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New Survey Says American Catholic Church Is Losing Members Fast

A new survey by the Pew Research Center says that more Americans are leaving Catholicism more than any other religion in the country.

The research survey says that about 13% of the church are now former Catholics, while only about 2% have reported converting to Catholicism.

Recent events within the Catholic Church do play a part into the survey results, as well as a "rise in science," and a decrease in student enrollment within Catholic schools.

"The secular world kind of grinds down the nature of religiousness and then with the culture wars a lot of outward manifestations of religion seem to appear more extreme," Dennis Doyle, a Catholic theologian and professor at the University of Dayton said about the decline in church members.

"If you go back to the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century, Catholics were immigrants and they were the poor and there were great numbers of them, and they were mostly in the cities and they had this subculture that held them together," Doyle said.

"As Catholics became more educated and affluent overall, and as they become more oriented to the suburbs and less this great sociological mass in the cities, there's been a lot of social changes taking place."

While the American Catholic Church is seeing a big change in it's faithful numbers, they still have more than 17,000 parishes across the United States and a little over 50 million followers.

Read the full survey and results at the Pew Research Center.

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