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Debate: Why do Catholics lapse?

Is it primarily the fault of the Church or of the Catholics who have left it?

By on Thursday, 17 November 2011

An image from the bishops' conference Come Home for Christmas campaign

An image from the bishops' conference Come Home for Christmas campaign

This week Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York spoke to his fellow bishops about the “chilling” rates of lapsation among US Catholics. He said:

Fewer and fewer of our beloved people – to say nothing about those outside the household of the faith – are convinced that Jesus and His Church are one.

So they drift from her, get mad at the Church, grow lax, join another or just give it all up. If this does not cause us pastors to shudder, I do not know what will.

The topic is on our own bishops’ radar, too. Last weekend they launched a national campaign to reach out to Catholics who have lapsed.

One bishop has suggested that people are lapsing because they are simply too busy to go to Mass.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton was indirectly quoted by the Guardian as saying the cause was

… more likely to do with laziness and children’s extra-curricular commitments than controversies surrounding the pope or clerical sexual abuse scandals.

But is the Church itself, or at least its members, not to blame? Abuse scandals, poor communication of the Church’s teaching, bad preaching, the failure to defend the Church in the media – surely these are all big factors in pushing people away?

On the other hand, as Archbishop Dolan said, the sinfulness of Church members is never a “reason to dismiss the Church or her eternal truths”.

And in many situations lapsing from the faith may just be the easy option.

So, why do Catholics lapse? And is it the fault of the Church or the Catholics who have left it?

  • Anonymous

    “I firmly believe we need the grace of a “New Pentecost” in our Church.”

    ## We had one of them, thanks to John XXIII – the result has been rather dodgy, to put it no more strongly

    “Blessed John Paul II pointed out that many Catholics are “sacramentalized” but not “evangelized”.”

    ## All too true.

  • Anonymous

    “Whoever heard of a living tradition which severs all links with the past?”

    ## What is to stop there being a Living Tradition, that does not sever its continuity with the past ? (“Links” are for chains, which are not living things.) Such a Living Tradition can perfectly well be organic. What is wrong with saying “Tradition is a living process.” ? There may well be a sense or context in which such a phrase is not advisable – but how does it follow from its being inadvisable or false in one context or sense, that it can never have a true sense ?

    “From Apostolic times right up to 1969 not one single prayer had ever been removed from the Mass. Prayers were added, but nothing was ever removed.”

    ## That is not the case. It oversimplifies greatly.  

    “They even went so far as to insert the Protestant “for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory” at the end of the Our Father, words not taught by Our Lord but added by the reformers.”

    ## Then the reformers must have travelled in time :) – the words are found in ancient Greek manuscripts of St. Matthew, as early as the fourth century, I think. They are lacking in the Vulgate because the Greek texts translated by St. Jerome omitted them, & rightly. They appear in the Majority Text that lies behind the Authorised Version of 1611, so they are included in the AV – but not in the  Revised Version NT of 1881 or in the great majority of later NTs. The words in question may have arisen from liturgical use,and found their way into the Matthean text, at 6.13. Liturgically, they are entirely legitimate – there is difference between using those words in the Liturgy, & in St. Matthew: to use them in the Mass, does not in any way imply that they belong in the text of St. Matthew. A phrase can be used in the Liturgy  without belonging in the Bible, even if it has long been thought to be a part of the Biblical text. The textual history of the Bible, and the textual history of the Liturgy, are closely related – but they are not at all the same thing. A text can be the right one in the Liturgy, without being the correct reading for the part of the Bible which is being quoted. The “Domine, non sun dignus”  is based on a Gospel text; but one cannot reason that the correct reading of the text for the liturgy, is the correct reading of that text in the Gospel.

  • Anonymous

    “Liberal Catholics have merely caught up with the XVI century Protestant revolutionaries…”

    ## This certainly doesn’t apply to all Catholics referred to as “liberal” – liberalism is in any case a relative term, without an an absolute meaning that is accurate (or even identical) in all historical contexts. It’s the kind of word, like “Protestant”, that Catholics (& not only they) often use inaccurately, as an insult.

    “There were no Catholics leaving the Church before the Council, so that kind of blows your argument clean out of the water.”

    ## That is not the case. France is in a dire state now  – it was in a very bad state even in the 1950s. 

    This is very informative: siena.org/December-2010/an-old-old-question-is-france-pagan

    “The worker-priest experiment began because of a 1940 book by an obscure French priest,
    Abbe Henri Grodin, called “France: A Mission Field?’ and published in English by Maisie Ward, of Sheed and Ward, under the title “France Pagan? in 1943. (I own a copy of the Sheed book. It certainly gives one perspective on our situation 70 years later.)”

    ## I too have a copy of the book. One of the reasons that Mgr. Ketteler of Mainz urged Leo XIII to write “Rerum Novarum” was that the working class was being lost to the Church. And that was before 1891.

  • Anonymous

    That page of info about the Society is no longer up to date – it is several years old. The letter quoted is from 1998 – and a good deal has happened since then. The excommunication of 1988 were lifted in 2008. Catholics assisting at the Society’s Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation.  

  • Pusillus

    Lack of Faith is the primary cause of lapsation not laziness
    or children’s extra-curricular activities, not even Vatican II. To be a
    practising and devout Catholic first and foremost requires Faith, which is a
    gift of God. Baptism makes you a Christian and it confers the seeds of Faith in
    the infant so what happens then when this gift is not treasured, not nourished
    or even valued? Does it die or just go into
    abeyance? To cut a long story short
    I entered a Religious order at 16. At 17 I was sent to Rome to study
    Philosophy. I was, I suppose a bit of a late developer perhaps assisted by the
    rural setting of the novitiate but things were different in the midst of
    Eternal City as I became acquainted with sexual desire. Naively I imagined that
    I was the only one to be troubled in this way and felt as I couldn’t conquer
    this appetite I couldn’t continue. When I look at the behaviour of clergy of
    late I realise how naive I was. Obedience also was a problem and the thought of
    never being able to be my own boss or to ‘know’ a woman made me seek a
    dispensation to leave the order when the 2nd year was up.

    Returning to the ‘world’ was traumatic; I was like a fish out of water and had
    no idea what I was going to do never having thought about it before. My
    education was incomplete leaving me unqualified. My parents were naturally
    disappointed though they tried to hide it and I got the impression that the
    local clergy and my fellow parishioners thought I had sort of let them down (I
    was probably wrong about this). I became angry and frustrated. A priest had
    warned me just before I left that ‘the apple on the other side of the fence
    always looks rosier’ and how right he was. The only way I can describe how I
    felt is that it must have been how Adam felt looking back at the Seraphim
    guarding the entrance to Eden after he and Eve had been expelled after the
    fall. It was a few years later that I lapsed although in truth I only carried
    on going to Mass during that time to avoid rows with my mother.

    I am in my sixties now and I lapsed just about the time the Council was taking
    place, nothing had changed in the Church then and I never expected it to, so I
    cannot lay the blame there. I got a job, tried to satisfy the prurient
    curiosities I had had during my 2 years as a Religious, not very successfully,
    I might add. Some years later when my situation had stabilised I met a girl. We
    courted for several years but I knew almost straight away that I would not be
    able to live without her. The problem was she was a Protestant and an unbaptised
    one at that. Despite the problems with parents we married in a Registry Office
    as we both felt it would have been hypocritical to make use of a Church, hers
    or mine, as neither of us had attended for years. We are still together after
    nearly 40 years without any lapses in fidelity.

    When we had children, however, Religion raised its head again. I  wanted
    my children to have a religious upbringing as i had had and not a Protestant
    one. When I went to Catholic Churches I was appalled at what was going on there.
    The beautiful, noble Tridentine liturgy, which I had loved passionately, had
    been swept away, replaced by a happy-clappy, Protestant Holy Communion Service,
    the sort of thing I used to tease my wife about. I studied the documents
    of Vatican II in detail. I read descriptions of the conduct of the Council by
    writers of all persuasions and was not impressed to say the least. I had tried
    several Churches but such was my revulsion at what I saw in the sanctuary and
    heard from the pulpit that I abandoned the idea of ever returning.

    Then I discovered an Anglican Church, which advertised Solemn Mass, Evensong,
    Benediction and even Confession. The liturgy was Novus Ordo but celebrated with
    such baroque solemnity and dignity that it somehow obscured the banality of the
    new Roman Missal. For months I pored over the history of the Reformation, post
    Elizabethan theologians, the Caroline Divines, Anglican Orders and Apostolicae
    Curae and in the end concluded that the Orders of the current C of E clergy
    were probably valid owing to the change in the wording of the Ordinal in 1662
    and the participation of Old Catholic Bishops in the 19th century; a
    probability recognised by Pope John Paul II and the present Pope who have
    authorised ordination, sub conditione, of former Anglican priests. Alas the
    ordination of women put an end to my Anglican days and that of the Vicar with
    whom I was on very good terms; he subsequently became a Catholic priest (again,
    ordained sub conditione).

    Since then I have attended the Tridentine Rite Mass a few times locally but as
    the altar was makeshift, the servers in albs and trainers, the celebrant was
    unenthusiastic, in favour of women priests and one of his sermons was a
    Powerpoint presentation, I despaired of ever returning to the Church of my
    Baptism. I flirted with the SSPX and although it brought back old memories I
    felt that I would be simply moving from one sect to another and anyway my
    current state of being excommunicated would be a bit of a stumbling block to
    say the least.

    So in conclusion I would say that my lapsation was due to rebelliousness and
    not having a strong enough Faith to overcome the lure of the Devil, the World
    and the Flesh in my younger days. Laziness, certainly not, I took my children
    to ‘Mass’, Evensong and Benediction Sunday after Sunday and Holy Days without
    fail, hail rain or snow until they left home. Never did their extra-curricular
    activities interfere with their Church-going.  I have to say that although
    Vatican II was not the cause of me abandoning the Church but it played an
    enormous part in my continued separation from the Church. Apart from my marital
    impediment which it may be possible to resolve without twisting my wife’s arm
    to be baptised against her will which I refuse to do, Vatican II is the main reason
    which makes me baulk at reconciliation.

    I have tried to be as reticent as I can about matters of the Flesh but they did
    and do play a part in my history so sorry if I have offended anyone.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    This is an admirably honest and very interesting post. 

    Please do not dismiss the SSPX as a sect. They are not. God has given them to the Church at this time, as He gave us the twice excommunciated Athanasius (now saint and Doctor of the Church) in the 4th century when the majority of bishops went along with Arian who denied the divinity of Christ. 

    I urge you to contact the SSPX in your area and ask to speak at length to a priest. You will definitely not regret it.  You MUST be fully reconciled asap – we do not know the day nor the hour.  I sympathise entirely with your plight, believe me, but you won’t go wrong if you stick with the Faith of our Fathers and your best bet at this late stage in your life is to go to the  SSPX. There are, of course, pockets here and there of orthodoxy but I think you’d feel you’d truly come home to Catholicism after speaking with an SSPX priest. 

    God bless you.

  • Pusillus

     Thank you for your gracious reply I am very grateful and I am sorry to have offended you by referring to the SSPX as a sect. I have the greatest respect for the Society and for its founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a most saintly man if ever there was one.  Among the books I read was Fr Ralph Wiltgern’s, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber. The author declares he holds no brief for either side and if this is true his record of the treatment of the Coetus Patrum Internationalis of which the Mgr was a founder, is a shocking indictment of the lack of charity displayed by those with a Modernist agenda within the Council but also brings shame upon Popes, John XXIII and Paul VI for the tacit encouragement the modernists received from them . One can say without doubt that this Council would never have been summoned by Pius XII and even if it had, he never would have ratified it. In fact he would never have allowed it to fall into the hands of the Modernists which his successors did despite their oath to the contrary.
    Despite my respect for John Paul II and Benedict XVI, I feel that if they were truly honest they would have openly repudiated the reforms of Vatican II, a simple matter as it was not a dogmatic Council as it’s predecessor had been and could not, nor did not overturn any previously promulgated doctrine of any Pope or Council. Instead they have chosen to pay lip service to the Council whilst surreptitiously supressing the excesses brought about by its reforms in a disjointed and piecemeal fashion.
    The lifting of the excommunications on the SSPX Bishops is an example. In fact it calls into question the very meaning of excommunication. Mgr Lefebvre died excommunicate because he ordained bishops without the permission of the Holy See, contrary to Canon Law. The bishops he ordained were subjected to the same excommunication yet it has been lifted. Are we to understand that whilst Mgr Lefebvre has been officially consigned to the fires of hell, alongside the likes of Savonarola, Huss and Luther yet those complicit in his ‘act of disobedience’ have been reprieved because they happened to outlive him?
    I am afraid I cannot subscribe to this and it is the essence of the very crisis the Church finds itself in today. Whether to continue as a pseudo-catholic church under the nominal leadership of the Pope but in fact a church whose members are as free as any protestant denomination to believe and do what they like with the complicity of their priests and bishops or to finally stand up and not say, ‘enough is enough’, but ‘we have gone far too far and must go back’.  For me it is whether to bow my head and humbly submit to a regime which I sincerely believe has destroyed the Church ‘which gave joy to my youth’, yet will stir up within me a festering resentment for the rest of my life or to opt for so-called schism where, with all due respect, EditorCT, I would, at the moment, not feel any more confident of salvation than I do now just trusting in the mercy of God. I do not, alas, have your strength of Faith. Quæro locum meum, et non inveniam.

  • Pusillus

    Sorry, I have misplaced this post, it is intended to be a reply to Editor CT’s response to my last post.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Pusillus,

    In that case you think that Christ has failed in His promise to be with His Church until the end of time: unthinkable.  You cannot take refuge in a (with respect) false humility that claims lack of “strength of faith” – if you wish to save your soul you must reflect urgently on the consistent teaching of the Church expounded even in the (new, of course!) post-Vatican II Catechism of the Catholic Church:  

    “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council
    teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the
    one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his
    body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith
    and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church
    which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved
    who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through
    Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in
    it.”(# 846, Catechism of the Catholic Church)You are clearly intelligent and know the truth about the current crisis in the Church. You have no defence to give at your judgment.  You are allowing “principalities and powers” to keep you from seeking absolution and preparing yourself for death and judgment. My earlier advice stands. Please take it most seriously.

  • http://www.paulsmithsale.uk.com/ paul smith uk

     abc123

  • Vivian Palumbo

    Emma, Very well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/stark61555 stark61555

    Right now,  in the US it is all about politics.  Sorry to say but the non Catholic megachurch payola ‘tude has seeped into the ‘tudes of many Catholics and wavering Catholics and is a complete TURN OFF TO more than many.  And by payola… mega churches support politicians at a sickening level.  

    It is sickening and God’s people can do better.  Yes,  stand up for what is right. But when you make that holiday cake keep the ingredients in there.  How you mix it and tell how to mix it and how you pay for it is ANOTHER STORY.   Writing this is a parable to how things are and should be.  Same good cake… but something is not right. Too often here in the US it is about coercion to support one party or the other and not about forcing the politicians to do what they say they are going to do or it is about the poor memory of many when it comes to their voting records on key issues.  Yet many are touted as ultra Catholic supporters to get or because of funding to just get what they want and then they forget or don’t care.  Then these duh people go “oooo dear”….  Healthcare provision  is a sin to many because the topic of abortion gets in the way.  Here people are frustrated because the minute folks walk in they DO NOT FEEL WELCOME BECAUse they had sense not to be micromanaged when they voted.  It is not about how you believe but how you voted.  There is not a real relationship with God Triune but more on the sticky picky externals .   

    Those of you over there… please help us… Cross that pond and help us.  

  • Tish

    The fault is twofold.   Many bishops and priests are liberal and openly flaunt the tenants of the Catholic church with no one stepping forward to correct these wayward shepherds who are leading people astray. Borderline Catholics believe there is no right or wrong due to these liberal leaders so anything goes–it is cafeteria time.  Sin needs to be preached from the pulpit along with confession, repentence, and redemption.   But it isn’t happening in many parishes.   

  • http://twitter.com/stark61555 stark61555

    How familar are you all  with Catechism  instruction here in the States?  I am 48 and was taught the faith here in Tampa.  Funny ..  most people I know here believe in the Eucharist,  except those who point out they do not believe and those are the people who see more wrong with the church than right.  

    Do you Brits want a good laugh???  Those are the people who show up here to point out the wrong. We are sick of the coercion and the negativity.  If you were to interview most folks in the southern US, they know their faith because of the non Catholics.   We have had to get a grip and know what we are doing.  

    Please bring your UK common sense selves over here… we need help with your stiff upper lips telling those without the common sense where to take it.  They are scared of your stiff accent and act like you are Grannies and Granpys who will hit them when you tell them something.  That’s when they shut up and sit down and shut up some more.  Please..  even if you are laughing at this … help… 

    My point is that many folks are bored and sick of the finger pointing and the inability to work with them to take them from point a to b to z.  

  • Kennyinliverpool

    The worship is just bad and the preaching non existent. If people do no find salvation within Catholicism they will move on. Everything else is just window dressing.
    When the church fundamentally fails to serve the spiritual needs of the people they will leave.
    - And they should leave. Asking people to stay in a spiritually dead church is ridiculous! 

  • http://GoddessThreads.com/ Catherinemaxey

    As a “lapsed Catholic” who is presently returning to the Church after years of attending the wonderful Unitarian Universalist Church, I have realized that I missed too much all the Catholic traditions and history.  Mostly I missed the sacrament of Holy Communion. ( And I knew that my mother was praying mightily for my return to the True Faith.)
    Why did I leave?  It was not due to laziness:  I had attended mass, brought my daughters up in the faith;  I had gone on spiritual retreats.  I was a religious ed volunteer…..but finally I was too fed up with the patriarchal view of women, of the inability to see the feminine God—at the diocesan level.  I feel that the theologians and spiritual mystics of the Church are much more inclusive, such as Trappist monk Thomas Merton or Sr. Joan Chittister or St. John of the Cross writing of feeding at Jesus’ breast.  But when I had to kneel in the pew at my local  Catholic Church and hear the priest ask us (of which the majority were women kneeling in the pews, or doing the readings, or being ministers of Communion, or being the religious educators of the children) to pray for more vocations to the priesthood, not appearing at all embarrassed by the total rudeness of what they were asking for, or at least, seemingly not aware that it may be annoying to those women who realize that the Catholic Church is the one last stronghold of championing this inequality, which is now frowned upon in all other aspects of society.
    So, after experiencing women pastors in Protestant faiths in the U.S, then living abroad in India and exploring the Hindu Feminine Divine of Shakti power, I am returning, determined to keep my belief in the beauty and power of women, which Jesus preached from the beginning.  It is the Church that has lapsed–in a major way, and how sad that a Bishop can use the word “lazy”–what kind of respect does he have for us laity when he can make a comment like that.
    I have started a website dealing with returning to the Church, embracing traditions such as the Liturgy of Hours.  It is from a very human standpoint, from that woman kneeling silently in the pews who has been tempted to stand up and say to the ecclesiastical authorities:  Wake Up!
    I would love to hear some input, as right now I am feeling very solitary in my journey as a Returing Lapsed Catholic.  Visit GoddessThreads.com

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/ EditorCT

    Catherinemaxey,

    You appear to be unaware of the very serious and rational reasons for male-only priesthood not to mention the divine authority which mandates this ruling, and, ironically, you join those”feminists” who belittle the true nature of womanhood.  I wonder if you also approve contraception and the woman’s “right to choose” to murder her unborn child (and now that the campaign for murdering the newborn is underway, the right to murder the newborn)?  Because that’s where this focus on women’s “rights” leads. If that person wants x, and that person is a woman, she has a right to x. The devil is behind this divisive feminist movement which has set women against men, and women against God.  The very title of your blog reveals the latter.  There ARE no “goddesses” – why would you believe such nonsense and yet reject the demonstrably true claim of the Catholic Church to be divinely authorised to teach in Christ’s name?  I say “demonstrably true” because despite all the human failings and sinfulness within the Church (by individuals – the Church cannot sin, the Church itself is holy) no pope has ever taught, as binding on the faithful, something we must believe, any error or heresy.  That was the promise of Christ and Christ has kept His promise.  Contrast that with crackpot stories of imaginary “goddesses” – no contest.

    Priests who uphold male only priesthood when asking for prayers for vocations are not embarrassed because Christ, who instittued the male-only priesthood was not embarrassed nor was he rude by only inviting his apostles to the Last Supper where he ordained those first priests. We women have our own, centrally important but different – role in the Church and the world.  Feminists usually belittle motherwhood – interesting – but there wouldn’t be any priests without mothers.  When Pope Saint Pius X (I think – one of the great popes) was elected his mother knelt at his feet to kiss his ring.  He pulled her up and pointed to her wedding ring, making the point I’ve just made.  I won’t sue him for copyright infringement…

    The fact is that you have not – with respect – actually returned to the Catholic Church at all. None of us can claim to be Catholics while dissenting from even one doctrine of the Church.  We cannot doubt God’s word that He has bequeathed His authority to teach, to His Church and that He will guide it until the end of time, keeping it free from teaching heresy.  Even if an individual pope fell into the error of women-priests, he could not make it binding on the faithful because the Holy Spirit would prevent him from so doing.  We cannot call God’s will “embarrassing” or “rude” – if we can’t understand it, then we humbly submit our intellect and will to His divine and holy wisdom, as did Our Lady when she did not understand how she could fulfil God’s plan for her to be the mother of the Messiah.  “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me, according to His word” should be the prayer on the lips of every one of us, Catherine.  Nothing less.  What, are we cleverer than Our Lady?  Was she a simpleton to be scorned? The Queen of Heaven and Earth? 

    I urge you NOT to read the likes of the feminist Sister Joan Chittister and not to misread St John of the Cross, who would never condone dissent of any kind. He wrote – as many saints did – in a poetic manner to express his understanding and love of Christ, not to make political points.  You need to read them in their entirety, not take individual quotes given by people/feminist groups with dissenting agendas.

    Instead of reading dissenting literature and pagan texts such as those you mention above, read the lives of the saints published before 1962 (since then, some have been reprinted to the Modernist agenda, so you will find e.g. a former Jesuit who wrote a Lives of the Saints where each saint’s life was doctored. St Thomas More, e.g. instead of giving up his life rather than deny papal authority, is presented as a hero who died for the rights of conscience. Avoid that sort of claptrap.)

    You’ve returned to the physical buildings of the Church, Catherine – now you need to develop a Catholic soul, and truly Catholic sense in order to remove yourself from the diabolical influences in your life – feminism and goddess worship.

  • Anonymous

     I agree with you. Provided the priest says the Mass using a rite of which approves the presumption is that he intends to do what the Church does. If he doesn’t believe in Transubstantiation or that the Mass is a Sacrifice, for it to be invalid he would have to have a deliberate intention to the contrary.
    The Church teaches that anyone may Baptise an infant in danger of death using the correct matter and form of the Sacrament, whether he is a Catholic, a Protestant or even if he were not a even a Christian because he is doing what the Church does.

  • http://twitter.com/Harry_ca_Nab The Elderking

    I am a lapsed Catholic who has made effort to get back into church but, boy, is it hard. Its more like trying to get into a secret society.

    Upon moving to my old home in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, after 7 yrs in London and 7 in France I contacted my local church, duly filled in the new parishioner form and ………waited.

    No one contacted us. Anyway we attended a few masses and despite effort on our part we felt like lepers with everyone in closed groups and the principle focus seems to be on parents of children at the adjacent school. The rush to get out of the church at the end of mass nearly bowled us over. 

    Eventually we gave up.

    One final point. One day we visited the ancient Anglican Church to see its Catholic heritage. 

    What a welcome!!! Everyone was really friendly even after they found out we were Catholics.

    There are lessons to be learnt.

  • Gianina_112

    I think that the fault comes from both the Church and those who left. There are some who decided to leave because they simply felt that they do not want to be a part of it anymore. It is their choice to do this and they are entitled to their own opinions and decisions. I also think that the Church, or more like how it is treated, is also to blame. I was born and raised in the Philippines and back there, going to church is a big deal. Establishments are often closed or would close early on Sundays because it is the day to go to church. Last 2007 my mom and I decided to migrate to the USA so that we could be with our relatives. The moment I got here, I was surprised about how going to church was not much of a big deal. Sure, there are people who still go to church, but not a lot. Sunday is being treated like any other day and nobody gives it the importance it deserves. Since I arrived in this country at a young age and I still do not drive yet, and also because everyone in my family has work on Sundays, I have been a lapsed Catholic ever since. Whenever my mom and I do get the chance, we do go to church. We both still practice praying every single day and not once did we exclude God out of our lives. Are there people who become lapsed Catholics because they disagree with the Church or they are lazy? Yes. However, it does not mean that everyone is like that. Like I said earlier, people have different reasons to leave or to skip masses. So, the whole “laziness” reason or “getting mad at the Church” reason does not apply to everyone.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    It’s totally self-inflicted by a feminized and infantile modern Church that no-one, even its own members, takes seriously anymore. 

  • http://twitter.com/PaulBHalsall Paul Halsall

    As a gay Catholic I have spent years trying to keep going to church. These days I find it almost impossible.  And it turns out its not the gay issue, although that is part of it. 

    Rather it’s the complete corruption of the hierarchy over the abuse issue and the fact that bishops still seem to think they  moral authority that is stunning.

    I believe in the Nicene Creed, the sacraments, and adore Catholic devotion to our Lady. I still pray every day.  But the institution makes me squeamish.

  • Deniseann O

     Go In Peace