Introducing a New Series on “Former Catholics”

Just over one year ago, when Catholic Majority launched, Tim published an article about former Catholics and returning to the faith. In the article (which you can read here), he quoted some statistics from Pew Research:

One-third of Americans raised as Catholic no longer consider themselves to be Catholic. This equates to a staggering 10% of all Americans who are now “former Catholics.”

former catholics interviewThat astounding statistic, that one in every ten American is a “former Catholic” stuck with me. Over this past year, I began exploring deeper into this phenomenon. The results of this is a new series that Catholic Majority will be publishing, exploring and profiling those who describe themselves in a myriad of ways: Former Catholics, Ex-Catholics, Recovering Catholics, etc. While I am responsible for the questions and the series in general, Catholic Majority will be publishing a segment every Wednesday, beginning next week.

To give you an idea of how I gathered the information you will read in the coming weeks, I have transcribed the questions that were asked of participants on a questionnaire below.

Thank you for your participation! The purpose of this part of the project is to identify, with no agenda, the cause of the Catholic Church’s irrelevancy in the lives of 10 percent (give or take) of Americans. By filling out these questions, you are granting permission for me to use only a first name and age in any subsequent findings/publications. Thank you again, and peace to you!

  1. How old were you when you decided Catholicism was not for you?
  2. What was your primary reason for deciding to no longer identify as Catholic?
  3. Was there an aspect of your Catholic upbringing that gave cause for you not to identify as Catholic? Explain.
  4. How do you currently view the relationship between God (of your understanding) and spirituality?
  5. When Mass was a part of your life, what did you like/dislike?
  6. What are your current feelings on Pope Francis and the papacy?
  7. What, if anything, would cause you to consider ‘returning’?
  8. Additional comments?

As Catholic Majority publishes some responses in the coming weeks, I would like to remind you of the commenting policy (found here). As an interviewer, I wanted to ensure that I was respectful of the spiritual journey of the participants, and their willingness to share, with honesty, the path they have travelled. I’m looking forward to introducing you to some of these individuals soon.

If you would like to participate by completing the survey, please click here.

Until next week…

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