Let me share with you my Catholic New York column that was published this week about Catholic statistics and the challenge of new evangelization.
Do you agree that we get way too many statistics? Seems as if every time I turn around, I’m looking at “the results of a new survey.” What’s worse, the findings often seem to contradict themselves!
One of these statistics does haunt me, though: recently scholarly research shows that, over the last decade or so, about 10 percent of our Catholic people have left the Church.
I don’t mean they have just drifted from the practice of the faith, or consider themselves “lapsed Catholics.” That’s worrisome enough, and there’s, sadly, a lot of them, too. But, at least these still consider themselves “part of the family.” I’m more botheredby those who have left and don’t have plans to return home.
To invite them back is a high priority of what we call the new evangelization, which both Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have signaled as the pastoral challenge of our day.