Courtesy of OpenTeq:

Young Catholics are leaving the faith at an early age – sometimes before the age of 10 – and their reasons are deeper than being “bored at Mass,” the author of a recent report claims.

“Those that are leaving for no religion – and a pretty big component of them saying they are atheist or agnostic – it turns out that when you probe a bit more deeply and you allow them to talk in their own words, that they are bringing up things that are related to science and a need for evidence and a need for proof,” said Doctor Mark Gray, a senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

“It’s almost a crisis in faith,” he told CNA. “In the whole concept of faith, this is a generation that is struggling with faith in ways that we haven’t seen in previous generations.”

Gray recently published the results of two national studies by CARA – which conducts social science research about the Church – in the publication Our Sunday Visitor. One of the surveys was of those who were raised Catholic but no longer identified as Catholic, ages 15 to 25. The second survey was of self-identified Catholics age 18 and over.

In exploring why young Catholics were choosing to leave the faith, he noted “an emerging profile” of youth who say they find the faith “incompatible with what they are learning in high school or at the university level.” In a perceived battle between the Catholic Church and science, the Church is losing.

The studies also reveal that the young people are abandoning the faith as early as ten years old and that the typical age is around thirteen. 

This, of course, warms the cockles of my disbelieving heart. 

I have for over a decade predicted what I call the “New Enlightenment,” and to see it happening before my eyes is incredibly gratifying.

“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today”

I have only one wish before I die, and that is to see a world no longer torn apart by belief in primitive superstitions. 

Perhaps that is too much to hope for, but hope for it I do.