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Many leave Catholic Church in US, while few enter, observes Pew Forum analyst

February 11, 2011

A “Religious Landscape Survey” conducted by the Pew Forum found that there are 22 million ex-Catholics in the US. If not for Hispanic immigration, the American Catholic population would be shrinking.

However, a Pew Forum analyst points out that other denominations are also losing believers, at roughly the same pace as the Catholic Church. The special problem for Catholicism, he says, is that so few new believers are coming into the Church.

In a revealing column for the National Catholic Reporter, John Allen discusses the statistics with Luis Lugo of the Pew Forum, and shines the light directly on the need for greater efforts to evangelize.


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Apr. 19, 2011 9:17 PM ET USA

    If other denominations are losing believers at roughly the same pace as the Catholic Church, does it stand to reason that perhaps the efforts of the Catholic Church leaders to make the Church more like the other denominations were misguided? The Church also continues to endure a shortage of believers among the faithful and the clergy still in good standing within the Church. How many "ex-Catholic Catholics" or "never were Catholic Catholics" are there? That is the real question.