There is a serious Catholic “man-crisis.” One in three baptized Catholic men in the U.S. have left the Church. Of those men who remain Catholic, only about 1 in 4 Catholic men consider themselves to be “practicing Catholics.”
The Catholic “man-crisis” matters for it hurts, men, women, children, parishes and society. Here’s why:
The majority of Catholic men are stuck in mortal sin.
Taking just one out of the seven deadly sins, Lust, two thirds of Christian men are viewing porn monthly; the numbers approach 100% for young men. While conditions can reduce a man’s culpability (e.g. addiction, formation, etc.), many men are in mortal danger. Four out of five men have not been to Confession in the past year and only one in fifty go to Confession monthly. Given there are six more deadly sins besides Lust, it’s clear that many of our brothers in Christ are probably on the highway to Hell.
The peace of Christ is missing in the daily lives of many Catholic men.
Only Jesus Christ can give true peace and joy but many men are far from Christ. Six out of ten Catholic men do not receive the Eucharist even once a month, leaving them futilely trying to find happiness in worldly things. Five out of six Catholic men lack bonds of brotherhood in their parishes, leaving them living without the faith-strengthening of Catholic fraternity. Men can’t find lasting peace without Christ Jesus.
The Catholic “man-crisis” hurts women.
Men (and women) have increasingly rejected sacramental marriages, with rates dropping by 41% since 2000. Faithful Catholic marriages are essential to uphold the dignity of women (and the dignity of men). To uphold the dignity of women, men must be challenged to heroic Catholic manhood in the self-sacrificing model of St. Joseph. Men also need to be convinced about the great blessing of living out sacramental marriages. The plague of pornography is major contributor in many divorces.
The Catholic “man-crisis” is having a devastating impact on children.
Men are essential in passing the Catholic faith on to their children. Sadly, half of Catholic men don’t know the faith and are not convinced their children should remain Catholic. Many aren’t — studies show that the majority of young Catholics are leaving the Church and not returning. The fruit of faithless fathers is faithless children, leaving the children to fall into lives of unrepentant sin and unable to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Catholic “man-crisis” hurts parishes.
Research shows that higher engagement of men leads to healthier parishes. Sadly, only one in five Catholic men participate in a Catholic activity outside of attending Mass, and one-third of Catholic men are not even members of a parish. Research shows that when Catholic men opt out of parish life, young men opt out too. The loss of so many young Catholic men will hurt vocations in the decades to come further hurting parishes.
The Catholic “man-crisis” also hurts society.
Faithless men are more likely to support abortion, to have children out of wedlock and to divorce. Faithless men are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, to commit crimes and to commit suicide. Faithless men are less likely to vote and to join the military. The faltering faith of Catholic men is contributing to the decaying culture.
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.