Everywhere from Boston to Minneapolis, Catholic churches have closed or been consolidated into regional clusters. The chief reason is declining Mass attendance.
In New York, Mass attendance has fallen to European levels, around 15 percent on an average Sunday, according to The New York Times. In Boston, it is even lower, around 12 percent.
Nationwide, only 24 percent of Catholics go to Mass on an average Sunday, down from 55 percent in 1965.
To which I can only say, “Thank you for the Good News, Father.”
But you can tell he’s honestly concerned about this happy decline, and he writes further about his experiences talking to the nominal Catholics. There’s a long list of reasons, most of them having to do with the unimportance of church relative to other concerns in their lives, but also serious differences of opinion with the church on matters like the treatment of lesbians and gays.
The priest doesn’t have a solution for his problem, that the church is increasingly irrelevant. That irrelevance, though, is the answer to getting rid of religion — what you believe about magical deities does not and should not have any significant effect on your life.