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Will Catholicism survive in America?

Over the last 60 years, the percentage of rural U.S. Catholics has been on a steady decline. While that is not unique to Catholicism — both the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention have seen declines in non-metropolitan areas, too — the impact is greater on Catholicism because of the far fewer adherents the Catholic Church had in rural America to begin with. The situation is exacerbated in the Deep South, where there are nearly 200 counties with no Catholic Church, and nearly 200 more with just one church and fewer than 100 adherents. These and other findings about the Catholic home mission field are presented in a paper by Clifford A. Grammich of the Glenmary Research Center, available on the 2010 U.S. Religion Census website.

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"You don’t need sociological surveys on the Nones to give you a picture of religion in America; the fact is (and maybe always has been...

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