Why are so many leaving the Church?

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Why are so many leaving the Catholic Church? I know more ex-Catholics today than I know of actual devout, practicing Catholics. Why is this?

-- (just@wondering.com), October 21, 2003


We have many leaving? How many?

Those who leave, justwonder; very often come back. Many who leave do so because they won't obey God's commandments, or never have practiced the faith. Even so; many return to the faith with time. It's well-known that God will also abandon some who fail to follow Him; and without His help, they're damned.

But why are you misled into thinking ''many'' are leaving the Church? You have no yardstick. Maybe you're taking this from some statistically based number? Or the word of atheists and non- Catholics?

Consider that every day new Catholics enter the Church in holy Baptism; immense numbers! Just because they're newly born. It figures, since Catholics are taught abortion is a mortal sin. So, right there we have MILLIONS of new Catholics, entering the Church; re-invigorating the faith. Not to mention millions of converts. Not just in the west, but all over the globe & even in the Orient, despite persecutions of Christians.

You won't believe us, maybe. What does it matter? Anyway, with God, numbers are never the measure of His truth. Weight of numbers is already preponderantly on the side of Catholicism. More souls have reached eternal life through the Catholic Church over two thousand years, than all the stars you can see from a mountain-top this evening. More than twenty galaxies of souls are with God forever, because of the faith of the Apostles! Glory be to Our Saviour, Jesus Christ; AMEN!

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 21, 2003.

Do you not think that evil influences ,are not still in the Church?

Controversial Sermons On June 29, 1972 Pope Paul VI in a homily delivered a strikingly downbeat analysis of the state of the Roman Catholic Church post Vatican II. He told a congregation:

We believed that after the Council would come a day of sunshine in the history of the Church. But instead there has come a day of clouds and storms, and of darkness ... And how did this come about? We will confide to you the thought that may be, we ourselves admit in free discussion, that may be unfounded, and that is that there has been a power, an adversary power. Let us call him by his name: the devil. His fears of satanic infiltration of the Church were even more pronounced in a later sentence which is widely quoted by ultra- conservative catholics. He said:

It is as if from some mysterious crack, no, it is not mysterious, from some crack the smoke of satan has entered the temple of God. What he was alluding to was never explained.

-- Max Einsman (Bigmax@jamco.com), October 21, 2003.

One reason could be that unlike some denominations, in many cases you didn't make the choice to become Catholic, someone (parents) made it for you. So perhaps some feel they never belonged in the first place....

Another reason could be that the message of the Church has become bogged down in a lot of legal jargon. Look at the recent threads on annulments for an example--how did we get from Jesus and the Bible to that? I tried to read all of the posts by Daniel and Pat, quoting this or that canon law, and got tired of it pretty quickly. My older child goes to preschool storytime during Mass and the teacher discusses one simple Biblical concept. Why can't they do that at Mass for everyone?

It could also be that the Church seems inconsistent on things. You can be forgiven and start over after committing murder with a just a simple, sincere confession--no one expects you to raise the dead back to life, just not kill other people, but you can't be forgiven for making a bad marriage and be able to start over and do right by making a proper committment to a new spouse without going through an annulment. Why is that? I'm not talking about serial marriages, I'm talking about one-time "errors" if you will.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), October 21, 2003.

In addition to the millions of new Catholics being born into the Church annually, hundreds of thousands of new Catholics also enter the Church every year as adult converts. This ongoing process - new, committed, excited members pouring into the Church while nominal "Catholics" who never really were active members of the Church in the first place leave for watered-down denominational religion - strengthens the Church tremendously. The Church continues to grow, not only in overall numbers but also in vitality.

-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 21, 2003.

I'm always sorry for those who allude to the glaring sins of the Church, and how corrupt and evil our priests and prelates have become.

Then I read the words of Anne Catherine Emmerich; visionary & stigmatised German nun of the 19th century.

Her visions of the unspeakable evils bearing down on the Church of her own day. Horror and dishonor, the graces brought to earth from above by the Church Triumphant squandered below, the Church Militant always under persecution, etc.,

How is it even then a Catholic was lamenting the state of things? A saintly one; who--by the way, called dancing an occasion of sin. So did the cure of Ars! DANCING? The more things change the more they remain the same. All around us cries of, ''Antichrist! Apostacy! End-Times!''

''Master we are perishing!'' (luke 8, :24) --Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there came a calm. And He said to them, ''Where is your faith?''

No one here can even imagine all the storms the Church has seen and come through. Our Lord is asleep below; Ye of little faith!

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 21, 2003.

"My older child goes to preschool storytime during Mass and the teacher discusses one simple Biblical concept."

"you can't be forgiven for making a bad marriage and be able to start over and do right by making a proper committment to a new spouse without going through an annulment. Why is that?"

Simple Biblical concept? Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11, Mark 10:12, Luke 16:18, James 2:11, Revelation 2:22. Is it inconsistent? Blaim the Chief. He made the rules. People are free to leave the Church if they don't like the hard teachings of the Chief. And some leave. That's the curse of free will.

-- (tim@j2468.com), October 21, 2003.

Older child goes to pre-school? Now you have us wondering. Is he older than the other pre-schoolers?

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 21, 2003.

New-Age Catholicism drives the orthodox away towards what are considered, rightly or wrongly, "traditionalist" venues. Lack of responses that adequately address serious issues contribute as well. These are from the right, generally.

From the left, the Church is too slow liberalizing and dissatisfies those in favor of abortion, divorce/remarriage, contraception, female priesthood, married latin priesthood, shared communion with other christians ...

The Church is in a lose-lose situation either way.

But its drift, in my opinion is to the left and will remain so until most of the left's agenda is absorbed gradually through the "development" of doctrine by way of "greater theological understanding and vision".

I doubt it will happen quickly but it will happen.

Just as Episcopal Bishop Robinson is sure Jesus wants an openly practicing homosexual as Bishop, there are a majority of Catholics who feel the same about their pet issues, more of these are from the left, in my opinion, but there are those on the right as well.


-- Karl (Parkerkajwen@hotmail.com), October 21, 2003.

I have one too young for preschool (stays with me), and I say "preschool" for the other one (she helps with the younger children) because they have one group up to 1st grade where they discuss one concept and do a coloring worksheet about it during the entire Mass, as opposed to the 2nd grade on up, where they are dismissed for a while and then come back for the remainder of Mass.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), October 21, 2003.

We already have a few here who insist on ''Trad'' vs. ''Neo'' as words defining Catholics. They're just unhappy Catholics. Now you wish to separate the Church, naming some ''New Age Catholics''. I suppose that fits with the Trad definition of ''Neo''.

You are certainly an unhappy Catholic. It will take many more years to make you happy again. Most of all it will take a conversion to the faith. Unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, who has never made one single mistake; no matter what you may think of modern Catholics. You ought to convert today. TRY!

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 21, 2003.

Yes, they are inconsistent to some degree. One verse seems to say that only men have the right to divorce at all, a couple apply the rule equally to both men and women, and a couple of them even imply that it is bad for the woman "put away" for adultery to remarry, but says nothing about the man who put her away, whether he can remarry or not.... Of course, my Bible's printing is from 1965, so....

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), October 21, 2003.

I just wanted to leave a few thoughts in reply to the original thread inquiry.

Ultimately, I will stand before God and be judged on my actions in relation to how I understand and act upon the message Christ left us with.

That is all that really matters.

But I cannot stand with a Church, which propagates grave injustice. It is not mere human frailty here, Eugene. It is deliberate action that the hierarchy knows, with moral certainty, is wrong. It is unchecked and it is a scandal to all those who seek the truth.


-- Karl (Parkerkajwen@hotmail.com), October 21, 2003.

You must act as if you were the ONLY sinner in the world. Repent and come back to the Church. God has clearly told us He will repay. For in case you are justified. Do not cut off your nose to spite your face; follow Christ, not Judas.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 21, 2003.

"Yes, they are inconsistent to some degree."

The Bible or the Church?

-- (tim@j2468.com), October 21, 2003.


-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), October 21, 2003.

Well, according to Vatican II, that's good enough. Traditional Church teaching, however, from Pentecost until Vatican II requires you to convert to Catholicism if you wish to live with God in Heaven after your death.

-- Regina (Regina712REMOVE@lycos.com), October 21, 2003.

>Why are so many leaving the Catholic Church? I know more ex- Catholics today than I know of actual devout, practicing Catholics. >Why is this?

The company you keep?

I know more practicing Catholics now than I ever have.

The Church is still the largest in the US and growing larger every day.


-- Bill Nelson (bnelson45@hotmail.com), October 21, 2003.

Please do not listen to Regina, Justwondering.
According to the Catholic Church and all Councils since the Church was founded, THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

It will help you, naturally. Because in Christ's Church you always have the sacraments to sustain you, and His divine teachings. But, even with all those; good enough can only be repentence of all sin; confession with the priest if accessible, yes.

But our Father in heaven certainly will forgive the humble and contrite heart. And YES; one thing learned definitively in Vatican II is; God is never limited in whom He can forgive for sins. He may forgive a non-Catholic; and NOT forgive the unrepentent, self- centered Catholic! Amen!

The Catholic Church teaches all are inevitably saved in the Church, however. Only the Catholic Church. This paradox is not the insurmountable mystery Regina & others see it as. God can call anybody to the Church (salvation in the Church) in their dying hour; and there is one Church. But only if the soul is forgiven his/her lifetime of sins. He/she must be given Christ's saving grace; of which the Church is our source. The good thief on the cross at Christ's right hand was a sinner like this; He received grace in the final hour of his life. He entered into Christ's kingdom when Our Lord said, ''Amen, I say to thee; this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.'' The Catholic Church then, is nothing less than Christ's kingdom on earth. She is open in the hour of death to ANY sinner whom God gives His forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Theologically, there is no contradiction. All LOVE and ALL SALVATION is from one source, God Almighty.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 21, 2003.

This is hardly a scientific study. I myself have just recently begun a return to the Church after a 20 year absence. I now attend a small urban parish in Baltimore. Each week in the bulletin they list a comparative number of weekly attendees for each Sunday, along with the amount of funds collected each week over the past 10 years. The numbers in attendence have steadily grown from about 235 members in 1993 to over 600 last Sunday. I'm also impressed by the number of younger people who are showing up each week. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. Jim

-- Jim Furst (furst@flash.net), October 21, 2003.

People leave the Church, mainly, as they are subject to the disorder that sin introduces to their world. Either their own sin, or the sins they see committed by those around them. If it were not for sin, we would all have the beatific vision and come running, dropping everything in our lives, to receive the Eucharist and other sacraments that only our Church offers.

GT, a bad marriage is not a sin, so it cannot be forgiven. It is a cross. And if it is a valid christian marriage, it is a sacrament. Jesus, as he said in the Bible, asked us to take up our crosses and to bear them happily in His name.

In fact, if more people in the Catholic church were better at taking up their crosses, we would have even more converts. It is in those communities of the faithful that do not bear their crosses well that spititual life grows stale and unattractive.

The faithful need real substance in their spiritual lives to be happy. A sugar-coated spiritual life just tastes gross after a while and turns people off from their faith if that is all they have.

Just@wondering, who started this thread, go find a community with a substantive spiritual life. Where people are willing to do real work to come closer to God. There you will see converts coming in to a life of grace, and not so many disillusioned souls walking away for lack of direction.

-- Pat Delaney (pat@patdelaney.net), October 22, 2003.

Pat, according to the 10 commandments adultery was a sin, last time I checked, and that what what I was referring to, when the tribunals get into valid marriage issue, which when it has to do with defects and such shouldn't need a lawyer.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), October 22, 2003.

Many Catholic commentators have noted that in the post-Vatican II epoch, beliefs once shared by virtually all Catholics have now been marginalized, and reduced to cult status. Principal among these are beliefs in apparitions, miracles and prophecies. Over the centuries, the Catholic Church has raised to the rank of sainthood many hundreds, each of whom was canonized on the basis of miracles performed through his or her intercession. Many of these same saints experienced apparitions of Christ or the Virgin Mary. Catholic tradition affirms belief in a dialogue between earth and Heaven, mediated by visionary saints, who are called forth as prophets of their time and who authenticate their prophecies with miracles. Far from upholding this long-standing aspect of Christian belief, certain of today’s Vatican officials make a point of asserting that "private apparitions" can be disregarded as "not essential" to the faith— including the apparitions at Fatima, despite Fatima’s warning of global catastrophe.

In general, the post-conciliar "updating" of the Catholic Church has left Catholic beliefs reduced to a shrunken core, and even that core is challenged at high levels. Widely-published (and openly heretical) "theologian" Hans Küng has received only a slap on the wrist for questioning such basic articles of faith as the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Why was Hans Kung not excommunicated for this?

-- Sidney (Brothman@intella.com), October 23, 2003.

Here's part of the tip of the iceberg.

Always check and double check everything you read just to be on the safe side.

Have fun!

-- Emerald (emerald1@cox.net), October 23, 2003.

Dear Sidney,

With all due respect, you don't know what you are talking about. The Church's teaching on apparitions, miracles and prophecies has not changed in the slightest. The current Holy Father has canonized more saints than any previous Pope. The Church has NEVER taught that belief in private revelation, including apparitions, is necessary for salvation, and it still upholds this long-standing aspect of Christian belief. There has been absolutely no change in Catholic doctrine as a result of the most recent holy Council of the Church. You need to distinguish between what the Church actually teaches and what you wish it taught.

-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 24, 2003.

Hey, Emerald:

Do you realize that if you would just abandon your Bishop-approved True Mass and took your family to the local New Age temple, you'd be considered "orthodox" in this forum?

-- jake (jake1REMOVE@pngusa.net), October 24, 2003.

I'm trying to see what's New Aged about the parish church you've linked up here, Saint Gregory the Great. You object, I presume. If it isn't Old Aged enough for you, Jake, go ahead; start a whispering campaign. That'll make you a total Catholic in sackcloth & ashes. Your brethren in Novus Ordo parishes will never know how much you cared. We have real love for God and our neighbor; as anyone can see in your link-up. Our Holy Redeemer said the world would know us by how much we love one another. Ciao, beloved Turkey!

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 24, 2003.

omg* jake!

Check it out... look.

Scour this page on that site up and down, thoroughly.

Do you see what I see?

Now that is funny. Do you see it?


-- Emerald (emerald1@cox.net), October 24, 2003.

Paul says:

"You need to distinguish between what the Church actually teaches and what you wish it taught."

An Ex-cathedra statement from Pope Eugene IV in 1441 from the Bull Cantate Domino:

"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

Have fun.

-- Emerald (emerald1@cox.net), October 24, 2003.

The original question was another "urban myth":

See below:

Nearly half of Americans unchurched, religious census finds By Nancy Frazier O'Brien Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Just over half of all Americans have organizational ties to a religious body, but nearly as many remain without a church home, according to the results of a religious census conducted every 10 years.

The study, "Religious Congregations & Membership in the United States: 2000," was released Sept. 18 by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies and the Glenmary Research Center.

The data showed that 141.4 million Americans -- 50.2 percent of the U.S. population of 281.4 million -- were associated in the year 2000 with one of the 149 religious bodies participating in the study, which included Muslims and some other non-Christian groups for the first time in its latest totals. Jews were first included in the study in 1990.

Ten years ago, when the study was called "Churches and Church Membership in the United States: 1990," about 55 percent of the U.S. population was affiliated with a religious congregation. The 1990 religious census reported 137 million adherents in 133 participating churches or congregational groupings, in a total U.S. population of 249 million.

At 62 million, Catholics were the largest single denomination represented in the United States in 2000, although Protestants grouped together were more numerous at 66 million.

Catholics also experienced one of the largest increases in membership at 16.2 percent. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (19.3 percent), Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (18.6 percent) and Assemblies of God (18.5 percent) had larger increases since 1990. Most mainline Protestant denominations experienced declines.

The data for the study was gathered not by the U.S. Census Bureau, which dropped its question on religion in the 1950s over concerns about separation of church and state, but by the religious organizations themselves.

Glenmary Research Center in Nashville, Tenn., which published the 584- page book of statistics, collected the Catholic data for the study. Although the statistics provide the most comprehensive picture yet of the religious composition of the United States, some problems remain in the collection and tallying of data. Some groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, do not want to participate in the census and therefore are not counted. Some -- such as Buddhists, Hindus and certain Orthodox and black Baptist churches -- only provided information on the number of congregations, not the number of adherents.

Because of differences in how churches define a "member," the association of statisticians used the term "adherent" to describe all those who regularly join in religious services. Most Protestant churches, for example, do not consider young people to be members until they are confirmed, but the census counts them as "adherents."

Like the U.S. census, the data is reported by region, state and county. Adherents are listed in the county in which they worship, not the county where they live, leading in some cases to counties with more adherents than their total population.

Only one U.S. jurisdiction -- Loving County in Texas -- reported no congregations or adherents to any of the 149 groups in the study.

The 149 reporting groups included:

-- 66 million Protestants in 222,000 congregations.

-- 62 million Catholics in nearly 22,000 congregations.

-- 6 million Jews in 3,727 congregations.

-- 4 million Mormons in 12,000 congregations.

-- 1.6 million Muslims in more than 1,000 congregations.

-- Nearly 1 million Eastern Christians, including Orthodox, in 2,000 congregations.

-- 150,000 adherents to Eastern religions in 4,000 congregations.

-- 180,000 Unitarian Universalists in 1,000 congregations.

Catholics have the largest number of adherents in 37 states and the District of Columbia. The Southern Baptist Convention has the largest number of adherents in 10 states, all in the South. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the most adherents in Idaho and Utah, and the United Methodists have the most adherents in West Virginia.

Although they declined by more than 740,000 since 1990 to 10.3 million in 2000, United Methodists were found to be the most widespread religious group in the census. They were present in 96 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties or county equivalents, compared to 95 percent for Catholics and 85 percent for Southern Baptists.

The only other groups present in more than three-fourths of the nation's counties were Assemblies of God (83 percent), Churches of Christ (77 percent), Baha'i (77 percent) and Presbyterian Church (USA) (76 percent).

Utah (74 percent), North Dakota (73 percent) and the District of Columbia (73 percent) had the largest percentage of people claimed by groups participating in the census, while Oregon (31 percent) and Washington (33 percent) had the least.

The top counties in the United States in terms of number of adherents and congregations were: Los Angeles County, Calif., with 5.5 million people in 4,044 congregations; Cook County, Chicago, with 3.1 million adherents in 2,346 congregations; and Harris County, Houston, with 1.7 million people in 1,587 congregations.


---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

©Copyright 2002, Catholic News Service

-- Joe (joestong@yahoo.com), October 24, 2003.

Mr. Stong; No ofense intended, but why are so many Catholic churches closing, while the Catholic population increases?

-- Soapy (9999.@444.co), October 24, 2003.

>Why are so many catholic churches closing?

Depends on where you are, around here in Arizona they are opening, and growing. Might have to do with population shifting around...


-- Bill Nelson (bnelson45@hotmail.com), October 24, 2003.

It is good that your area is growing , but the stats overall are not good.

Attendance at Mass. A 1958 Gallup Poll reported that 75% of Catholics attended church on Sundays. A recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that 25% now attend. Indicative beliefs 70% of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe the Eucharist is a "symbolic reminder" of Jesus. 90% of lay religious teachers reject church teaching on contraception. 53% believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. 65% believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry. 75% believe one can be a good Catholic without going to mass on Sundays.

The Decline of the Catholic Church.

-- Soapy (9999@444.com), October 24, 2003.

Do you see what I see?

HA! fine print aside , it leaped off the page at me. Never mind, Gene. You're right. They're not as New Agey as they look.

One of two possibilities:

1.They don't check their sources very thoroughly

2. There's a Traditionalist plot brewing to infiltrate the parish.

I'm sure of of these good Greenspun folks will alert them.

-- jake (jake1REMOVE@pngusa.net), October 24, 2003.

Gee; I wonder what he's talking about. It sounds like . . . Or-- it might be . . .

I give up.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 24, 2003.

Never mind, Gene. It's nothing.


-- jake (jake1@REMOVEpngusa.net), October 24, 2003.



-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 24, 2003.

You base the "decline of the Church" on a poll? Worse yet, on two different polls, taken in different places by different polsters using different methods. Polls have very little real value. You can "prove" anything you want to "prove" with a properly designed poll. It is well known that you can elicit any response you want, simply by wording the questions the right way. I wonder - was the poll by the University of Notre Dame taken AT the University of Notre Dame? If so, then it might demonstrate something about college students, or at least something about Notre Dame college students - assuming of course that the sample size was sufficiently large to provide valid statistics, that the data was properly analysed, and that the questions were completely unbiased (which is impossible) - but it certainly wouldn't provide much information about the Church. I never accept generalizations based on polls, concerning the Church or anything else. They are usually meaningless at best, grossly misleading at worst.

-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 24, 2003.

Paul is correct. As long as people have their axes to grind, there's no such thing as an unbiased poll, especially if said axe-grinder is paying money for it. Somehow, mysteriuosly, it will always turn out favorable toward whomever is collecting the data.

On the other hand, you could make accurate and objective observations by measuring data that's statistically verifiable, i.e., number and median age of priests, seminary enrollment, baptisms, converts, religious orders, etc.

That way, you take the subjectivity of walking up to a "man on the street" and asking him if he's a good Catholic, or whatever it is you want to ask him. You also cancel out the concerns over the size and demographics of your sample, since you can use verifiable numbers from any size population. The data is already there. Someone else, in a sense, has already done all the work; just that it's scattered about. To get an overall glimpse of the Big Picture, all one need do is compile.

-- jake (jake1REMOVE@pngusa.net), October 25, 2003.

The real truth about catholics, Jake, is we are pilgrims every one of us. If the soul is counted at the very last hour of his/her life, that makes the salient and exact poll number.

Anyone can fall away from the faith. Let's assume you never have; but many do. They RETURN, Dear One. God holds out; all have that last gasp. I count on how many baptisms, prayers, holy communions and persevering souls the Church brings to God. Oh ye of little faith!

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 25, 2003.

You completely lost me with that last post. I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

-- jake (jake1@REMOVEpngusa.net), October 25, 2003.

OK; so-called church attendance, etc., and ''poll numbers''.

Poll numbers rise & fall. They usually RISE as a soul nears judgment day. (Logic could apply;) And then that spiritual phenomenon: deathbed conversion? So, CAN these bought-and-sold polls of the Catholic Church. Just pray for sinners.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), October 25, 2003.

"The Catholic Church tends to retain people in membership long after any real participation has ceased, but it is safe to say that Mass attendance by Catholics has dropped at least 50 percent in the past thirty years. Religious communities and diocesan clergy continue to attract fewer and fewer members."

From The Reform of Renewal 1990, Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R.

So many are leaving, it is happening today in all faiths. The original question was "Why?". We know why, origianl sin is part of the human condition, that's why. And that includes the weakness remaining after baptism is part of our condition as well.

Whenever there is a great movement of the Holy Spirit as with Vatican II, there is great counter presence of Satan to undermine the Holy Church's effort. It is a great time to be a Roman Catholic.

-- Mike H. (beginasyouare@hotmail.com), October 25, 2003.

Sidney and Emerald,

Sidney said, Many Catholic commentators have noted that in the post-Vatican II epoch, beliefs once shared by virtually all Catholics have now been marginalized, and reduced to cult status. Principal among these are beliefs in apparitions, miracles and prophecies.

I disagree that the Church has marginalized all apparitions, miracles and prophecies. Scripture miracles are true as ever or we would have no mass where the miracle of the Eucharist takes place. St. Faustina is a Catholic visionary extraordinaire and she was just canonized a saint. This happened very recently. The church sees such approved apparitions as edifying. However, there is cause for concern with any visions etc. It takes decades or more after the death of the saint to get Church approval. The Church has always been very cautious around mystical phenomenon. Proper caution is not the same as all Catholics have now been marginalized, and reduced to cult status. The concern is that Joe Catholic so-and-so may begin following the next dream he has right after reading such material.

After Sidney’s post above, Emerald left us a link presumably in support of it that takes one to The Catholic Prophets: According to Supernaturality: Full Church approval It is full of stories about apparitions, miracles and prophecies. No problem.

The first link I chose from within The Catholic Prophets link of Emerald’s was at the top right, St. John Of The Cross, Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church. The excerpts they chose for him was his writing from his well known works Dark Night Of The Soul and The Ascent of Mount Carmel. This quote of St. John appears to have been gleaned from a web site called Theotokos Books which features books on Marian apparitions approved and unapproved, Catholic pilgrimages and about the "flourishing of new movements and communities within the Catholic Church." Interesting. Anyway, back to the words of St. John of the Cross. In summary it says to ignore any visions and prophesies that seem to come to you. And a doctor of the Church says this! And from your own link! This is it here, please take heed >>


"... the devil causes many to believe in vain visions and false prophecies; and strives to make them presume that God and the saints are speaking with them; and they often trust their own fancy. And the devil is also accustomed, in this state, to fill them with presumption and pride, so that they become attracted by vanity and arrogance, and allow themselves to be seen engaging in outward acts which appear holy, such as raptures and other manifestations. Thus they become bold with God, and lose holy fear, which is the key and the custodian of all the virtues; and in some of these souls so many are the falsehoods and deceits which tend to multiply, and so inveterate do they grow, that it is very doubtful if such souls will return to the pure road of virtue and true spirituality" "It is always well, then, that the soul should reject these things, and close its eyes to them, whencesoever they come. For, unless it does so, it will prepare the way for those things that come from the devil, and will give him such influence that, not only will his visions come in place of God's, but his visions will begin to increase, and those of God to cease, in such manner that the devil will have all the power and God will have none. So it has happened to many incautious and ignorant souls, who rely on these things to such an extent that many of them have found it hard to return to God in purity of faith; and many have been unable to return, so securely has the devil rooted himself in them; for which reason it is well to resist and reject them all. For, by the rejection of evil visions, the errors of the devil are avoided, and by the rejection of good visions no hindrance is offered to faith and the spirit harvests the fruit of them." "It is clear, then, that these sensual apprehensions and visions cannot be a means to union, since they bear no proportion to God; and this was one of the reasons why Christ desired that the Magdalene and Saint Thomas should not touch Him. And so the devil rejoices greatly when a soul desires to receive revelations, and when he sees it inclined to them, for he has then a great occasion and opportunity to insinuate errors and, in so far as he is able, to derogate from faith; for, as I have said, he renders the soul that desires them very gross, and at times even leads it into many temptations and unseemly ways."


-- Mike H. (beginasyouare@hotmail.com), October 25, 2003.

There's a reason that I said this above...

"Always check and double check everything you read just to be on the safe side."

...in anticipation of this:

"The concern is that Joe Catholic so-and-so may begin following the next dream he has right after reading such material."

In an age when so many are convinced that the modern Joe Catholic so-and-so walks around drenched in the Holy Spirit, then they shouldn't have problems sifting through a little text.

Would the following:

"I might run the risk of being decieved, so I best not read or study anything at all."

...be a valid conclusion?

I wouldn't worry about it. Be not afraid or whatever.

-- Emerald (emerald1@cox.net), October 25, 2003.


It is just that a person's desire for hearing about new apparitions, miracles and prophecies, expressed by others, usually feeds the person with a desire to have their own such gifts and then when they get something it's likely to be from the devil and they use it to start their own following. For most believers, it's all very prideful. Which means it can cause someone to fall away from virtue or possibly from the Church. Some extraordinary communications really are from God but this is rare.

-- Mike H. (beginasyouare@hotmail.com), October 27, 2003.

Some have left because of the "big business" attitude of the Church--they point to all of the real estate holdings, artwork, etc. (pointing out that it should be sold to help the poor, for example), not to mention programs like Stewardship, which I have been told (by someone very active in parishes for years) was supposed to be a one-time "bail-out". It seems like every time you turn around there is a different collection for this or that....

Although I'm not sure that's a fair argument, because you can undoubtedly make the asset argument with most of the larger denominations.

I am more troubled by how difficult it can be to find out where the money goes to. For example any parishoner should be able to find out how much every paid employee (including the priest) makes. Every expense should be questioned. Why does the priest live away from the church rectory, for example? Church finances should be the ultimate in transparency, imho.

I think another reason can also be a lack of reaching out to people with young children. Until a child is old enough to sit through Mass (and I would put that at around 1st grade or so), you have three options as a parent: 1) don't bring them at all; 2) bring them but spend much of Mass outside or in a "cry room" where either the sound is bad and you can't hear Mass or there are several other children acting up and you still can't hear Mass; or 3) hope your parish has some sort of children's program--most don't, and the ones that do don't have them at every Mass. A former Catholic friend of mine now goes to one of those new mega-churches, and their child care facility gives your kid a number, and there's a light board in church flashing the number if you need to change a diaper, or there's an emergency.

I don't know any former Catholics who have become atheists.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), October 27, 2003.

I chose this thread, because of the title. "Why are people leaving the Church"?

Could it be the loss of faith in the Real Presence? I read where 80% of Catholics under 50, do not believe in it. I clipped this item which seems to be a reason.

Communion in the hand" is a Protestant innovation foisted upon the Catholic world in the name of false ecumenism. Thepractice of communion in the hand is rooted in the rejection of the Catholic doctrine on the Holy Eucharist and the denial of the Catholic priesthood.

The Church has condemned communion in the hand from the early centuries on:

ST. SIXTUS I (115-125). Prohibited the faithful from even touching the Sacred Vessels: "Statutum est ut sacra vasa non ab aliis quam a sacratis Dominoque dicatis contrectentur hominibus..." [It has been decreed that the Sacred Vessels are not to be handled by others than by those consecrated and dedicated to the Lord.]

POPE ST. EUTYCHIAN (275-283). Forbade the faithful from taking the Sacred Host in their hand.

ST. BASIL THE GREAT, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (330-379). "The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in time of persecution." St. Basil considered Communion in the hand so irregular that he did not hesitate to consider it a grave fault.

-- Daniel (phasetwo@yes.com), November 03, 2003.

I received communion in hand for many years, but saw people losing respect for it. I now receive,kneeling and on the tongue, and if refused, I just get up and leave. I will not compromise.

-- Daviano (Wildwook@goodstate.com), November 03, 2003.


Go to New Advent and read St. Basil's 93 letter for yourself. Your anti-Catholic schismatics are quoting the exact opposite of his intent. The church of his time did practice communion in the hand.

Communion in the hand" is a Protestant innovation foisted upon the Catholic world in the name of false ecumenism.

Someone lied to you here, again, try reading St. Basil's actual letter.

You should post the sources for your other quotes, so that we can read them in their entirety. It will be quite interesting to us both, I'm sure! Especially since in that time period in some areas the faithful were given chunks of consecrated host to take home with them for use later in the week. I'd like to have you post the quotes though, that's always good "for later".


Good for you. Don't harden your heart to the church though, like some of these poor guys do. Turning your back on the Eucharist for the way you would receive it is IMO a losing proposition. OTOH, you do have the right to receive on the tongue, so if denied the opportunity you should complain (in writing)to the priest first, and then to the Bishop.


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), November 03, 2003.

Good points Frank. Also I add this, we all ought to be most concerned with the disposition of our hearts when we receive Holy Communion. Taking a Holy Hour of prayer sometime before or after communion ought to be a much bigger concern than the mechanical method by which the Eucharist gets into our mouth. In fact, Archbishop Fulton Sheen has commented that priests who leave their calling will usually not be spending such time with the Eucharist as they ought. We lay people need the same time with Our Blessed Lord and this will greatly help us to remain Catholic. Eucharistic adoration is growing today. Pray for it to continue.

-- Mike H. (beginasyouare@hotmail.com), November 03, 2003.

"I received communion in hand for many years, but saw people losing respect for it. I now receive,kneeling and on the tongue, and if refused, I just get up and leave. I will not compromise".

A: That's about as absurd a statement as I have ever heard. In spite of your pretense of "respect" for the Eucharist, you obviously haven't the slightest clue as to what the Eucharist is. Otherwise you would crawl through broken glass and hot coals to receive it, in any position that was available, any time, any place, instead of quibbling about externals. You would reject GOD HIMSELF because He wasn't offered to you the way you prefer? I wonder if you would be so picky if someone was going to hand you a million dollars? Yet you would turn your back on that which is worth infinitely more than a million dollars, and walk away because you didn't get your own way. PITIFUL!

-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), November 03, 2003.

Hey Big Paul! Thats quite a heavy rebuke. I would hate to be on the receiving end of that one.

-- Pat Delaney (pat@patdelaney.net), November 03, 2003.

yes, but at least it is true

keep up that fiery wrath of God, paul m

-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), November 03, 2003.

I liked that one too.

-- Mike H. (beginasyouare@hotmail.com), November 03, 2003.

You guys are really a case. Here's a guy, that has the highest regard for Our Lord, and you all miss the point. any wonder that people keep coming up, and popping that Host into their mough like a cookie. They stroll back to their seats, like a walk in the park. Sometimes walk right out the door to their cars,""Host dust" on their hands, and drive off. No, posture does not mean anything. Not much it doesn't. Next time I see the pope, I'll slap him on the back and say " How Ya doing". Sure, why not. Should I kneel to him when I do not kneel to his boss. You keep what you are doing guy. I'm with you.

-- Soapy (9999@444.com), November 03, 2003.

You had better stop bad-mouthing us, Soapy, or I'm going to come over there and wash your mouth out with ... yourself.

(Thumbs up to Paul M's correction of Daffiano.)

-- (Watch@Your.Step!), November 03, 2003.

Hey, Watcha you step. Ima no lika you talk. Ima getta my boys to wrinkle you suit fora you. Guys it is not you, but the things you refuse to see.

"Every knee shall bend, in Heaven,on earth, and below the earth". You can pay Him now, or pay Him later, but you will pay Him.

-- Bubbles (9999.@444.com), November 03, 2003.

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