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7 reasons Catholics leave church (in Trenton, #1 is sex abuse crisis)
One in 10 Americans is a former Catholic.
March 30th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

7 reasons Catholics leave church (in Trenton, #1 is sex abuse crisis)

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Even though Roman Catholics are the second-largest religious group in the United States, the tradition has seen an exodus of members in recent decades. One in ten Americans is an ex-Catholic.

If ex-Catholics were counted as their own religious group, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

If it weren’t for the infusion of Catholic immigrants, especially from Latin American, the American Catholic Church would be shrinking pretty fast.

A recent study by two college professor tries to get at a simple question: Why are they leaving?

Conducted William J. Byron, a professor of business at St. Joseph’s University and Charles Zech, founder of the Center for the Study of Church Management of Villanova’s School of Business, the anecdotal study conducted in late fall of 2011 processes the opinions of 300 non-churchgoing Catholics in Trenton, New Jersey.

The scholars, working at the request of Trenton’s Catholic bishop, asked parishioners who have drifted away not just why the left, but what church teachings they disagree with and whether they ever truly considered themselves part of the Catholic community.

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Though the study paints a picture of a church with some characteristics that rub people the wrong way, the researchers – both at Catholic schools in Pennsylvania – argue that the study presents new ways in which church leadership can reconcile with ex-Catholics.

"We need a more pastoral approach to people," Zech says. "There are two types of issues that appear. One revolves around church beliefs and frankly those won’t change. But we have to do a better job explaining some of the issue that the church might not change and why that is."

The report is based on one particular diocese, but its authors say it gives a good picture of challenges facing the broader church. "I think the same seven items would show up for the most part," in other areas of the country, Zech says.

The 7 biggest reasons Catholics from Trenton are leaving the church, according to the study:

1. The sex abuse crisis

Byron and Zech asked ex-Catholics to cite their main reason for leaving: “If you could communicate directly with the bishop, what would you say?”

The most common answer: the church’s inadequate response to clergy sex abuse. “The bishop’s refusal to list pedophile priests on the diocesan Web site and his non-support of the effort to lift the statute of limitations for bringing sexual abuses cases forward in the courts” did it for me, one man said, according to the report.

Several respondents said they had been victims of sexual abuse by church leadership.

2. The church’s stance on homosexuality

The second most cited reason for leaving the church was that former worshipers felt homosexuals were unwelcome in the church.

As recently as March 9, Pope Benedict XVI denounced what he categorized as the “powerful” gay marriage lobby in the United States. In the same speech he noted these views would be seen as “countercultural” to young people, but told bishops to not back down to “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage."

When those surveyed were asked if there were any religious beliefs in the Catholic Church that troubled them, a number cited views on same-sex marriage. “The church’s view on gays, same-sex marriage, women as priests and priests not marrying, to name a few,” said one respondent, explaining her departure from the church.

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“Hypocrisy,” said one person. “History of discrimination against women, anti-gay stance, unwelcoming attitude.”

William D’Antonio of the Catholic University of America recently published a study called “Catholics in America: Persistence and change in the Catholic landscape.” found that even though the church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out against homosexual relationships, only 35% of Catholics surveyed said the church’s opinion on homosexuality is “very important.”

The same survey found that 86% of respondents believe a Catholic “can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."

3. Dissatisfaction with the priest

About half of those surveyed in the Trenton report were not supportive of the pastor they had left behind.

According to Byron and Zech, words like “arrogant,” “distant,” “aloof” and “insensitive” were all used by respondents to describe their priest.

4. Uninspiring homilies on Sundays

A number of people responded that homilies, weekly Sunday messages from the priest, did not relate or “speak to” them.

“I stopped going regularly because the homilies were so empty,” one respondent said. “And whenever the church wanted to raise money, they dropped the homily and talked money.”

“I would advise the bishop to make training in public speaking mandatory for every priest,” said another. “They should also be trained in how to relate their homilies to the people and inspire them.”

“As much as I wanted to get involved and expand my faith, there were no clear avenues to do that,” replied one person. “So it was just a place to attend Mass. And because attending Mass was a guilt-ridden obligation, I was always alone in a crowd where I knew no one and no one knew me.”

5. Perception that church hierarchy is too closely tied to conservative politics

Politics was a mixed bag, according to the survey.

Though some people wanted the church to become more conservative – “change the liberal-progressive political slant to a more conservative,” said one person – others responded differently.

“Eliminate the extreme conservative haranguing,” said one person. Another respondent said politics and the church shouldn’t mix: “I feel the church should stay out of politics; it should certainly not threaten politicians.”

6. Church’s stance toward divorced and remarried Catholics

Catholicism’s stance on divorce and remarriage were also highlighted, especially by divorced females.

The churches stance on divorce is closely tied to their stance on adultery. Without getting a marriage annulled, any marriage after a divorce is considered adulterous. Therefore, divorced people who have not had their marriage annulled or remarried are not able to receive Holy Communion.

“Please find a way not to exclude me from the Catholic community,” said one 56-year old divorced female. A 59-year old divorced female said she would tell her bishop to “petition the church to expand its view on divorce.”

In November of last year, Pope Benedict XVI responded to a German bishop who questioned the Church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage. “A pastoral approach which truly wants to help the people concerned must always be grounded in the truth… in the end, only the truth can be pastoral,” the Pope wrote, signaling a reluctance to change church teachings on divorce and remarriage policy.

“Instead of making every Mass a form of humiliation for Catholics who cannot receive communion,” one respondent to the Trenton survey said, “do something like a private blessing at communion time, to include everyone.”

7. The status of women

With the political debate over religious conscience and contraceptive coverage, women’s rights and the church have come to the forefront of debate in American politics. According to the Trenton study, a number of people who have left the church cite a “history of discrimination against women,” as one reason for leaving.

Respondents also took issue with the fact that while other churches allow women to become ordained priests, the Catholic Church does not.

“If the Catholic Church does not change its archaic views on women, it is going to become a religion that survives on the fringe of an open-minded, progressive society,” one person who was surveyed said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Sex abuse

soundoff (1,757 Responses)
  1. Abinadi

    If anyone is tired of all the nonsense in the World of religion and wants to hear and see real apostles and prophets speak, go to lds.org and watch the semi-annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is showing right now.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Shazam

      "real apostles and prophets"

      Your verified evidence for that is...?

      March 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Abinadi...If god were real he would not have allowed any religion to exist. If he is real he has a lot to answer for. there are a lot of profits in most churches I will give you that.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mandarax

      If anyone is tired of all the nonsense in the world of religion...visit the latter day saints!

      I don't even need to make a joke here, it's already made.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  2. Somebody

    I have to say I'm surprised that the anti-science, anti-intellectual ideas of the church didn't make the list. Actually I shouldn't say I'm surprised I'm saddened by it. This is why the U.S. is falling behind other civilized societies. Open your eyes to science people. Its much more awe inspiring to realize we live in a gigantic beautiful universe than to believe the world revolves around a tiny you.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Then why is Science not only taught in Catholic schools but regularly outscore students in public schools?

      March 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • mandarax

      Believe it or not, the Catholic church is among the more scientifically literate of the religions. It is evangelicals that are absolutely batshlt crazy science deniers.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  3. apostate

    #1 Reached the conclusion Christianity is nonsense.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  4. Peace

    FYI, in any faith. If one doesn't understand the doctrine and put himself or herself above the doctrine and sripture, certainly failure of faith will occur. It takes faith to become a servant of the Lord. It takes work to become his instrument. May your heart be the temple of Christ.

    God Bless,

    March 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Bob

      Yeah, it takes a lot of work. I mean, how can anyone keep up with the work that the Christian lord demands? All that animal sacrificing and murder would be impossible to keep on schedule in today's busy lives.

      The bible is very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes the sicko Christian sky fairy happy. Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other supersti-tions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 31, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Zane

      @Bob

      Seriously go pick up a gun and shoot yourself

      March 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      The sacrifice in Christian churches is wine & bread. I have NEVER... EVER... seen or heard of Christians ritually killing animals during their religious worship! They were taught to imitate Christ by saying certain blessings on bread & wine offerings to imitate him when he said "do this in memory of me"... When Jesus WAS questioned about the Old Testament practices he said "do with them as you will". So Christians did what they willed about them & stopped practicing these things you are hysterically ranting about centuries ago.
      Why do YOU keep on spreading misleading hate speech Bob... Using quotes for religious practices obsolete for thousands of years... Do you want humans killing humans because of the religious bigotry you incite?...Hmm, I wonder about that Bob.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Randy

    Why didn't anybody state their reason for leaving is because the Catholic Church is the anti-Christ?

    http://www.popebenedictantichrist.com/
    http://www.pacinst.com/antichri.htm

    Do some research and you'll soon find if you were in the Catholic church then you were under the influence of the Anti-Christ!

    March 31, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Stan

      There wasn't any Christ, at least not the son of a "god", so anti-Christ means the pope is, well, just something to be ignored.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  6. jesus

    money lenders all

    March 31, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  7. Joy

    love God – hate religion. How can a church be run like a business and expect to do 'the Lord's work'?! I believe that Jesus Christ himself would be turned away from most churches (catholic or otherwise) if he went asking to be clothed or fed! Also, how can God forgive my sins and yet the catholic church cannot forgive my divorce from a destructive marriage?! Sounds to me like the church is playing god.

    March 31, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bob

      Yeah, I mean, how can anyone keep up with the work that the Christian lord demands? All that animal sacrificing and murder would be impossible to keep on schedule in today's busy lives.

      The bible is very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes the sicko Christian sky fairy happy. Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other supersti-tions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 31, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Zane

      @Bob

      Can you quit coping and pasting the same crap as a reply to other people's post not only are you unoriginal you're a moron.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      joy: how is the worship of jesus NOT a religion?

      March 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      You obviously forgot about Catholic Charities. They heal any poor person who walks through their doors, without regard for race or creed. People even come from other countries who have been turned down for public health care & get that care in Catholic hospitals. Catholics have food available from St Vincent De Paul for the hungry. Clothing too.
      The church has been changing the reasons for annulments. Find out the current rules & if you do not qualify, become active in trying to change them. There are support groups too.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Ann Ecdotal

      Miracles, "The church has been changing the reasons for annulments..."

      Well, now isn't that just ducky! Too bad for the countless numbers of divorced people over the centuries, like my aunt, who was forced to go through life without a husband and children and grandchildren because of a failed early marriage. Her fault, I suppose, for not chucking these pompous tyrants and their conjured dogma into the dustbin where they belong.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      A Catholic annulment change released my cousin whose husband only wanted her as an unwitting camouflage. A walk in closet that hid the relationship he was continuously involved in before, during & after he courted , married, & had 3 children with her. Unfortunately for him; the health department was required to contact her, after his TRUE love partner was diagnosed with HIV. It is not nice to use people as a cover story during the height of an AIDS epidemic without letting them know you are risking their life.
      She was among the first to receive an annulment for that reason. She never remarried. At first, she had to undergo over 7 years of AIDS tests & she did not want to expose anyone in case she was infected. When she could date again, she found she had been too damaged emotionally to ever trust anyone.
      Annulments have changed through the years. In fact ALL divorce has changed.
      My grandmother(an Episcopalian) deserted her husband, taking their child with her. She had her powerful parents arrange a divorce/annulment that revealed he was a half breed & ruined his promising art career. My grandfather remarried a nice lady. He met my step grandmother a decade after the divorce. My grandmother became so angry with her church that he COULD marry again, she became a Baptist! Trust me, I heard about this for nearly a decade, every time I did her weekly shopping. A classic case of dog in the manger syndrome.
      Farther back than her; was my Catholic great grandmother on the other side who married a social climber who was a (gasp) Protestant & got disowned by her family for it. Her husband figured after a male grandchild was born they would forgive her, & he would be accepted into their (wealthy)family. First my grandmother was born, & the family helped the child, but extended no acceptance to the husband. Ten years later, her brother arrived. When the husband realized after 6 weeks there would be no entree' yet again...He moved in openly with the woman next door who turned out to be his long time common law wife from before his wedding. My great grandmother could not have her marriage annulled or her children would suffer by being termed illegitimate.
      Every generation the church learned from problems like these. By the time my cousin was deceived, they had solved the problem of annulling the marriage without making any offspring illegitimate. There was a special declaration issued to her that indicated that they were produced by her in good faith. Regardless of HIS behavior, she WAS honoring sacred vows she swore as a chaste woman.
      It is a shame that previous generations cannot benefit from the changes of today AnnEcdotal, but that is also true of the generations who never had the other advantages we have...Like drinking water that has been treated for bacteria or indoor plumbing! I am just glad Catholics no longer go the entire 40 days of lent without eating meat like they used to do.

      April 1, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  8. David

    I think that these polls are rather skewed. #2 is a direct violation of hundreds of years of church doctrine, and Hebrew scripture. Of course someone who disagrees with it will list it as "the reason they left." It sounds nice, it sounds political, it makes it sound like Catholics are evil. The same goes with #1. Considering how LARGE the organization of the Catholic church is, there really has not been that much abuse. Think of it as a big company. In a company of 10,000 employees you have 4 pedobears. Somehow, magically, then the entire company is labeled as being a pedobear haven. That would be inaccurate at best. How many companies are filled with rapists, pedobears, drunks, etc? The Catholic church gets a bad reputation because of the mistakes of a few priests, but similar organizations don't face the blatant hatred. Perhaps it is because then it is easy to label everyone in the church a "big hypocrite" and thus, justify leaving. However, the number of priests who are pedobears is extremely low, and the church has gone through great lengths to address the problem. The media has really pushed the pedobear issue to the forefront, and then beyond that demonized the church for its 2000+ year old stance on the gay lifestyle.
    The idea about politics is pure garbage. So the church doesn't like abortion (well that is because it is considered a sin in Hebrew scriptures), nor gay marriage, nor anything else that "progressives" think is so amazing and great. Oh well, it is their beliefs, get over it. If people want to leave because there are things they disagree with, then let them, but don't make a newspaper issue out of it attempting to change the Catholic church or make them look bigoted. Really if you cannot accept Church doctrine, then you don't belong in it anyways.
    However, the blatant discrimination Catholics, Christians, Jews, and Muslims face in America is extremely disheartening, and moreover fueled by articles such as these. If you visit any college campus and ask people who practice any sort of faith whatsoever, they will tell you numerous stories about hate speech in the classroom directed towards their religion, hatred from other students, etc.
    So, be progressive, quit hating people or organizations who think differently than you because of their faith.

    March 31, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Bob

      Cry me a river. Christians have long had too much say in America, and it's great to see the pushback and the departures from the church, whether it's happening for Catholics or any other cult.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • sam stone

      david: if you do not like gay marriage, get it's licensing out of the hands of government

      March 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      I do not know why the government would even want to be in business providing any religious sacrament. A simple solution is to apply full & equal rights to all civil unions for them & leave the religious marriage to individual churches' . If any religion willingly wants to perform a marriage for their own people who are GLB then that is great, let them do so, I applaud them! I just feel that there is no gain in forcing anything on the unwilling.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    March 31, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  10. stillcatholic

    The teachings of the Church are not going to change. The leadership of the Church in their actions and words can leave much to be desired some times. Why Catholics are returning to the Church is that there are individuals who reach out and help to begin the healing process.

    March 31, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      @ stillcatholic wrote, "The teachings of the Church are not going to change."

      God Himself does and has changed His perspectives and perceptions. God has also shown Him to be repentent on occasion. Catholoicism(s) are but manmade embolisms of the hardened structure. Burn yourself some incense will ya?

      March 31, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  11. Reformed Catholic

    It just asks you to believe things that no rational adult can.

    1. You have to believe, as an otherwise rational adult, that when you pray, God reads your mind (or, “hears your prayers,” to use the less embarrassing description of exactly the same thing) and intervenes to alter what would otherwise have been the course of history in tiny ways to suit your request – or “answers your prayers” once again to use the less embarrassing term.

    2. You also are required to believe that God supervises all 7 billion human beings on the planet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so he can know who to admit to heaven and who to send to hell. I could not conceive of inflicting pain on another human being by touching them with a cigarette lighter

    3. Probably, the core Catholic belief is that, about 2,000 years ago, this god sent his son to Earth to “save us” from an original sin we now all know was simple Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology (Adam and Eve). This is the 21st Century. How can they expect us to believe that a god required the grotesque crucifixion of a person to “forgive us?” Why not just forgive us? What did we need forgiving from? I mean, upon reflection, the whole thing is silly.

    4. While, “down here” this cosmic visitor makes no mention of anything outside of the Middle East. No mention of the millions of people in Europe, Asian, China, India, spread throughout North and South America, Africa or Australia at the time. Just a few Jews, his “chosen people”. Did god create the Jews or did the Jews create God?

    5. They tell us God is all loving, yet according to the Catholic Church, I, as an atheist who rejected Catholicism, will burn in hell for all eternity. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is have a rational, reasonable and well founded disbelief in the Catholic god and he will sentence me to a punishment an infinite times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    Since leaving the church, I feel liberated. It is like breathing fresh air. I no longer have to dumb myself down and accept such nonsense. Oh, and despite all they told me, I am not suddenly "immoral" or an "angry atheist". I am the same person minus the supernatural nonsense – and it feels good.

    March 31, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Reformed Catholic et all,,,

      Seek 1st the Kingdom(s) of God not people's godly emotionalisms for in finding of the True Godly Kingdom(s) you will gain a revelation of insight and depth in reasoning beyond that which is currently being falsely contrived by church'd falsehooded nitty witty emotionalizing retards of self loathing scriptural perversionists.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Mike Rowlanf

      I am sorry that, as a Catholic, you were catechized so poorly. My Bishop asks, " What did you think when you realized that God is a gisnt superman that lives in the sky and grants wishes", the point being that someone mature in the faith knows that this is not the case. This culture we live in challenges us to understand the truth. God continually reveals himself through prayer, scripture, Tradition, and, yes, even science. The snare many athiests and theists (including many Catholics) place themselves in in trying to place God (or if you prefer, "god") in a box, so that he will conform to your preconcieved perceptions of Him/It. He is beyond undestwnding. Sadly, human arrogance at times leads us to simply reject what we do not understand. There are msny mysreies of faith that even after years of study that I do not understand. One of the most troubling to me is why have I been given the grace of belief/faith and you, and many of my friends, have not.

      March 31, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Rusty

      So, how do you define what is riight and wrong? Second, do really believe that all that exist is contained in the natural world?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Bob

      Mike Rowlanf, the only 'revealing' going on in the Catholic church is priests revealing themselves to little kids.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Bizarre

      Mike Rowlanf, - "why have I been given the grace of belief/faith".

      Perhaps you just have the knack of suspension of disbelief? It's like when we temporarily suspend the disbelief that pigs can talk while watching "Babe", or that cartoon drawings really run around and converse with each other. It makes for an interesting and enjoyable experience, but we don't go down to the barnyard and expect one of them to start talking to us, nor do we expect to all of a sudden see the Roadrunner zip across the living room.

      Fantasy is great - quite pleasurable, and sometimes even useful like when we brainstorm for possible solutions to problems; but it is not reality.

      There is no verified evidence for your supernatural being(s), but you believe what you believe based on fantasy stories of others from long ago.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      To answer to number 1 Reformed Catholic is.... YES.
      I had fused bones. I had already seen the doctor. I had already seen 2 specialists(several sets of X-Rays). I even had a bone scan to rule out the possibility of bone cancer. The medical verdict was, I had an irremediable condition. If cut apart they would have simply fused again.
      I was receiving reconciliation (older people call it confession) & told the priest how upset I was that the fused bones were preventing me from doing things for my family. He advised me to pray for help to the Holy Spirit...in his words... "The active breath of God".
      I was waking in the middle of the night anyway, so I chose that time for prayer.
      I prayed for about an hour each night. On the third night I prayed & went to sleep again about 3am. I woke up at 5am, feeling invigorated. When I stretched... I realized I could move the area that was fused normally...The fusion was gone. I was so excited! That week I told my doctor during a visit & he just said "Oh, that's nice" until SHOWED him! Then his reaction was "Do it again!". He examined it thoroughly & said"Whatever you did...Keep on doing it!" X-Rays confirmed it had healed...in less than 2 hours.
      Such proof that God listened to me is wonderful, but it raised questions for me...Why me? Why not someone else?...I cannot answer those questions, but after actually experiencing a miracle... I am willing to simply have faith... until I get the chance to ask God when I see him. He might just say sometimes the answer is no.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      Sorry for the grammar mistake in my answer. The first line should have read "The answer to number 1, Reformed Catholic, is...YES!". I also omitted a word ...It should also have read "until I SHOWED him!".

      March 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  12. Catholic

    have fun in hell hiertics and betrayers

    March 31, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • sam stone

      heretics and betrayers? you do realize that your warning of hell means nothing to them, don't you?

      March 31, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      catholic...you appear to have swallowed the hell pill ....fear may have gripped you but if you use your intellect a little you may be able to ask a few questions and wee they do not have answers..as the Catholics invented hell, where does the gas come from for all of the heat? does the vatican have gas plants in heaven supplying it? or is it propane?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  13. Catholic

    Hiertics

    March 31, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Catholis...keep calm your fear will pass.....

      March 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  14. No one

    In socialist America, the church leaves you!

    March 31, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  15. Pipe-Dreamer

    "Seek first, the Kingdom(s) of God is scriptured fact and yet the vast majority of people fall by the wayside in understanding such a righteous endeavor. For anyone searching to find the Godly Kingdom(s) the revelation of such is yes found in ascriptural passage. "The Kingdom(s) of God lays INSIDE Life." is My take on what scripture denotes. Scriptured also are that we are labouring together with the Godly and we are their husbandries. Can't forget also that we are but Godly Buildings where on the inside of these buildings the Godly are found living. What's that? Too hard for one to fathom these depths of scripture?

    March 31, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  16. AlfredZ

    I am an Ex-Catholic.
    The seven reason listed are among my own as well. I started researching my faith and views at the beginning of my adult life and found much of the lies and mis-truths amounting upon one another.
    I felt that the Church was walking a path that was forged in the Dark Ages and has yet to open up the our modern society. Jesus, our savior, did not teach hate, distrust or say to any, that they are unwelcome. The Catholic Church has maintained a stubburn and outdated mode of teachings and HAS put political doctrine before pastoral emotion. The Church HAS blurred the lines between being a person of faith and a member of the Catholic Society.

    March 31, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      AlfredZ,,,

      Leaving manmade churches is one thing but to personally give up believing in and denying Godliness is a (to me) terrible condition to be in. Just because "manmade" churches seek fruitions of monetary gains and do little to almost nothing for the benefits of the very needy, one need not be uprooted in one's innerness Belief in God's Kingdom(s). 🙂

      March 31, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  17. David Rand

    When I got married in the Catholic Church..I was sooo embarrassed. Many of my wife and my protestand friends came to the wedding and they were not able to get communion? Why are we Catholics so full of ourselves? My Protestant friends get communion weekly and they are more devout Christians than I...yet...they are excluded from the most important moment of a christian service? I was utterly embarrassed!! An you wonder by other faiths grow and Catholicism is on the decline.

    March 31, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  18. David Rand

    Catholic Church – Has changed over its hundreds of years of existance but has simply chosed to stop changing with the times over the past 50 yrs. A church has to change and be open to its flock and the Catholic Church just seems stubborn in its way. Failure to allow married men to be priests, failure to allow women become priests, failure to have a more modern message on divorce & remarrying in the church. Changes in none of these issues would critically impact the church's true message of Jesus Christ. Why isolate oneself when the church's goals are to expand and spread the world? Oh..and did I tell you how darn BORING my Catholic services are? Lets get a little bit of dialogue with the people and how about the idea of opening up your Bible in lieu of a Misselette?? Come on, lets get with it!!

    March 31, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      You DO realize the 3 Sunday Readings at mass ARE from the bible & you can follow them in the missalette available in every pew. 2 passages are read by the lector from the Old Testament plus 1 more from the New Testament is read by the deacon or priest. The Homily is usually all about those readings too. On weekdays there are still 2 Readings each day, 1 from the Old read by a lector & 1 from the New read by the deacon or priest . Over the course of 2 years the entire bible is covered. You can even follow the Readings online daily if you cannot fit church attendance into your schedule.
      If you HAVE attended mass regularly... The bible was spread out in front of you all the time, but you might have been too busy being bored to listen.
      If it is a case of having an uninspiring pastor, then attend mass in a church that suits you. You are not chained to the pews of that parish. My dad changed to a church where the choir was not run by someone who only wanted their own friends to sing & discouraged everyone else. He was very happy & well appreciated at another church & the bishop even invited him to join HIS choir. Heck, my choir director begged him to join ours after hearing him sing while visiting us, but 80 miles WAS a bit too far! My point is that you can visit other parishes in your area to find what you are looking for spiritually. I happen to know there is a Catholic Radio station that offers "spirited " discussions ...Sorry, I couldn't resist that pun 😉
      There is more & more pressure building to restore the church rules to the way it was before the 11th century, when priests WERE allowed to marry. There are also people who are looking to open the priesthood to women. It is possible Both might happen. I know the priests are thinking about it because a really old fashioned priest in my parish actually told my daughter "maybe you will" when she said she wanted to become a priest! Change will comes faster if the people who want that change stay & work towards it.

      March 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Reality

    Why I am no longer a Catholic:

    Flawed theolgy, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, vomit-inducing pedophilia and cover-ups !!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Thank God For Miracles

      Funny... My church had a priest who grew up in India & another priest who haled from Uganda as well as an Irish/ American priest. The priesthood has become a wonderful mixture of cultures... Too bad you only see in black & white. You do know that an extremely large portion of Eucharistic ministers & lectors are women now as the role of women inside the church continues to expand. Priests are starting to push for their ordination. As for your beliefs that Catholic theology is flawed...That is your own private opinion... Whatever that it is worth.
      As for the pedophiles that took advantage of the church to commit crimes...They are training every person in the church how to spot them & turn them in... to the police. Anyone who has ANY contact with children is given a security check now that includes fingerprints. They have also been teaching the children. The result...They caught a Catholic school sports coach sending students inappropriate text messages. The kids reported it, the church fired him & called police.
      A public school teacher doing the same exact thing would still have his job... At the very least until the trial was over... Maybe even afterwards... Depending on exactly what charges they were able to convict him with in court.
      Look at the public coaching scandals that have been revealed long after people became aware. Look at Penn State. Look at story about the gymnasts who were molested that is currently on CNN. Yep, look at that pair of pedophiles in that public school in California taking bondage pictures. I guess you feel all sports & all pubic schools are vomit inducing now too.

      March 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Reality

      Starting with the major flaw in Catholic/Christian theology, i.e. the infamous resurrection con:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  20. antf12345

    Rick Santourm!

    March 31, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Vice President Joe Biden...

      March 31, 2012 at 9:08 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.