Six Types of Fallen Away Catholics

Catholicism is one of the most rapidly declining faiths in the United States. Today, I share part one of a talk I recently gave at my parish about the six main types of fallen away Catholics so we can better understand why people are leaving the Catholic Church, and how to bring them home. 

Snippet from the Show

If you ache for the salvation of your loved ones’ souls, remember that the grace of Jesus Christ is bigger than your plans and more powerful than your words. Place your loved ones in his hands, and he will call them home.


6 Main Types of Fallen Away Catholics:

  1. Cultural Catholics– Those who identify as Catholics because of their culture or family, not because it’s a personal decision.
  2. Shruggers– Those who are apathetic about the faith, so they leave the Church because they don’t care, are complacent, or are just lazy.
  3. Spiritual but not Religious Catholics– Those who seek spiritual realities outside the Church. They recognize that the material world cannot define what it means to be human but base their spirituality based on their subjective experience.They have often never been exposed to the richness of the Catholic faith. 
  4. Moral Movers– Those who fall away from the Church because they disagree with the moral teachings of the Church. They often haven’t been taught the teachings of the Church well. 
  5. Religious Switchers– Those who switch to other Christian churches because they want to keep their faith in Jesus but see the sacraments, liturgy, and other parts of Catholicism as “unnecessary extras.”
  6. Skeptics- Those who identify as agnostics and atheists due to the popularity of the new atheist movement. 

Practical Evangelization Tools:

  • ​​Never lose hope, place your confidence in Christ.
  • Remember that Jesus Is the savior, not you. He is the one responsible for the salvation of souls. 
  • Learn how to pray and pray for your loved ones in community.
  • Give your loved ones to Christ.
  • Propose and don’t impose. 
  • Trust that the Holy Spirit is working behind the scenes.
  • We need to be the change, model a radical life of holiness.


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.

Mike 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.

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

  • Stefan says:

    What a simplistic, yet judgmental typology! What about the cast-out Catholics, the burned Catholics, or the democratic Catholics, who do not believe that abortion is the only worldly issue we should focus on? You like to make it difficult to return.


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