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Posted on 03/21/2013 9:59:14 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
The total number of American Catholics depends largely on what you think it takes to be a Catholic, with the numbers dropping as the required level of commitment increases. It takes very little effort to self-identify as a Catholic, so the Pew Research Center’s survey sets the Catholic population high at 75 million. The Catholic Research Forum has more rigorous standards, defining Catholics as people who are baptized into the church and arrange for a Catholic funeral. By this measure, there are approximately 68 million American Catholics. Finally, some demographers count only people who register at a church or regularly attend Mass. The U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study, which asked local church leaders to estimate the number of people in their congregations, set the American Catholic population at just 59 million. Weak church attendance accounts for this discrepancy: Only 24 percent of self-reported American Catholics attend Mass weekly. (Another church-generated estimate, the Official Catholic Directory, estimates the national flock at 66.3 million, but critics worry that clerics inflate the numbers for this publication for PR reasons.) What do these numbers mean? There’s a population of approximately 19 million Americans who think they’re Catholic but who are unknown to their local priests.
None of these methods accurately captures the Vatican’s view of the Catholic population. Under church law, baptism makes you a Catholic, and you remain a Catholic until you’re excommunicated or formally repudiate the faith. Since more people unilaterally abandon Catholicism than join it without baptism, the Vatican’s census is typically even higher than the number of self-identified faithful. The official Statistical Yearbook of the Church counts a total of 1.196 billion Catholics worldwide, or 96 million more than Pew does, a difference of about 9 percent.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
Maybe we should do a study on how many people who have no religion but take up surveys on people who do. Biased? Who, non-believers?
Yesterday I attended weekday Mass which is NOT a requirement for the Catholic Church. The pews in the large church were almost entirely filled. And they were not all filled by old codgers, but many people who are working take their lunch hour at noon in order to attend Mass. What empty pews?
So the figures you see here are probably pretty accurate.
In Richland County SC there are 12,681 reported Roman Catholics and 7 RC houses of worship (HOW). That averages out to 1,812 peole per HOW.
Source: City Data
So what you may ask.
The density of Roman Catholics per HOW is far greater than any other Christian denomination. I don't see a lot of RC mega-HOWs in Richland County, so I suspect that in Richland County they are overreporting.
Church of Norway (Evangelical Lutheran - official) 85.7%
Assumng they don’t use Democrat polling techniques when the numbers are rolled up....
That is a good idea but we’d need to count in September because we get a lot of snowbirds who attend Mass but aren’t registered in our parish.
We have a small parsh and we go through the register every year and say, this person died, this person moved.... Then if we haven’t personally seen someone in church and they haven’t put an envelope in the collection plate we call them.
We probably have more than we report because a lot of people don’t register and they aren’t required to unless they are seeking baptism, 1st Communion, confirmation or marriage.
I would go with the directory being closest and as far as reporting more than you have if you knew the Catholic hierarchy you would go the other way because they might up your bishop’s assessment, ha ha.
From the article: Since more people unilaterally abandon Catholicism than join it without baptism ...
How do you join without baptism? Or is that a backhanded reference to the catechumenate?
Estimating the size of other Christian groups isnt quite as challenging because self-identification is all that matters for many of them.
Challenging or not, the author notes that it takes very little effort to self-identify as Catholic but fails to state the same is true for a vast number of nonCatholics. While correctly noting that millions of self-identified Catholics are unknown to their local priests, he fails to acknowledge the millions who self-identify with a nonCatholic denomination who are similarly unknown to their local clergy or houses of worship. Poor attendance or no attendance aren't phenomena isolated to Catholicism.
Gee, you'd almost think that an article that opens by stating that the dissident Biden represents tens of millions of [U.S.] Catholics had an agenda or something.
We count every weekend Mass, every week, every year.
What do your numbers look like from year to year? Up or down?
Not sure about year to year, but we get usually around 4000 per weekend. That number covers 5 Masses ... Saturday evening, then 4 on Sunday. So I guess using 4k as a base, that would make it 208,000 per year. That’s not taking into account Holy Days of Obligation and Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas.
But short answer ... up. Every year our parish grows like mad.
The Great G. K. Chesterton (a Christian apologist) aptly stated:
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
The democrat party represents the Catholic voters, so Biden and Obama and Pelosi and Harry Reid represent the majority of the Catholic voters since they lead the party.
There are multiple Masses at each HOW so all can be accommodated.
Thanks, glad to know the parish and the seminary are hoppin’. I’ve been blessed to meet some of the new JPII generation priests and seminarians in my diocese. WOW, are they on fire! And orthodox. And prolife. These guys are out there preachin’ it! God is so good :)
I believe that Reid was converted to Mormonism.
Who else represents American Catholics in the political world?
Biden and Pelosi are America’s post prominent Catholics and the leaders of the Catholic political party, they aren’t just some politicians who happen to be Catholic and are in office despite Catholic voters or who are embarrassing to Catholic voters, no, they REPRESENT Catholics in America.
They sure as hell do not represent me, any practicing Catholic that I know, or any pro life Catholic. Biden and Pelosi both should be excommed. In my opinion.