• Greg Smith

What Happened to Catholicism in America Over the Last 50 Years?

Over the last 50 or 60 years, the Catholic Church in America has shrunk dramatically, and Catholicism's influence on Americans and American culture has plummeted.


Those are not too strong of words for it, not at all. Let me prove it to you.


Last year, I created a 10-episode documentary series called "American Pilgrimages: The Story of Catholicism in America" for the Lakeshore Academy for the New Evangelization (LANE). I walked through American Catholic history from the first missionaries that touched these shores up to the present day, and even tried to peer into what the 21st Century might hold. In Episode 9, "Revolutions," looked at the half-century of colossal change, beginning in the 1960s, that have had nearly catastrophic results for American Catholicism. You can subscribe to LANE and watch the full series at this link, but I'm going to let you watch Episode 9 as a sample through this blog post:


Now, if you can't watch a 38-minute video, I covered the same material on the Considering Catholicism Podcast. But I added some material that wasn't in the video, and made it a two-part episode, Episodes 26 and 27. #26 released a month ago, and then we had events in our family that required me to take a few weeks away. This morning, I released the second part, #27.


In #26, I walk through the data--highly reliable statistics about the decline of the Church and Catholic faith in the United States beginning around 1970--and discussed the socio-cultural forces which have been impacting the Church in America.


In #27, I list a dozen specific threats to Catholicism in America, six external and six internal.


These are now both available wherever you get your podcasts (i.e. Apple, Amazon, Spotify, iHeart Radio, etc.), or on this website (go to the podcast tab at the top. In fact, here's links to the two episodes:


Episode 26: What Happened to Catholicism in America Over the Last 50 Years? Part 1

Episode 27: What Happened to Catholicism in America Over the Last 50 Years? Part 2


Listen and let me know what you think!