Thursday, March 20, 2008

Washington Post's Popewatch: How many have bailed on Catholicism?

"How many have bailed out of Catholicism?", asks Jacqueline L. Salmon of Washington Post's PopeWatch, referring to the publication of a recent report from the Pew Forum:

Benedict will have a big audience here in the United States. According to a megastudy of Americans' religious identification released recently by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life, almost one in four Americans--24 percent--is Catholic. But Pew also found that no American faith group has lost more adherents than the Catholic Church; 10 percent of Americans are ex-Catholics. However, in the pollster version of a smackdown, some of Pew's findings are getting an argument from the go-to research center for all things Catholic--the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

It's kind of a wonky dispute, but interesting nonetheless. CARA maintains its 2003 research shows the situation isn't as bad as Pew paints it. . . .

Jacqueline may also be interested in's symposium, which asked 34 prominent Catholics from various backgrounds to answer the question, "Why Are So Many Leaving the Catholic Church?"