Coming to you from the ninth annual "Bringing America Back to Life Symposium" sponsored by the Cleveland Right to Life — a new report titled "Going. Going. Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics" conducted by St. Mary's Press in Winona, Minnesota, has eye-popping information in it. And none of it bodes well for the Church in the future and, for that fact, even the present.
For example, the study which surveyed 15–25 year olds concluded that the median age for leaving the Church is — get this — 13. And children as young as 10 years old simply lose their faith and stop believing. The first of its kind, in-depth survey of teens and young adults reveals that 20 percent of baptized Catholic youth no longer believe in God. Another one in six said family experiences like divorce, death, illnesses and perceived "hypocrisy" added to their unbelief. Others rejected the Church's teaching on birth control and same-sex marriage. Once they leave the Church at their young tender years, a third completely abandon any religious faith and a little less than a third join some random Protestant group. And perhaps most revealing, 75 percent say they stopped believing between the ages of 10–20.
Here at the "Bringing America Back to Life Symposium," there are young folks of this very age here, so we asked them what they thought of all this. Church Militant has been reporting for the past six or seven years that the Church in America was about to be drowned under a wave of demographic disaster — a mass falling away from the Faith not seen in 2,000 years of sacred history. These children have lost the Faith because their parents have lost the Faith. And their parents lost the Faith because their parents were the first victims of a rogue clergy who refused to teach the faith en masse in the wake of the sexual revolution immediately following the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s. Fifty-plus years later, this is the tragedy unfolding in its completeness.
And the maddening thing for faithful Catholics, growing fewer in numbers every passing year, is the current leadership in the Church has done nothing to prevent this tragedy. In fact, they have doubled down on it, pandering to malformed youth with ridiculous liturgies and appeals to their emotions, instead of having serious engaging discussions with them about the realities of modern life. Too many leaders simply appear to act out of a belief that the Church really doesn't have the answers for what troubles the souls of men, even very young men or more precisely — boys.
The CCD programs are childish, the homilies have nothing to do with spirituality and so forth. On one level, given all the current realities and complexities of life in the Church, the tiresome drumbeat of the social justice warriors and the abandonment of truth by a homosexual-led clergy bereft of any value to souls, you can't really fault the young people for reaching the conclusion that there's "nothing here for me."
The question needs to be raised precisely what it is that this revealing study is revealing? How can a 10-year old with no support in or understanding of the Faith actually decide to "leave" the Church? What exactly is it in a 10-year-old mind or even a teenage mind that he is leaving? Given that his parents aren't really active in the Church to any measurable degree can it be said that he is actually leaving that which he never substantially belonged to or had an association with beyond probably just baptism? And think about this: Things are so desperate in the Church right now, owing precisely to the lack of even a modicum of leadership, that we are actually conducting surveys of children, not teenagers, not young adults but children who just a year or so early figured out the truth about Santa Claus. Yes, things really are this bad. Fortunately, as all the handiwork of the Modernists is collapsing around us, signs of renewal are visible.
Reporting you from the "Bringing America Back To Life" with a dose of Bringing the Church Back to Life as well, this is Michael Voris from near Cleveland, Ohio.