Why do Catholics become Protestant?

Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

Why are so many Catholics becoming mainline Protestant or Evangelical? (Image via Wikipedia)

National Catholic Reporter has just posted a fascinating article looking at research by the Pew Research Center on why people leave the Catholic Church. This particular article focuses on those who leave Catholicism to enter a mainline Protestant or Evangelical Church. The research suggests that the common reasons believed by those who are ideologically liberal — or conservative — are not all that important. What is important? A sense of being spiritually nurtured.

Read the article: The Hidden Exodus: Catholics Becoming Protestant

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Scott

    As I mentioned in a comment on the NCR post, some of us who made such a change were convinced of the larger scope of Catholicism and were simply moving to another branch of it: in my case, the Anglican one. It’s been 25 years now, and I still am quite at home holding the Catholic faith as an Episcopalian.

  • http://nemo235.wordpress.com nemo235

    strange that know one mentions anyone leaving because the catholic church contradicts the bible, that is the reason I rejected my Catholic upbringing.

  • Phil S.

    This doesn’t surprise me one bit. I submit that the reason for it is that, while the Catholic church can rightly claim bedrock wisdom on spiritual growth with all of its many forms of spirituality (Ignatian, Benedictine, Franciscan, Salesian, etc.), the fact is that no one of these spiritual paths has ever enjoyed specific endorsement. The greater Catholic institution has found it sufficient to teach that the sacraments, including the Mass (the peak and pinnacle of our faith expression) are enough.

    And it may be that the abundance of unendorsed spiritual paths results in so many choices that potential beneficiaries choose none at all — except by looking for a church environment that offers some specific focus.

  • George

    Good article. It should be read by leaders and teachers of all stripes of the christian faith. All churches can take something away from the analysis.

    Having made this transition myself decades ago, I am amused by conservative evangelical/fundamentalists that sound the alarm concerning contemplative practices, that such practices will lead people back to “the errors of Rome”! But then again, conservative Catholics dislike centering prayer for their own reasons.