America magazine probes disturbing data
In a recent, wide-ranging article examining data on Church attendance, America magazine editor Kevin Clarke asked: Is the Church losing its working-class flock?
There’s great reason to be concerned. Despite a popular media narrative about secular elites looking down on blue-collar believers, survey data suggests that while mass attendance has declined for many social groups, the sharpest fall seems to be concentrated in the lowest income brackets.
When Ryan Burge, an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, ran the numbers for America, he located the greatest drop-offs in Mass attendance among self-described Catholics in the lowest income bracket. Those who said they “never attend” Mass jumped from 6 percent in 1972 to just under 25 percent in 2018. In the bracket just above these Catholics, Mr. Burge found another significant leap in never-attenders, from just over 1 percent to 21 percent.
Meanwhile, at the top income quartile, never-attenders went to 13 percent from 4 percent, and in the quartile just below the top, the percentage jumped to 17 percent from almost 2 percent.
Clarke spoke with many members and friends of the Catholic Labor Network for insight on this, from steelworker Charles Perko to Bishop John Stowe (who celebrated our recent Labor Day Mass) – not to mention Nashville representative Aimee Shelide Mayer and board member Joseph McCartin. CLICK HERE to check it out.