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Peter Steinfels urges American bishops to acknowledge and address dwindling numbers in the Catholic church:

[O]ne out of every three adult Americans who were raised Catholic have left the church. If these ex-Catholics were to form a single church, they would constitute the second largest church in the nation. One in three. Think about it.

This record makes the percentage of bad loans and mortgages leading to the financial meltdown look absolutely stellar. It dwarfs the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler. Thomas Reese, SJ, the former editor of America, recently described this loss of one-third of those raised Catholic as “a disaster.” He added, “You wonder if the bishops have noticed.”

Well, take a look at this statistic:

Catholics overwhelmingly support legal recognition of homosexual unions. 41% of white Catholics, and 46% of Latino Catholics, support same-sex marriage, while an additional 36% of white Catholics, and 22% of Latino Catholics, support same-sex civil unions. Only 19% of white Catholics, and 30% of Latino Catholics, are faithful to Catholic teaching, which opposes the legal recognition of homosexual unions. Overall, 37% of Americans support same-sex marriage, 27% support civil unions, and 33% oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions. In 2006, only 26% of Americans supported same-sex marriage.

And yet opposition to this is perhaps one of the most strenuously defended positions of the current hierarchy.

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