19 April 2011

The Hidden Exodus: Catholics Becoming Protestants

The Hidden Exodus: Catholics Becoming Protestants, by Tom Reese (National Catholic Reporter, 18 April 2011).

Excerpts:
The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life has put hard numbers on the anecdotal evidence: One out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a separate denomination, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic.

Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening. Thankfully, although the U.S. bishops have not supported research on people who have left the church, the Pew Center has.

Pew’s data shows that those leaving the church are not homogenous. They can be divided into two major groups: those who become unaffiliated and those who become Protestant. Almost half of those leaving the church become unaffiliated and almost half become Protestant. Only about 10 percent of ex-Catholics join non-Christian religions. This article will focus on Catholics who have become Protestant.
Link: The Hidden Exodus: Catholics Becoming Protestants

Related Link: U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life) -- this is the study that provides the data for Fr. Tom Reese's article above.


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