Chicago, Ill., May 4, 2012 / 03:11 am
A census of religious adherence in the U.S. that reported a five percent decline in the U.S. Catholic population associated with a specific parish suggests that some dioceses need to “catch up” with Catholics new to their areas.
“Our data indicate there are fewer than 60 million Americans associated with a specific Catholic church,” said Clifford Grammich, a research associate with the Religious Congregation & Membership Study 2010.
Other research found that there are “more than 75 million Americans who identify themselves as Catholic. In other words, there may be more than 15 million Americans who identify themselves as Catholic but who are not associated with a specific church,” Grammich told CNA May 3.
The study aims to provide the most complete data on U.S. religious affiliation and attendance. The data for 236 religious groups were published by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. The census study was released May 1 at a press conference during the annual meeting of the Associated Church Press in Chicago.