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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Starter Faiths....

Why not, we have gone from "starter houses' to starter jobs, starter marriages...
What can I say, we are an aspirational society....
Always looking to trade up, and failing to recognize the pearl of great price, not acknowledging value, absent public approbation.
And, so commitment-phobic, that we are willing to scavenge for scraps rather that pledge to always and only dine at the Lamb's Wedding Feast.



More than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or no religion, according to a new survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The report, titled “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey,” depicts a highly fluid and diverse national religious life. If shifts among Protestant denominations are included, then it appears that 44 percent of Americans have switched religious affiliations.
For at least a generation, scholars have noted that more Americans are moving among faiths, as denominational loyalty erodes. But the survey, based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans, offers one of the clearest views yet of that trend, scholars said. The United States Census does not track religious affiliation.
The report shows, for example, that every religion is losing and gaining members, but that the Roman Catholic Church “has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes.” The survey also indicates that the group that had the greatest net gain was the unaffiliated. More than 16 percent of American adults say they are not part of any organized faith, which makes the unaffiliated the country’s fourth largest “religious group.”

All those poor wandering souls. But to say, as the published result of the pew survey had it, that "The Catholic Church has lost more adherents than any other group: about one-third of respondents raised Catholic said they no longer identified as such," is misleading.
I would actually say that considerably more than 1/3 of those raised BY FAMILIES WHO FOR NOSTALIGIC AND ETHNIC REASONS INACCURATELY IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AS Catholic no longer identify themselves as such.
Pitifully few people are raised Catholic.
Which is just as sad a matter, but a very different one.
The catechetical failures of the Church during my lifetime are a tragedy of epic proportions, and it will be a long time before Benedict and his successors manage to turn this tub around.
But they will.
The Barque of Peter may spring leaks, but it shall not founder.
We have His word for it.


lvschant said...

Check out the entire Pew forum survey here:

These reports with just the statistics don't always tell the whole picture, do they? When I think of how pitifully poor my own catechesis (and that of my siblings as well) was, I am amazed the losses in terms of Catholic membership weren't more. Happily, those who seek it can still find truth!

Chironomo said...

I saw this report elsewhere, and my reaction was exactly the same as yours... many of those countd as "raised Catholic" werre never really raised catholic. Every year, I would estimate that at least half of our "First Communion" children also receive their "Last Communion" as well...they are never seen again after taking a picture with Father. However, these children go on the roles as Catholic, and then, 20 years later when asked their religion, the will say "I was Catholic, but am not any longer" and so now they are "Fallen away" Catholics... as I said before... you can't lose what you don't have!

Scelata said...

Thank you for stopping by, Chironomo.
We are having one of our parish's multitude of fabricated ceremonies surrounding 1st Communion at this Sunday's Mass, so I am steeling myself for the chatting, the phones ringing, etc.
It's not my job to play CBI (Church Bureau of Investigation) agent and to take down license plates, but my strong, gut feeling is that between this weekend and the one 6 or 7 weeks hence when they make their actual 1st Communion, many of these kids and their families will not see the inside of a Church, (and some of them will only on the occasional weekday, and only because they attend Mass at parochial school.)


(Save the Liturgy, save the World)