Data Regarding Church in USA Since Vatican II: Part 2

More data, equally dismal. With two exceptions: Annulments initiated went down after 1990; and confirmations went up. Mass attendance has gone down steadily.

Sacraments and Rites
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
Infant baptism previous year.
1.310m
1.089m
894,992
943,632
953,323
986,308
981,444
996,199
929,545
806,138
693,914
Baptisms of minors
60,927
66,458
Adult Baptism previous year
126,209
84,534
80,035
88,942
87,996
85,600
66,886
77,578
76,605
41,600
42,751
Adult conversions
76,176
95,003
73,402
70,318
67,140
Confirmations
491,360
555,767
630,465
610,282
597,402
566,143
1st Communions
849,919
794,576
881,321
807,066
802,300
726,887
Marriages
352,458
426,309
369,133
350,745
348,300
326,079
294,144
261,626
207,112
168,400
148,134
Annulments initiated
60,691
72,308
57,018
49,973
33,727
26,025
23,302
Funerals
387,739
417,779
406,497
417,047
446,822
452,526
455,477
472,789
445,616
417,387
391,131
Mass Attendance
55%
48%
42%
41%
41%
39%
35%
22%
23%
24%
24%

4 thoughts on “Data Regarding Church in USA Since Vatican II: Part 2

    1. Good objection. Depends on how much weight is put on the ‘ergo’. In the first post, I wrote, “This is not to prophecy doom and gloom; it is one piece of evidence in the duty of taking sober stock of the effectiveness of pastoral strategies employed in the past 50 years.” It is a testimony, not a conclusion.

      That we are undergoing general societal breakdown is absolutely true. Also, that some places are undergoing renewal is also true. Africa, India. Also, there are vibrant renewals in the West: Nashville Dominican nuns, e.g.

      One interesting ‘control’ group might be to study similar figures in the 40 years before the council, however, in 2 groups: Protestant communities and the Catholic Church. If, let us say, there are positive signs in the Catholic Church and negative signs among the Protestants, there may be reason to think that societal decay was already in place, whereas it was more successfully resisted in Catholic circles until the council. If both Protestant communities and Catholic Church had positive data, then there may be reason to lay credit simply to societal changes.

      *I believe that it is the case that the Catholic data was consistently positive before 1965.

  1. Maybe is the number of annulments down simply because people aren’t even bothering with that anymore?

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