Menu Close

Quote of the Day: 50% of Catholics 30 years Old and Younger have Left the Church

good news

This is a top priority for our church, said Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, who is known for his website, “Word on Fire,” and for hosting the documentary series “Catholicism.”

In a June 11 presentation, the bishop said a group of experts who’ve examined why young people are leaving the faith in increasing numbers recently spoke with his committee about this and will share their findings during a lunch presentation at the bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore.

“How many are leaving? The short answer is: a lot,” the bishop said, noting the sobering statistic he said many in the room probably were aware of — that 50% of Catholics 30 years old and younger have left the church.

“Half the kids that we baptized and confirmed in the last 30 years are now ex-Catholics or unaffiliated,” he said, and “one out of six millennials in the U.S. is now a former Catholic.”

Another statistic that particularly affects him is this: “For every one person joining our church today, 6.45 are leaving” and most are leaving at young ages, primarily before age 23. The median age of those who leave is 13.

“Where are they going?” he asked, and in response to his own question, he again gave a short answer: They’re “becoming nones” although some, in much smaller percentages, join other mainstream religions or evangelical churches.

— Carol Zimmerman, Catholic News Service, June 13, 2019


  1. Avatar

    I know a lot of Millennials who left the Catholic church, most of whom aren’t participating in any religion. In the modern world where there are so many options for people to find community or to find things to do, church isnt as necessary anymore

  2. Avatar

    I am amazed that even if someone still wants to cling to ancient superstition they continue to belong to an organization that has been responsible for protecting tens of thousands of sexual predators. The countless number of lives that have been horribly impacted by these actions should be enough for someone to walk away from this church forever.

    • Avatar

      It was enough for my 70 year old aunt (now she’s almost 90) to walk away. She was a devout Catholic her whole life and the godmother to my siblings and me. She left at the height of the sex abuse scandal and the Church’s stance on LGBTQ people (one of my sisters is Gay) just added to her decision. She was disgusted with the hypocrisy and was not shy about saying so. I have so much respect for her. I know many others who have given up religion in general because of these two issues.

  3. Avatar

    Do bishops not pay attention to the news. Their control lust over birth control and abortion, their gussied up anti lgbtq bigotry, and the non stop ever growing child sexual abuse scandal should be enough to drive most compassionate people away. It is no longer the dark ages and their onetime monopoly of culture and knowledge is gone. Thanks be to the invisible pink unicorn for google and the internet because there is absolutely no where for them to hide. It seems as though the kids will be okay without them(and in many cases much better off).

  4. Avatar
    mary g

    this is great news. I have two millennial age kids and they amaze me everyday w/the insight and ability to see thru bullshit that I did not have at their age. to be fair, we quit organized religion when they were young. still, I hate when people say bad things about millennials, I believe they will continue making the world a better place.

  5. Avatar

    I am ex-Catholic too as well as ex fundamentalist. I read once that 10 percent of all people in the USA are ex-Catholics, that’s how many there are. The Catholic church does not relate to average lives anymore. The sex scandals were exposed in 2002, and as the years have gone by, there’s been more and more corruption exposed. Everyone look up this book, “In the Closet of the Vatican”. It was sad to read about the mostly gay and sexually active Catholic clergy higher-ups spreading their homophobic poison and telling everyone what to do in their bedrooms. People know the Catholic clergy are hypocrites especially the further up the ladder you go. Who wants to follow a bunch of pedophiles or pedophile protectors? I do believe the Catholic church is going to die out. Most of Gen X left the Catholic church, and well with every next generation, there’s more people leaving.

  6. Avatar
    D. Campbell

    “For every one person joining our church today, 6.45 are leaving.”

    I suspect the number leaving is actually higher but the church is not properly collecting the metrics. For instance, my wife was a lifelong Catholic but she hasn’t been to church in years, stating that she is disgusted and never going back. But she also never bothered to tell them so as far as the church is concerned, she is still a good Catholic. By-golly, the offering envelopes show up in the mail every month like clockwork – of course they go straight in the trash.

    • Avatar
      Grammar Gramma

      We quit going to a Baptist church in south Louisiana in about 1992 or so. They continued to send us offering envelopes and other mail until we left in 2010. 😀

  7. Avatar

    Lots of denial going on among these clerics. (“We really don’t know why so many people are leaving.”) And it’s Catholics in the pews too. Small anecdote but, I suspect, not untypical:

    My mother was on the Parish Council of her local Catholic church here in the UK. The Council had noticed that several families that used to be regular attenders had, over a period of months, stopped coming. The priest said he would call round to each of these families and ask them why they were no longer attending. At several, the parents came to the door and said that due to all the child abuse and cover-ups, they no longer trusted the Church with the wellbeing of their children, that they were disgusted with all the hypocrisy, and that they would never be attending again. At one house, he had the door slammed in his face. Priest reported all this back to the Parish Council. And the members of the Parish Council concluded that these families probably weren’t attending anymore because they were lazy or maybe because they had problems with transport!

    The lies folk tell themselves!

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Bruce Gerencser