by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 18, 2018

30,000 Catholics came into the Church at Easter but stats show more than half will leave

Catholic bishops in America are talking about the 30,000 Catholics that entered the Church at Easter but fail to mention the statistics foretelling that more than half of them will leave the Church.

Converts — with shallow roots based on the quasi-Christian Alpha Program used in many parishes or the emotionally driven “event Catholicism” that so often replaces authentic evangelization in America — will not persevere in practicing the Faith according to statistics. A study by Pew Research Center in 2015 showed that more than half of all Catholics have left the Church, and only one in 10 have returned.

This problem has been trending in the United States for the past 50 years. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reported last year that the U.S. Catholic population actually peaked in 2010. The report also found that in 2016 some 74.2 million people in the United States claimed to be Catholic but almost 80 percent of them don’t attend Mass. This means that the number of practicing Catholics is far less than the raw number of those who simply identify as Catholic.

The main reason for people leaving the Faith or not practicing it is that they were never taught the Faith to begin with. Teaching and evangelizing are kept separate today by many Catholic leaders and so-called evangelists. Pope Leo XIII railed against this soft approach to evangelization in his 1899 apostolic letter Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, addressed to the archbishop of Baltimore.

Speaking of a problem he labeled Americanism, the Holy Father described the faulty reasoning of such people who water down the Faith to make converts in name only:

[In] order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should … make some concessions … not only in regard to ways of living but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the Deposit of the Faith … to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them.

Watch the panel discuss the mass exodus that bishops aren’t discussing in The Download—Losing the Faithful.

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  1. Anything reminiscent of a St. Francis de Sales or St. Vincent Ferrer-style success in evangelization is so rare in American history as to be a cause of wonder.
    The Faith here is a product of European immigrants, not American bishops, with very, very few exceptions.

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