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New Evangelization workin’ like a charm – number of Catholics plummets, America increasingly non-Christian May 12, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, demographics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.

A whole bevy of bad news from the latest Pew poll of religion in the United States which, if accurate, shows Christianity in general is plummeting in this country, but the decrease is centered almost entirely in the Church and the mainline sects – that is, those bodies which have most embraced the left-liberal religious paradigm and most secularized their practice of the Faith.

Data below.  As always, take the specific numbers with a grain of salt, but at this point I think the major trends are irrefutable:

The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center…….

…….To be sure, the United States remains home to more Christians than any other country in the world, and a large majority of Americans – roughly seven-in-ten – continue to identify with some branch of the Christian faith.1 But the major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%

And if you read the data, you will find that the vast majority of the decline is occurring among the millenials – they are simply not taking up the faith of their parents.  Nearly 40% of millenials claim no religious affiliation.  That may change as they age, but since they count this cohort down to 1980 – meaning 35  year olds – maybe not.  Each succeeding generation tends to have a lower and lower religious affiliation.

The depressing data:



So the religiously unaffiliated – mostly people who just answer “spiritual but not religious,” but also atheists and agnostics – is the most rapidly growing segment of the American population.  Mainline protestantism is collapsing only slightly faster than Catholicism, which makes sense, as so many changes introduced into the Church since Vatican II were deliberately oriented towards making the One, True Faith as indistinguishable from the mainline, left-oriented, secularized sects as possible.



The number of evangelicals actually increased, but did not increase at the same rate as the overall population.  If the numbers below are correct, there are now likely fewer Catholics in the US than there were in 1970:



The data, if accurate, makes apparent that the vast majority if Catholics who fall away from the Faith are not being lured to other sects, but are joining the ranks of the atheistic and religiously indifferent. Gee, I wonder where they could have absorbed all that religious indifference, all that belief that it makes no difference which church one belongs to, if any, since we’re all saved by our super-lovey, never judgy God anyways?

So here’s a question – how on earth does the Pew survey estimate 51 million Catholics, while the Georgetown University CARA studies – tightly associated with the USCCB – somehow show 80 million Catholics in this country?  Is the CARA study including people who state they were once Catholic and are now outside the Church?  Is this the same kind of accounting that leads the Diocese of Dallas to claim that there are over 1.2 million Catholics in this Diocese, whereas the actual number of practicing Catholics is a much smaller fraction of that number?  I will note that even the CARA data has two numbers for the Catholic population – 66 million ostensible “parish-connected” Catholics – meaning their name is on a parish roll somewhere (and how many duplicates, triplicates, and more does that represent?  It took my getting very tough with a couple of parishes to get our names de-listed from their roll, they really don’t like to do that, apparently) – and 80 million “self-identified, survey based estimate” Catholics.  And yet Pew says 51 million, possibly less than 50.

One might assume both the secular-leaning Pew and the USCCB-affiliated CARA studies have reasons to exaggerate numbers one way or another.  So perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between.  But from your personal experience, how many of you really believe there are 25 million more Catholics in this country than there were in 1980?  I find that to be highly doubtful.  According to CARA, the CAtholic population hasn’t dropped at all, but continued growing!  Who has a greater impetus to exaggerate – Pew, most likely biased towards a more secular America, but probably only somewhat so, or CARA, providing the numbers the bishops will use to tout at their ad limina visits in Rome?  How would it look if they had to explain why the number of Catholics is less than what it was in 1970, when the US population has increased by 60% since that time?

Not that such would be unprecedented – all Catholic countries outside east Asia and sub-saharan Africa have seen plummeting numbers over the past several decades.  And even in Africa and Asia, growth is increasingly soft and millions are converting away from the Church founded by Jesus Christ for the sects, especially American-type (and often American-funded) evangelical sects.

Many Catholics are convinced the Church is experiencing unprecedented declines across the board from Mass attendance, involvement in parish life, donations, school enrollment, religious vocations, priestly vocations, etc., specifically due to the massive changes made in practice and, in reality, belief, since Vatican II.  The post-conciliar practice of the Faith is not drawing souls into the Church as promised, and in fact seems to be a prime factor in many falling away.  And since that post-conciliar construct was heavily influenced by desires to appeal to mainline protestants, it is hardly surprising that the same secularizing, de-legitimizing trends afflicting those sects and causing an even worse decline there (but only marginally so) are working the same effect on the Church.  The only real question in the minds of many of the most faithful Catholics is when will there be a return to sanity, when will the Church be herself again, when will the strong, vibrant Faith that was growing, enjoying a huge number of vocations, and converting hundreds of thousands every year, return?

Enjoy your new springtime.  How hostile a place for Christians will this nation be in another 28 years, if present rates hold, and nearly half the population is outright atheist, agnostic, or completely indifferent?  That is really the reality now, and the number is more than half, since so many Americans, even “practicing Christians,” are in reality incredibly soft in their practice of the Faith, and so easily swayed to accept whatever amoral atrocity the sexular pagan overculture demands of them from one moment to the next.  The stage is ripe for a most bitter and prolonged persecution.

Thanks to MFG for the link.


1. Pseudodionysius - May 12, 2015

What the New Evangelization needs is a new bookmark.



2. richardmalcolm1564 - May 12, 2015

“One might assume both the secular-leaning Pew and the USCCB-affiliated CARA studies have reasons to exaggerate numbers one way or another.”

Indeed, Pew is relying more on their own survey methods, while CARA does rely in part on internal metrics from Church records. Which is true? Likely neither.

I think there is something to be said for being broadly inclusive in counting people on parish rolls – we want the door to be open. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be making accurate assessments of what the number of active intentional Catholics really is – and be prepared to accept bad news on this front. Instead, bishops and their officials have become very proficient in denying reality. I’ve had more than one conversation with priests that affirm that, and even one Cardinal Ratzinger once noted this behavior on ad limina visits he received on behalf of JPII in Rome.

So…70 million? 66 million? 50.9 million? Here’s another number to ponder. John Zmirak had an essay in The Catholic Thing last year which noted some internal market research from a major Catholic publisher to turn up the actual size of the “orthodox Catholic market” in the U.S. The result? They calculated that there are only 1.2 million such Catholics. Ponder that.

3. skeinster - May 12, 2015

Good one from Fr. Carota on the dilemma of priests who discover the EF:

Remember: you are the best Catholic someone knows.

4. richardmalcolm1564 - May 12, 2015

P.S. More on that Ratzinger anecdote. Ralph Martin noted it in an essay he had published in Nova et Vetera in 2013, “The Post-Christendom Sacramental Crisis:The Wisdom of Thomas Aquinas.” Martin recounts an anecdote in one of Ratzinger’s books in which Ratzinger remarked on a strange phenomenon he observed
in conjunction with the collapse of the Church in the Netherlands after Vatican II. Ratzinger pointed out that by every statistical measure the Church in the Netherlands was collapsing and yet, strangely, at the same time an atmosphere of “general optimism” was prevalent that seemed blind to the actual situation:

“I thought to myself: what would one say of a businessman whose
accounts were completely in the red but who, instead of recognizing
this evil, finding out its reasons, and courageously taking steps against it, wanted to commend himself to his creditors solely through optimism? What should one’s attitude be to an optimism that was quite simply opposed to reality?”

So at least one of our post-conciliar popes seemed to “get it.” And for all that, he wasn’t able to bail much water out of these boats.

5. Kevin Shook (@DFWSHOOK) - May 12, 2015

I’m confused. I thought the “Francis effect” was filling the pews.

DFW Catholic - May 16, 2015

I thought open borders and multiculturalism was “The Solution.”

6. JTLiuzza - May 13, 2015

The author alludes to the source of the problem: false ecumenism which is, in reality, religious indifferentism. This grew out of the “spirit of the council” and it’s only effect is to make Christ’s church irrelevant.

It’s actually quite stupid on it’s face but the modernists running the show still embrace it nonetheless.

Tantumblogo - May 13, 2015

Thank you! I was hoping someone would catch where I was going with that commentary. I thought about making the point explicitly, but you guys are smart enough to make your own conclusions.

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