Common Reasons Why People Leave the Church

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 spent 17 years in full-time parish ministry and is now the Mission Evangelist for That Man Is You!, a men’s apostolate for Paradisus Dei. Michael is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and parish missions all over the US and Canada.

He is the founder and creative director of, and hosts three Catholic podcasts: Every Knee Shall Bow, Catching Foxes, and Becoming God.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and has four beautiful and hilarious children: Kateri, Cecilia, Noah, and Thomas.


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.

He 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 married his late wife Amber in 2010. He now resides in Pittsburgh with his five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.


  1. I was born a Roman Catholic And after 53 years I left because of a report about a Harrisburg priest… after all the crap I’ve been reading over the years, that one story put me over the edge. It was credible because the victim got pregnant and was made to apologize to her abuser AND have an abortion.
    I was out of there and into the Episcopalian faith. It hasn’t been easy, but I live In the belief that if any of this happens in my new faith, the clergy/member/employee would be held responsible!
    I would say at least half of the people that have left the RC church over the years have left because of this

  2. Due to personal medical reasons and the fact that my husband believes it’s a money racket, we have been “saddled” with numerous priests at our parish that either can’t speak English well enough to be understood by the majority of the congregation or seem to have the attitude they are only going through the motions and are anxiously awaiting their next There are numerous parishes in our area that draw in crowd after crowd at every mass and include beautiful choirs! I guess we could change over to one of those, but we shouldn’t have to do that. Plus, if we do try to attend a parish other than our own, we are sternly froumd upon by the “Christian Constituents”; they have even gone so far as to move to the total opposite of the pew or get up entirely and go sit somewhere else not a very pleasant or “christi only” welcome at all!! So I had put a major damper on the entire congregation as a whole-although they won’t all admit it; and the rest of us off. Our masses have even been cut from 3 to 2 on Sundays! I will say that although I don’t attend any longer. I still believe in the power of prayer, the Catholic Church and that Kesus is my savior!

  3. 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.

  4. I think those who leave the lords true catholic church do not know the true faith , its our lords church on earth. I think they never had the faith . Thats what i think about it .


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