Crisis Analysis: Young People Leaving the Catholic Church

Topics: Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II Pages: 4 (1057 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Crisis:Young People Leaving the Catholic Church

What role does today's Roman Catholic Church play in our culture, as it relates to America's adolescents, teens and young adults? Is there still a place for organized religion in a society were Snookie and the iPad have all but replaced Jesus Christ and the bible?

As the newly-elect pontiff Pope Benedict prepares to guide the Roman Catholic Church into the future, church leaders are struggling to keep young people from leaving the faith. Four out of five Catholics who have left the church, and have not joined another faith or denomination, did so before the age of 24, according to a recent study (Lopez, 2013).

Some young Catholics have drifted away as they moved from home and failed to connect to a new parish, while others have left because their personal political views made them feel isolated. Some have blamed the church's conservative stance on gay marriage, abortion and other social issues for their departure.

The Catholic hierarchy is not doing enough to address the problem, said Robert J. McCarty, director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

"I think the church knows [young Catholics are leaving]; I don't think the church knows what to do about it," he said (Lopez, 2013).

Be that as it may, Catholic Cardinals throughout the United States say that the Archdioceses are actively working with local parishes to stop the mass youth exodus.

According to church officials, getting young adults to explore long-term spirituality is difficult when they are living more in the moment. The church sees the issues as more of a generational problem and not necessarily

A growing number of young people are leaving not just the Catholic church, but organized religion as a whole. In the 1970s, 12 percent of 18-29 year olds were unaffiliated with a church, according to the General Social Surveys. Last year, a Pew Research survey found 32 percent of 18-29 year olds were unaffiliated,...

Cited: Lopez, K. J. (2013, May 07). Why young catholics are leaving the church. Retrieved from
Ghezzi, B. (2013, June 13). Why young catholics leave and what parents can do to help prevent it. Retrieved from
Merica, D. (2012, March 30). 7 reasons young catholics leave the church. Retrieved from
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