Highlights from the week online

Seeking the causes for the exodus of youth

It’s one of the most important, and least-understood subjects: why young people stop practising the Faith. Now an in-depth study, from St Mary’s Press and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, has interviewed 214 lapsed Catholics aged from 15 to 25, to ask why they stopped practising.

“We heard young people describe the beginnings of their questioning and doubts as early as fifth grade [10-11 years old], some even younger,” said John Vitek, one of the authors of the study, in remarks reported at catholicworldreport.com.

Vitek said that adults are often oblivious to young people’s struggles: “Many of the young people also told us that they never talked about their doubts and questions with their parents or their Church leaders.”

A strange story of chess and priesthood

At ncregister.com, Kevin Di Camillo described the story of the chess grandmaster who became a priest. William Lombardy was, before the rise of Bobby Fischer, the best American chess player of his generation. While a priest, he served as Fischer’s second during his historic encounter with the USSR’s Boris Spassky. But in 1980 he renounced the priesthood and married. His marriage fell apart and he became estranged from his son. He went into debt and became homeless.

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