LegalWorks Apostolate - Counsel for a Culture of Life

Church membership up, attendance at Mass declining

By Stu Nolan

A December 2 report by Jennifer Levitz in the Wall Street Journal notes as follows:

"The U.S. Catholic population is growing, but a lot of Catholics are skipping church. The number of people identifying themselves as Catholic rose to 77.7 million in 2011 from 74 million in 2005, but the weekly Mass attendance rate has fallen and is now about 31%, ...."

Weekly attendance at Mass is not discretionary for Catholics, who believe in the Church's authority to proscribe certain "precepts" of the Church. Such "precepts" include attendance at Mass every Sunday. With attendance at Mass in the Archdiocese of Boston having declined dramatically, Church hierarchy are seeking to revive an emphasis on evangelical activity, Ms. Levitz reports.

We welcome this increased recognition of the obligation to evangelize and catechize. Hopefully not every Diocese will wait until they are in crisis before restoring an emphasis on bringing the fullness of Truth to our brethren inside and outside of the Church.

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