The Church’s Long Haul

News: Video Reports
by Kristine Christlieb  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 14, 2023   

Mass attendance unlikely to recover after COVID

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TRANSCRIPT

Every week, we're learning something new about COVID and its long-term impact on humans.

In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb focuses on the plandemic's impact on the Church.

Msgr. Bill Young, St. Vincent de Paul, Houston, Texas: "Maybe it is just going to take a little more time for them to be comfortable."

That was a year ago, when Msgr. Young was hoping that time would heal the drop in church attendance after the 2020 COVID lockdowns. But the results of a new study from the American Enterprise Institute are going to disappoint him. For the most part, religious affiliation held steady. The big change was in church attendance.

Before the pandemic, 25% of Americans reported they never attended church services. In the spring of 2022, that number had grown to 33 %. In raw numbers, before the lockdowns, approximately 82 million Americans never attended church services.

After the lockdowns, 110 million Americans reported never attending church services. In other words, approximately 28 million Americans simply stopped going to church.

Fr. Paul John Kalchik:

Some of the bishops [said], "Oh, we're giving you a dispensation from going to church."  OK. There was no explanation for what that really meant. Most people took it as, "Oh, well, we don't have to go to church anymore because our bishops are telling us the Third Commandment, keep holy the Sabbath, doesn't really apply."

While those numbers are shocking, the report notes, "No group of Americans has undergone more significant change in religious attendance than young adults."

Nearly one in three young adults aged 18–29 (that's 30%) are now less frequently attending religious services. This is the same demographic experiencing unprecedented mental health problems.

Judy Woodruff, host, PBS NewsHour: "Last December, the surgeon general issued a rare public advisory, warning of a 'devastating mental health crisis' among American teens. Symptoms of depression and anxiety for children and adolescents have doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic." 

As parishes close across the nation and families disintegrate, people are becoming more and more isolated and lonely, more vulnerable to depression and self-harm. They need a Savior.

The report says its findings may suggest religious polarization in America, with people either very involved in religion or completely nonreligious.

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