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The Real Reasons Why People Leave the Catholic Church
Why are more people leaving the faith?
I often wondered about the real reasons why more and more people are leaving the Church.
Within the Catholic Church, there is a huge increase in people who are turning to other religions or completely falling out of faith.
Why is this happening to the Church? Could this be the fulfillment of Pope Benedict XVI’s prediction that the Church would be a small one in the future?
Let’s first tackle the popular reasons
1. The Church is seen to be judgmental
While the Catholic Church has often reiterated the equality of men and women, the modern world does not want to accept its stand on the complementarity of the sexes.
2. The belief that one can be spiritual and not religious
People today have adhered to the belief that religion is unnecessary to one’s spirituality. New age thinking and other beliefs find the traditional institutions of faith as limiting one’s freedom to worship in one’s personal way.
Let’s talk about the real reasons
Beneath the popular reasons why people leave the Church are the real reasons of the huge decline in the number of Catholics in some parts of the world.
Here are the possible true reasons for people leaving their Catholic faith:
1. They don’t believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church established by Jesus Christian
If you believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church established by Jesus Christ Himself, you would not leave it even if some people may try to convince you otherwise. You will also have faith that Jesus will bless and protect the Church. He will prevent errors from spreading within it. He will guide it so that it may stand against the attacks of the evil one.
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” — Matthew 16:17–18 (NABRE)
2. They don’t believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
It is easy to get swayed about various disappointing issues one sees in the Church. Because no person is perfect, the Church will also be made up of imperfect people who will continue to make mistakes.
This does not mean that the imperfections of people will prevail over the promise of Jesus Christ. The Dogmas of the Church will stand strong and proclaim the truth despite the contradictory actions and behavior of its members.
The most important thing to consider is the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
And if Jesus is in the Catholic Church (with His true Body and Blood), where else should we go?
3. They have been traumatized by an experience within the Church
It is hard to blame those who left the Church because they have been traumatized by some of its members. This includes those who had been the victims of sexual abuse by priests.
How do you continue believing in those who hurt you the most? How do you continue to see the presence of God when those who should have resembled Him most are the very ones who caused you so much pain?
Is the Catholic Church the One True Church of Jesus Christ?
5 questions answered with evidence from the Bible
How do we know the one true Church Jesus Christ has established on earth based on Biblical evidence? Here are five questions to lead those who are seeking for the truth:
1. Did God establish a Church that would not be overcome by any other earthly kingdom?
Yes. God has intended to establish His Church and has established it through His Son Jesus Christ.
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left to another people; but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever. Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what will happen hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” — Daniel 2:44–45, WEB-BE
2. Has Jesus given this Church His authority? How can we determine which Church has received the authority of Jesus?
Jesus gave the Church His authority when He authorized Peter. Such a Church must never be overcome even by the gates of Hell, as promised by Jesus Himself. We can know whether a Church has the authority of Jesus by tracing its apostolic succession to Peter. In the case of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, there is an unbroken succession of Popes, leaders of the Church since the time of Peter whom Jesus Himself authorized by giving him the KEYS of the Kingdom of Heaven. These keys symbolize such an authority, as can be seen from the Old Testament. (Peter was also the one instructed by Jesus to feed His lambs.)
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades‡ will not prevail against it. I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.”
3. Has Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide His Church into all Truth?
Yes. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit will guide the Church in Truth. This will prevent errors in teachings and in doctrine. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are vulnerable to misinterpreting the Scriptures. “…no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation.” — 2 Peter 1, WEB-BE
4. Is the guidance given to the Church only in written word through the Bible?
No. It is very clear, even from the Bible itself that not all teachings come from the written word. There are traditions that are transmitted verbally. What is important is that these verbal and written traditions have been passed on and kept intact by those who are duly authorized in the Church. We find comfort when we know from whom such traditions have been conveyed as when we know from the Catholic Church that they have been transferred through an unbroken apostolic succession since the time of Peter himself.
5. What if sinful and imperfect men enter the Church?
The sinfulness of the members of the Church do not nullify the authority of the Church. What has been promised us is that the Church will be guided as to its teachings, that errors will be prevented, and Truth will be protected. We are not promised that everyone who joins the Church will immediately become perfect. Let us remember that the Church is made up of people, people who are often weak and tempted, people who sin. If they do sin, they are acting “in contradiction” to the teachings of the Church.
Let us also remember that even within Jesus’ twelve apostles, one has become the traitor in the person of Judas. His sin however does not nullify the authority of Jesus. It is because of his own will that he betrayed Jesus, and not because of the teachings, works and miracles of Jesus Himself.