A year before my ordination I shadowed a seasoned pastor as he visited some of the saints of our church at a care facility in Austell, Georgia. We went from door to door and sat and listened and prayed.
"We have one more to see," said my companion as he stepped into the elevator. "Miss Fraser. She's normally unresponsive, but we'll check on her."
Attention mainline Protestants: a conservative Christian candidate for president would like to point out that your institutions are in decline, and that he doesn't mind because you're not Christian enough, anyway. Take that!
Nearly half of all former Catholics have left institutionalized religion altogether, according to a recent PRRI/RNS survey. Among former Catholics, 14 percent identify themselves as white, evangelical Protestants, and 9 percent as mainline Protestants. This cohort is more likely to be young, male, and politically liberal or independent. Former Catholics are also less likely to say their views of the Catholic Church have changed since the advent of Pope Francis. They do share similar views with Catholics on climate change, immigration reform, and same-sex marriage, although they are more liberal on legalizing abortion in all or most cases (PRRI, September 3).