11 June 2008

Bishops Want Catholics Back

The Post-Dispatch has a feature article today on the efforts of Bishops to bring fallen-away Catholics back into the fold. The exodus of Catholics away from the Church has several causes, but is an undeniable reality of the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Ken Jones' book, "The Index of Leading Catholic Indicators", tells the story.

The article is worth reading, but the best way to attract religious adherents is to actually believe your religion, acknowledge that your religion is good, and that it is worth sacrificing for. In short, dynamic orthodoxy is the key. Our current Holy Father and Archbishop live out this approach, and the results are good. Colleen Carroll Campbell's book, "The New Faithful", details the rise of the number of orthodox believers among the young. The future is in God's hands, of course, but demographic trends are finally starting to pick up again after the devastation of the last forty years.


Anonymous said...


So here's my question: The "census" that is cited in the article reports an archdiocesan population number of 388,912. My supposition is that this number is taken from adding up individual parish population estimates -- each parish reporting how many envelopes are sent to registered families, and then a multiplier determines how many actual people that corresponds to. But studies seem to indicate that only 50% of registered parishioners in the U.S., on average, attend Mass. So -- is it possible to suggest that the true, practicing Catholic population is actually closer to just half of the 388,000 number, or just under 200,000, than it is to the 476,000 in the Catholic Directory? If so, what a statement about the failure of our catechetical programs over the last 40 years or so!

Another thing that might help my understanding is some sense of how we get to the 476,000 number... I think I see how they got to the lower "census" number, but that's the one they say isn't reliable....

What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Is 34 still young?

Anonymous said...

I read, "The New Faithful," and it really gave me hope about the future! It seems that people are tired of the Baby Boom generation's loose morals and high divorce rate, so they have turned to God and are drawn to conservative seminaries and churches.

So, I think that the Latin Mass will continue to flourish and more and more faithful Catholics will be born into our larger families.

After all, why bother being a half-way Catholic? It may someday be all or nothing.