The Startling Absence of Catholic Men in the Pews

Birgit - sacred heart

Birgit - sacred heart

There is a serious Catholic “man-crisis”: The pews have fewer Catholic men in them than ever before.

The New Emangelization Project ( has documented the devastating loss of faith among Catholic men. Large numbers of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who don’t know the faith and don’t practice the faith.

One in three baptized Catholic men in the U.S. have left the Church. The fastest growing religious segment of the U.S. population are called “Nones”, those who profess no religion. The single biggest contributor to the “Nones” are men who were formerly Catholic.

To have one third of our fathers, brothers, uncles and sons leave the Catholic Church is a disaster. Imagine an army in a fierce battle that had one third of its men desert or fight for the enemy. The loss of so many Catholic men weakens the Church Militant in the battle against Satan’s ongoing assault on all people.

It gets worse: the majority (some 50-60%) who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who don’t know or practice the faith.

Large numbers of Catholic men don’t have a basic understanding of the faith.  Only about one in three Catholic men strongly agree the Sacraments are essential to their faith.  About half of Catholic men are “bored” in the Mass and don’t feel they “get anything out of the Mass.”  Men who understand the Mass could never be bored when encountering the King of Creation.

Most Catholic men believe that “how one lives is more important than being a Catholic.” Large numbers of Catholic men do not believe that Catholicism has a “greater share of truths than other religions.” Only about one in four Catholic men believe that being a Catholic  “is among the most important things in life.”  A startling 60% of Catholic men would consider leaving the Church.

“Casual Catholic Men” do not practice the faith.  Only about one in four Catholic men consider themselves to be “practicing Catholics.”  Indeed, only one third of Catholic men attend Mass weekly despite the fact that weekly Mass attendance is a precept of the Church.

The majority of men are not going to Confession.  Some eight out of ten Catholic men have not gone to Confession in the last year; annual Confession is a precept of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2042).  Only 1 in 50 Catholic men (2%) have a monthly practice of Confession.  Studies show that 60-70% of Christian men are viewing pornography monthly.  Many Catholic men likely receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, bringing down judgment on themselves (1 Cor 11:27-29).

Most Catholic men are disengaged from parish life.  Research shows that eight out of ten Catholic men do not participate in a Catholic activity outside of attending Mass.  A third of men who call themselves “Catholic” are not even members of a parish.

These men are not committed to pass the faith along to their children. Half of Catholic men do not know the faith well enough to explain it to their children and they are not convinced it is important for their children to remain Catholic.  The lack of commitment of fathers to pass the faith along to their sons will add to the Catholic “man-crisis.”

The Catholic “man-crisis” is wreaking havoc on men, women, children, the Church and society.  What is needed now is for all Catholics of good will, especially priests, deacons and men themselves, to commit to call our wayward brothers back to the fullness of the faith.

Jesus Christ, the Perfect Man, expects no less from us.

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74 thoughts on “The Startling Absence of Catholic Men in the Pews”

  1. Where’s the Hope and Faith? When He’s ready, He’ll designate (call, give vocations) the men He wants to be His ministers, just as He did in the Gospels. “…do not worry anymore…your Father knows…seek His kingdom” Lk 12, 29-30. “I am with you always.” Mt 28, 20. Some folks seem to have given up and forgotten Who Jesus is and what He taught: Don’t be afraid. Never quit believing, trusting, loving, EVER.

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