median age of 49 up four years. Immigration from Latin American countries has kept Catholic number stable in recent years, and 39 percent of American immigrants are Catholic.


More than a third of all millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – claim no affiliation, and just 16 percent identify as Catholic.

In the traditional Catholic hub of Massachusetts, for example, Catholics still comprise the largest Christian denomination at 34 percent, but the unaffiliated cohort is right behind at 33 percent. The share of Mass. Catholics dropped 9 percentage points since the last survey in 2007, while the unaffiliated grew a staggering 16 percent.
Rhode Island has the highest per capita Catholic population at 44 percent, and other northeast states all have percentages above 30 percent, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Mississippi, with just 4 percent, has the lowest per capita Catholic population.

The Catholic Church is 54 percent women and 59 percent white. Income wise, the church is fairly evenly distributed across four brackets, though 36 percent of Catholics have an annual household income of less than $30,000. More than half – 52 percent – of Catholics are married, and another 8 percent live with a partner, while 12 percent are divorced.

Though the Pew report shows a population decline in the Catholic Church, it includes an appendix noting that there is uncertainty among demographers about the size of the church.


Anonymous said...

Are we really shocked?

Lefebvrian said...

If one is going to view this from a Catholic point of view, one should not underestimate the spiritual consequences of what has taken place over the last 60 years, which have contributed to the collapse of the supernatural faith of so many. Since the vast majority of priests ceased celebrating the Catholic Mass, less graces are being poured for the people in attendance and throughout the world. Such a disaster cannot be underestimated since we are all dependent upon the grace of God to cultivate the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
Without the dispensing of that necessary grace that results from the offering of the Catholic Mass, the world is beginning to shrivel like a plant without water. Not only are individuals being deprived of the personal graces that come from properly assisting at the Catholic Mass, the world is deprived of the extrinsic grace as well.
And all this results in less and less people being in the state of grace and able to merit graces for themselves and for those in need in the world. We are living in a time of great crisis in the Church, which results in the crises in the world.

John N gobshite said...

These numbers may have been compiled before everybody heard about the new altar rail. Things will start turning around any day now.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Really John? Are you serious? I doubt if Catholics aren't moved by God's love shown them at the Cross or their need for that Sacrifice and if they could care less or do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ and they could care less or believe there is a need for their personal salvation, do you really think belief in altar railings will bring them back especially never having understood their purpose or used one. You live in an alternative universe!

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later the Vatican and some pope is going to have to realize the ENORMOUS damage done by their hands to the Church. If you think about all the lost souls to Hell since the collapse of the faith since the 60's it should make you weep bitterly. My own great grandparents left the Church and some died outside of her bosom bc they thought the Church left them, it couldn't be the TRUE Church bc what was unchangeable can actually change. They didn't think they needed the sacraments bc they no longer believed in the truth of the Church, and who could blame them, when the hierarchy doesn't even believe, then how can the laity.
Tmrw is the 98th anneversary of Fatima, 2 more years till the centenary. Can we expect a great cataclysm? If the view of the Church isn't akin to that of a great apostasy from truth then I don't know what is.

A J gobshite said...

NO Fr., I am not serious. I do not believe that belief in altar rails will bring them back. I'm joking. I was kneeling at altar rails before you were born. I understand their purpose.

Lighten up if you can. Most of what I say here is not serious. Folks here are really way too intense. Peace be with you all....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

John I was using sarcasm in response to your sarcasm! You didn't find it light hearted?

AJg said...

I think you could use some coaching....

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John Nolan - see that "... ceased celebrating the Catholic Mass..." in Lefeb's comment? Still think I take potshots at 'em.

And Lefeb - No true Lefebvrite would EVER say "celebrate" the mass. Holy Mass is "offered."

qwikness said...

They are now Libertarians with the motto, "To each his own." These people don't have fear of Hell.

qwikness said...

I wonder if the common use of the television has had more than a little to do with the loss of faithful. If the decline in numbers began 60 years ago at the same time as television's popularity along with whatever changes occurred in catachesis and liturgy. Just a hypothesis but I would guess yes. Less time to read, more junk TV, more poorly formed consciences. More room for bad influences.

Lefebvrian said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, Archbishop Lefebvre himself refered to Mass being "celebrated."

qwikness, good point about television.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The media can influence us both positively and negatively. Television reflected the higher moral standards of the time especially our Judeo/Christian standards. There is an implicit Christianity in shows like Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, and the likes from the 1950's. Even drama and crime shows implied the good over evil motiff. Adultery was seen as wrong when depicted, etc.

Even the movie industry submitted to a censorship as did televison until rather recently. But that is all gone and there is a dilution of what people watch since there are so many venues and options now.

But shows like Will and Grace and other shows that show active homosexuality and its promiscuity in a good light indeed influence those who watch it. The same for fornication and adultery amongst heterosexuals.

The internet adds more complexity to the influence as well as the availability of the crudest forms of pornography that influences children young and old and everyone in between.

We are in for a rough time of it. But our hope is that were sin abounds God's grace and mercy are greater.

Cletus Ordo said...

This story was posted on the Pewsitter Site and the title they gave it was "A Church That Repels Instead of Attracts". Quite revealing.

John "gobshites" smart aleck reply about altar rails was obviously a jab at the traditionalists who would no doubt say "See, I told you so." But we all know that the problem is deeper than superficialities.

The Catholic Church has ceased to behave as the One, True Church and has, instead, become the Church of pandering. We have no one but ourselves (and our weak leaders) to blame. Many of us ARE repelled by what we have to endure at Mass.

Many of us resent seeing 18 Extraordinary Ministers gathering around the altar at every Mass, and the vast majority of them being women. It's not an anti-woman thing, it's that we see an encroachment on the priesthood which is and will remain all-male. The same holds true with altar girls.

Many of us resent how childish Mass has become.
I can still remember attending Mass one time and the song leader led us in insipid tune called, "His Banner Over Me Is Love" and showed us hand motions that we were supposed to do while singing it. If that wasn't bad enough, it was even more sickening to watch the mindless adults around me DOING it.

Many Catholics can see pretty clearly what has happened to the priesthood. It wasn't much of a surprise for many of us in 2002 when it became national news that so many priests (although fewer than the public suspects) had been taking advantage of young boys. The priesthood has grown noticeably "softer". We grew up with priests that were like Spencer Tracy and Bing Crosby, but now more and more priests are like Clifton Webb and Grady Sutton--sissies. Of course these are generalizations, but stereotypes exist exactly because of real experiences. There are still masculine priests around, but their numbers seem fewer.

Many of us STRONGLY resent how many dioceses we've seen where the bishops try to use PR to contain the scandals that have erupted, or worse, see them blaming the laity. If that's not bad enough, we watch them travel to their 5 star hotels twice a year on our dime to have meetings where maybe 10 percent of what they talk about has any relevance for us. Instead, they issue endless "policy statements" bloviating about everything that suits their fancy, especially immigration.

Did I say "immigration"? Does the pope think we are so stupid that we haven't noticed that every bishop in a border state seems obsessed with only that issue and the only answer they have is "open the gates and pick up the tab or you're not a Catholic." Gee, that's really gonna bring the men back, isn't it?

Look, I could go on and on. This isn't about you Father--you're one of the good ones. But the Church has shot itself in the foot and now seems to be aiming the same pistol at its heart. I'll never leave the Church, but many people have had enough, and the reasons I've given are just the tip of the iceberg. But it doesn't matter. The bishops don't care what we think and they aren't going to bother reading blogs like this. Until the biological solution takes deeper effect, we are stuck with the namby-pamby Church that is stuck in the '70's.


Paul said...

A few weeks ago in an unnamed largest parish in the area an "alter girl" was actually an "altar woman". Mid-40's in age, I guess. Strange. Plenty of boys available.

Christ's Church holds firm as it has for almost two-thousand years. Despite the abuse, His Church hasn't budged one inch. However, the shepherds and lay are the ones doing the shooting to themselves. With all the gunfire is anyone surprised at the ensuing chaos?

It doesn't have to be this way.

Paul said...

P.S. Thanks for Jack Chick cartoon. Probably a panel from "The Death Cookie".

You know those Jack Chick tracts were, at one time, passed about like candy in public schools in south central Georgia. The kids ate them up.

Mitchell said...

And with Pope Francis at the helm...So much for Vatican II Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

Paul said...
P.S. Thanks for Jack Chick cartoon. Probably a panel from "The Death Cookie".

You know those Jack Chick tracts were, at one time, passed about like candy in public schools in south central Georgia. The kids ate them up.

I can't help it, but I get the biggest kick out of those Jack Chick cartoons. Some of them are so ridiculous that they're funny.

My former parish was leafleted once with "The Death Cookie" during Liturgy. Kind of ironic, as it is Melkite, and we don't use "cookies" or "hosts."