The Eclipse of the American Catholic Church is Well Underway
Archbishop John Nienstedt has the answer
Around the world the Catholic exodus has begun. Here in the United States, a steadily increasing stream of “had it” Catholics is leaving the Roman Catholic Church. Parish closings around the country have become simply a sign of the times. Roman Catholic dioceses across the country have been struggling for years to maintain aging churches because of falling attendance, a priest shortage, and financial problems. Now they are simply closing shop.
Catholicism has lost more people to other religions or to no religion at all than any other single religious group in the United States.
More than 10% of the adult population in the United States now consists of people who have left the Roman Catholic Church for another religion or for no religion at all. To put it another way, one out of every 10 people in the United States (or 22,725,000) is a former-Catholic.
These are individuals who were baptized and raised Catholic but who now no longer identify themselves as Catholic. Furthermore, if one excludes immigrants and converts from the calculations, the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all, 35.4% or more than one-third of the 64,131,750 of its native born members. This amounts to almost 7 out of every 20 adults who were baptized as Catholics.
So what do we think about the more than 10% of the population that has left the Catholic Church? What has happened to the
more than 22,750,000 people who have left?
Archbishop John Nienstedt has the answer! SMALLER IS BETTER……
A couple days ago, in an interview with The Associated Press, Archbishop John Nienstedt (Archbishop of St. Paul / Minneapolis) talked about plans to close 21 churches in the archdiocese. “A smaller church isn’t a bad thing if the people in it are more strongly committed to Catholic principles” the Archbishop stressed, because “a shrinking church can still be influential on cultural issues.” This is what we call the “holy remnant” idea that is also very popular with Pope Benedict.
Archbishop Nienstedt made headlines earlier this month when he denied Communion to a group of college students from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict because they were wearing rainbow-colored buttons in support of gay rights. Heaven knows — some of them were probably even gay.
Nienstedt is a popular fellow. He recently angered a lot of Catholics with the mailing of a DVD that opposes gay marriage in Minnesota.
Nienstedt says Jesus directed his followers not to be lukewarm on important issues. Nienstedt said people who are going to be Catholic “have to be 100 percent Catholic.”