Wayne Besen wrote recently about why people of conscience should leave the Roman Catholic Church.
For a variety of reasons, multitudes of U.S. Roman Catholics have already left; the church’s official membership numbers would be plummeting were it not for Catholic immigrants, and formalities required to defect, resign or excommunicate oneself.
Nevertheless, 75 percent of people who are claimed by the church to be Roman Catholic don’t attend regularly, if at all. Ten percent of all Americans are ex-Catholic, according to the Pew Research Center.
The choice to leave raises questions that some people find difficult:
- Shall I switch to a Protestant denomination, a non-Roman but Catholic one, or choose something else?
- How shall I stay in touch with friends from my old church?
- How will I meet people in the new church?
- How can I learn about the new church’s rituals and expectations?
Support is available to help ponder these questions:
- Former Catholic, a “safe place for Catholics and Former Catholics who are struggling or have struggled with some aspect of the Catholic church.”
- Leaving the Priesthood: “During the past 60 years 25,000 priests have left the priesthood in the United States and over 120,000 priests worldwide have left.”
- I Am A Recovering Catholic
- Books about recovering Catholics, ex-Catholics, and former Catholics
We welcome additional suggestions for support.
Disclosure: The author is a lapsed Catholic who has not sought formal excommunication.