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Survey suggests churches need to ‘catch up’ with unaffiliated Catholics


A census of religious adherence in the U.S. that reported a five percent decline in the U.S. Catholic population associated with a specific parish suggests that some dioceses need to “catch up” with Catholics new to their areas.

“Our data indicate there are fewer than 60 million Americans associated with a specific Catholic church,” said Clifford Grammich, a research associate with the Religious Congregation & Membership Study 2010.

The study also found that there are “more than 75 million Americans who identify themselves as Catholic. In other words, there may be more than 15 million Americans who identify themselves as Catholic but who are not associated with a specific church,” Grammich told CNA May 3.

The study aims to provide the most complete data on U.S. religious affiliation and attendance. The data for 236 religious groups were published by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. The census study was released May 1 at a press conference during the annual meeting of the Associated Church Press in Chicago.

The Cincinnati-based Glenmary Research Center is responsible for the collection of the Catholic data for Latin and Eastern Rite parishes throughout the U.S.

In 2010, the census found 58.9 million Catholics affiliated with 20,589 congregations. Since 2000, the Catholic Church showed a loss of 1,202 congregations and 3.1 million adherents, a decrease of five percent. About 19.1 percent of the U.S. population is affiliated with a specific Catholic parish.

The religious census asked each Catholic diocese to provide the number of registered households, registered individuals, infant baptisms, deaths, and weekly Mass attendance. [More]





  1. francis Joseph says:

    I don’t know of any time in my years as a catholic that I have seen and heared of such dis-unity within the catholic church as I see in 2012. fifteen million Catholics not apart of the sacramental life of the church. Unbelievable! Catholics in name only. I see so many priests that can’t stand their Bishops. Religious sisters that are hurting at the rebuff from Rome. We have lost three generation of Catholics and are laughted at by American society. So many young couples living together not even getting married civilly befor a judge, coming to have their children baptized because grandma is still alive and she will have a heart attack if they don’t. How many wonderful faithfill Catholic telling me how their hearts are broken they are that their children do not want to get married in the catholic church as it has know revelance to them. I watch the religion of Athesism- Secularism spread so rapidly. I say the Prayer that eas stopped after mas, “The Hail Holy Queen.” St. Michael defend us etc.

  2. Thomas Merton says:

    Is this the same church who can’t keep up with it’s sexual predator priests??? And when they do they let them escape?


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