Catholics Becoming Protestants

Jesuit Thomas Reese, former editor of the magazine America– and someone I respect greatly, is sharing some of his concerns about the “New Exodus” in the Catholic Church.

Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why.

And why not the Catholic Church?

…the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.

Thankfully, although the U.S. bishops have not supported research on people who have left the church, the Pew Center has.

…One of the reasons there is such disagreement is that we tend to think that everyone leaves for the same reason our friends, relatives and acquaintances have left. We fail to recognize that different people leave for different reasons. People who leave to join Protestant churches do so for different reasons than those who become unaffiliated. People who become evangelicals are different from Catholics who become members of mainline churches.

An excellent article- well worth the read. If you’re like me, you may recognize many people you know, or even yourself. Full article here.

Update: This may also be part of the reason.

A Church Adrift

Peter Steinfels in a thought-provoking piece for Commonweal speaks about the hemorrhaging Catholic Church, the responsibility of the bishops and the reality of social understanding in the pews. He starts out with this:

“In February 2008, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, based on interviews with a representative sample of thirty-five thousand adult Americans, reported that one out of every three adult Americans who were raised Catholic have left the church. If these ex-Catholics were to form a single church, they would constitute the second largest church in the nation.” (emphasis mine)

Definitely worth a read- and don’t skip the comments! (Thanks Cheryl!)