Catholic Church in the U.S.

September 8, 1995 • Volume 5, Issue 33
By David Masci


When Pope John Paul II visits the United States in October, he will find cause for both optimism and concern. The U.S. Catholic Church not only tends to the spiritual needs of nearly one-quarter of all Americans but also ranks as one of the largest providers of social services in the U.S. and plays a key role in national debates on moral issues such as abortion. Yet many American Catholics regard some church teachings as anachronistic and say that the institution must become more open and democratic if it is to address spiritual and social concerns meaningfully. At the same time, the church must confront other challenges, including a growing shortage of priests and nuns and a decline in the number of people who attend Mass.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Religion and Politics
Jan. 01, 2016  Religious Freedom
Nov. 07, 2014  Religion and Law
Oct. 19, 2012  Understanding Mormonism
Jan. 03, 2012  Sharia Controversy
Jan. 15, 2010  Government and Religion
Feb. 2009  Religious Fundamentalism
Dec. 07, 2007  Protestants Today
Jan. 19, 2007  Future of the Catholic Church
Jul. 30, 2004  Religion and Politics
Nov. 21, 1997  Religious Persecution
Sep. 08, 1995  Catholic Church in the U.S.
Nov. 25, 1994  Religion in America
Oct. 14, 1994  Religion and Politics
Sep. 12, 1986  Getting Religion in Politics
Dec. 14, 1984  Balancing Church and State
Aug. 27, 1976  Politics and Religion
Sep. 09, 1959  Religion in Politics
Jul. 24, 1942  Churches and War
Aug. 15, 1928  American Churches in National Politics
Apr. 09, 1927  The Religious Issue in American Politics
Aug. 01, 1926  The Religious Conflict in Mexico