Wednesday, January 11, 2023


 The chart below shows clearly that the Catholic Church has suffered more than any other ecclesial community in the USA.

This should put to rest that the decline in the Catholic Church was experienced by all ecclesial communions solely because of sociological issues and cultural upheavals. The data repudiates that!

When the Church disavows its glorious past, culture and style of being Church, what do you expect? A new springtime for the Church? No, exactly what has and is happening. 

I would add, that also, in terms of the decline in the Catholic Church, it was fomented also by a psychological reason—delusion that the manner of implementing Vatican II is perfect and not the cause of the decline!


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I question the accuracy of the graph and, therefore, the conclusions you have reached.

"By their own membership tallies, mainline denominations are showing drops of 15 percent, 25 percent, and even 40 percent over the span of the last decade. There is little room for triumph on the evangelical side; their numbers are slipping too." (Mainline Protestants Are Still Declining, But That’s Not Good News for Evangelicals, Both traditions are losing out to the unaffiliated. RYAN P. BURGE| JULY 13, 2021 12:01 PM)

"In the 1970s, the GSS (General Social Survey) indicates that over 30% of all Americans could be classified into a mainline denomination. But that quickly changed. By the late 1980s, the share of the mainline dropped below 20%. In the most recent estimates, the mainline was just about 10% in 2016 and increased very slightly in 2018 to just over 11%. The CES (Cooperative Election Study) estimates are slightly higher for the mainline, but also show a downward trajectory. About 14% of Americans were mainline in 2008, but that’s down to 12% in the most recent data. But there’s general agreement in these surveys - mainline Protestants have declined over time and are probably between 10-13% of the population today." (Why It’s Unlikely U.S. Mainline Protestants Outnumber Evangelicals, Ryan Burge July 12, 2021)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

“They will not believe even if someone would rise from the dead.” Luke 16:31

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

You've got conflicting evidence from the same author.

Only the foolish believe without further clarification and, if needed, correction.

TJM said...

Fr K,

You can't even explain why only 30% of those Catholics who bother to go to Mass believe in the Real Presence. The Novus Ordo is a flop, deal with it. At least Father McDonald is trying.

TJM said...

I think we should stop counting nominal Catholics as Catholics. If we did that the numbers would even be more shocking.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

FrMJK, do you mean Fr. Abraham or Jesus?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald, Neither. Your chart doesn't contain revelation or doctrine, so your biblical references isn't germane.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I know Germaine and she would beg to disagree!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Mainline Protestants have declined at a faster rate than any other major Christian group, including Catholics and evangelical Protestants, and as a result also are shrinking as a share of all Protestants and Christians." (Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study)

“The United Methodists lost 2.25 million members over 10 years, a 15% decline. The ELCA dropped 750,000, a decline of 22%. The PCUSA is down 40% between 2009 and 2020, and the Disciples of Christ are also down 40%. In fact, there’s only one tradition — the American Baptists, where membership is only down single digits over the last decade,” Burge said. (Baptist Global News, July 15, 2021)

"Lessons from mainline decline, The PCUSA is literally dying." Faith and Religion, May 2, 2022

"If It Doesn’t Stem Its Decline, Mainline Protestantism Has Just 23 Easters Left" The Layman - A Ministry of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, May 2, 2017

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It isn’t about how many who have left, but of those staying how many attend Sunday services.

John said...

Fr K what have YOU done to mitigate the decline at you parist?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

So now you change horses midstream...

Previously, in response to my posts regarding the causes of the decline, you said, "This should put to rest that the decline in the Catholic Church was experienced by all ecclesial communions solely because of sociological issues and cultural upheavals" continuing your unsubstantiated claim that the changes in the liturgy have been the major cause of Catholic decline.

Now, "It isn’t about how many who have left, but of those staying how many attend Sunday services."

So, which will it be? Or will you introduce another attempt at denying the evidence before your eyes?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It’s what is on the chart. Thought you were responding to the chart. Put your glasses on.

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..."I know Germaine and she would beg to disagree!"

Father McDonald, Open Mic Night at a nearby comedy club awaits you.

After you finish, they'll pass the hat...well, in your case, a collection plate.

On second thought, a biretta.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...


Fr K just comes here to yank Father McDonald’s chain. He has done nothing because he is part of the manage the decline crowd. He also supports the Party of Moloch so he should not even be in the clergy.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I saw the chart clearly. I also read your comments, which refer to my earlier posts about the causes of decline. Its just that simple.

Mark said...

Aside from the issue of conflicting data from the same author, some of the comments accompanying this particular chart might be illuminating, especially comments addressing possible differences among those continuing to self-identify as belonging to a particular denomination despite no longer attending services:

Click on the Chart to bring up the comments.

TJM said...

More evidence of how mentally ill and sick the modern Democratic Party has become - yet they have clerical collaborators in the US Church who are just as mentally sick and ill as they are:

"Senior Democratic lawmakers took to Twitter shortly after the House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires doctors to provide care for infants born alive after a failed abortion, to criticize the Republicans who supported the "extreme" bill.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Vice President Kamala Harris were among those who responded.

"Today, instead of joining Democrats to condemn all political violence, [House Republicans] chose to push their extreme anti-choice agenda," Pelosi tweeted Wednesday.

She added, "Democrats believe everyone deserves the freedom to access reproductive health services – without fear of violence, intimidation or harassment."

In Orwellian language, the Dems call the Republicans "extreme."

Donny Phister said...

This isn't rocket science. Yes, other denominations lost members to unbelief. The Catholic Church not only lost members to unbelief, but lost members to the other denominations. The protestants easily pick off Catholics.

Your average Catholic has almost zero biblical knowledge/Catechesis but they have tradition, they have culture. What happens when they have neither? Liturgies barely fit for children are not going to cut it. A protestant will humiliate your average Catholic with just a few old testament quotes. The prot learns to do it - they are trained to do it.

Just like a Republican cannot "democrat" better than a "democrat" - the Church cannot "out-protestant" the protestants. Want good music with lots of bass and sizzling ride cymbal? It'll be better with the prots. Want the "word" to come alive while the homilist kicks his leg out in the air and send a shiver up your spine? It'll be better with the prots. Want good fellowship at a parish picnic or carnival? Prots do it better.

So what are you sticking around for? Because it's the Church Jesus founded? Yeah, that's a big reason to stick around - but it ain't big enough if there is no life in there.

ByzRus said...

While Fr. MJK's argument regarding contributing social/moral shift has merit with respect to mass attendance's continued decline, to me, it only tells part of the story. I think there's a degree of "look at what's going on around you" here at play as well. We could bury our heads in the sand and conclude there isn't concrete evidence that the revised missal played a part, but that likely is short-sighted thinking. Over the last 50+ years, Roman Catholics (and to a lesser extent Eastern Catholics) stopped running to the eucharist in favor of running no where in particular. Cultural Catholics are the order of the day. By no means an island, the Roman Church has evidently experienced more sharply what all Christian denominations have experienced. I find it hard to believe that the Novus Ordo, pedestrian in so many places coupled with outright bizarre aberrations in others did not play a part. Add in the current pontiff's relentless war on a portion of his remaining and devoted adherents coupled with the expectation of hyper obedience to a puzzling change mindset, and here we are living through our perfect storm.