Author Topic: Mixed review of young Catholics  (Read 706 times)

Michael Slusser

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Mixed review of young Catholics
« on: February 14, 2011, 07:16:19 PM »
The Tablet of London, February 5, 2011, has an article "Lost Generation" by Bill McGarvey on a recent conference at Fordham University "on why young adult Americans, most of whom consider themselves religious, are staying away from the Church." A section of the article seemed worth sharing here:

"[Robert] Putnam's American Grace co-author David Campbell, a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, also spoke and provided a more detailed portrait of young Catholics. He mentioned that a significant portion of those young adults leaving the Church do so because they are uncomfortable with what they perceive to be an inappropriate mixing of religion and conservative--Republican--politics.
      "However, their own political instincts do not fit any neat categories for, while Catholics under 30 tend to be very liberal about homosexuality, they are much more pro-life than their parents."

Any similar mix and match shifting of the way issues are paired among under-30s in your churches?

« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 07:22:02 PM by Michael Slusser »
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian


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Re: Mixed review of young Catholics
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 07:32:21 PM »
That demographic in my parish (admittedly only around 12 souls) match the characteristics outlined.  I have learned to tone down my political conservatism, which is pretty diverse and nuanced, so as to keep my approach to them Law & Gospel based rather than as a clone of Special Report on FoxNews Channel.

The men tend to be more conservative than their wives, or at least more willing to express the "ick" factor regarding male homosexual relations, where their wives express a staunch pro-life ethos.

More troubling to me is that my 2 liberal boomers have left the congregation, independently of each other.  Their loss has been the source of much sorrow to me personally, especially one of them whose views I value highly. One has affiliated with an ELCA parish with a rather liberal woman Pastor.

We're so small that losing anyone is a great loss to me as their Pastor....not that their loss would be less painful if we were a large congregation, it's just so much more noticeable now.


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Re: Mixed review of young Catholics
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 08:23:51 PM »
The "Young Adults" group (which in our church is loosely defined as post-college to early thirties) in my congregation has about 35 members in it (out of 170 baptized members).  Politically, we are almost universally conservative (but not necessarily passionate about politics).  Theologically, we may be the most conservative demographic group in the congregation - rivaled perhaps by only the pre-baby-boomer demographic (which is saying something, because we have the reputatation of being one of the more conservative churches in the district).  Most (over 80% ?) of the people in that age group are former evangelicals or former Catholics - which may explain their passion for Lutheran doctrine and traditional liturgy.  For what it's worth, my wife has become much more conservative about homesexuality since converting from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism.