Tuesday, February 21
Karl Keating supplies some encouraging statistics in his news letter.
In the last forty years...
Disciples of Christ lost 57 percent of its membership (-1 million people)
Presbyterian Church USA lost 44 percent (-1.8 million)
Episcopal Church lost 35 percent (-1.3 million)
Assemblies of God gained 377% (+2.2 million)
Southern Baptist Convention gained 53% (+5.7 million)
Catholic Church gained 45% (+21 million)
I would like to make a very strong clarification:
In *no way* do I consider the decline of the main-line Protestant denominations a good thing.
Catholics depend upon them to keep a critical mass of this country Christian, and a critical mass of this country depends upon them for eternal salvation.
The solace which I found in these numbers is that, while every Catholic I know is aware of close family members who left the Church, and we all know the vocation numbers a grim, and Mass attendance is not as high as we'd like, the entirely negative story most statistics give of the Catholic over the last 40 years is happily moderated by this statistic. And we all need good news sometimes.