One out of every 10 evangelicals is a former Catholic.
That’s what a new study on American religion says. And because of it, evangelical Christianity has supplanted Roman catholicism as the nation’s largest Christian group. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released the findings of their study, giving the results: Evangelical Protestants outnumber Catholics by 26.3 percent (59 million) to 24 percent (54 million) of the population. Although one in three Americans are raised Roman Catholic, only one in four adults describe themselves as such, and 10% of all members of evangelical churches are ex-Catholics. That’s 5.9 million people.
We can all ask why 25% of people raised Catholic leave the Church. We can always blame the influence of the self-destructing secular culture, but that has always been with us. Is it because the Catholic Church has often sold itself down the river by abandoning solid catechesis and not proclaiming boldly and with joy what the Truth is?
The Catholic Church has always had the shabbiness of bad architecture, uninspired preaching, off-key singers and so on. What it did have though, was catechized people who knew their Lord was present despite the Church’s human failings. People could sit through anything because they knew the Eucharist was the primary source of divine life. However, add 40 years of mediocre, watered-down catechesis to the usual cultural decline since the 60s and…. can it be that all that is left is ignorance and ugliness except for a few remnant pockets here and there?
But there is good news. Catholics still remain pretty steady in their numbers at 24%. It could be worse: the traditional mainline Protestant churches, which in 1957 constituted about 66 percent of the populace, now count just 18 percent as adherents.