Here’s some welcome news from Gallup: Attendance in Catholic churches is at its lowest point ever.
From 2014 to 2017, an average of 39% of Catholics reported attending church in the past seven days. This is down from an average of 45% from 2005 to 2008 and represents a steep decline from 75% in 1955.
The numbers are even more stark when you break them down by age. Even among Catholics, only 25% of people under 30 attend church weekly. Compare that to 73% back in 1955.
The youngest demographic has had the steepest drop since 1955, but you can see in that chart that the number is in decline for older Americans, too. In fact, the majority of every age group no longer attends Church on a weekly basis anymore.
While the survey doesn’t go into the reasons for the decline, we do know what’s happening with those former Catholics and Protestants: They now fall under the category of “Nones,” people with no organized religious affiliation.
There are a lot of factors that could explain this, but just to name a few: All the child abuse scandals; the continued anti-LGBTQ, anti-women, anti-contraception views held by Church officials; understanding that you don’t have to attend Church to be a good person; a backlash against faith-based harm throughout the world; the realization that Catholic dogma is just absurd; constant pushback against irrational dogma by atheists; etc.
Not that Bill Donohue of the Catholic League buys any of that. According to him, the reasons for the drop include a lack of religious education from a young age, college, pop culture, weakening morality, fewer married couples with fewer children, and clergy members who “lowered their expectations” in terms of getting people into the Church doors.
So… a lack of indoctrination, too much education, and not enough pressure on kids.
It’s ignorant thinking like that which also explains the drop.
If you have to force people to go to Church from a young age, and Catholicism doesn’t make much sense to rational people who are past the age of reason, what does that say about the faith? (Try explaining how a consecrated communion wafer is literally Jesus to an adult unfamiliar with the myth.)
The corruption makes the problem worse, but it’s not like the basics are working either. For that, we can thank everyone who’s been calling out the Church’s dogma, especially over the past decade or two.
Oh well. Their loss. Be sure to send them some thoughts and prayers.
Now we all need to get to work on Protestants.