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Jul 29, 2021

Common Reasons Why People Leave the Church

The Ascension Team

What are the common reasons Catholics are leaving the Church? Today, I share part two of a talk I recently gave at my parish about bringing your loved ones back to Christ. I discuss the main reasons people are leaving the Catholic Church according to recent surveys, and what we can do in response to this crisis in the Church.

Snippet from the Show

When Christianity is reduced to simply a moral system, we forget that good people don’t go to heaven, forgiven people go to heaven.


Common Reasons Why People Leave the Church

  • Pew Survey – “Faith in Flux” (2009)–percentage of former Catholics who said reason(s) below played a role in their departure

    • 71% – Just gradually drifted away from the religion
    • 65% – Stopped believing in the religion’s teachings
    • 43% – Spiritual needs not being met
    • 29% – Unhappy with teachings about the Bible
    • 26% – Dissatisfaction with atmosphere at worship services
    • 18% – Dissatisfaction with clergy at congregation
    • 10% – Found a religion they liked more

  • Diocese of Springfield Exit Surveys (2014) –percentage of former Catholics who said reason(s) below played a role in their departure

    • 68% – Spiritual needs not met
    • 67% – Lost interest over time
    • 56% – Too many money requests
    • 48% – No longer believe
    • 47% – Dissatisfaction with atmosphere
    • 38% – Too ritualistic
    • 36% – Too formal
    • 36% – Music not enjoyable

How Do We Respond?

  • We have to recover clarity as we share the Gospel
  • Your personal sanctity is the most important part of drawing your loved ones back to church
  • We have to learn trustful surrender to Divine Providence 
  • We have to be consumed by the fiery love of God
  • Everything in your life has to be given over to God


Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael has been leading evangelization and ministry efforts for the past ten years, both as a full-time parish staff member and as a speaker and consultant for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic campus ministries.

Michael is also the founder and creative director of, and the producer and cohost of a Catholic young adult podcast Catching Foxes, which discusses the collision of Faith and Culture.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.


David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

Dave is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Amber and their five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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  • Personally, I was comfortable with the Latin mass & sorry it got changed. A couple of generations later & now it’s too late to revert back. I am a cradle Catholic, have been to several other churches, & although they were respectful & reverential, I am comfortable staying in the church.

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