"There are a couple of explanations for the Catholic situation that produces a high percentage of the non-religious. For one, their disaffection for the religion of their youth does not lead them to Protestantism, but to “no-religion.” This is in contrast with Methodists or Presbyterians who often blend in with generic Protestantism. Secondly, since the pontificate of John Paul II, Catholicism has been trying to eliminate “cultural Catholicism.” In practical terms, this means that you can’t baptize your child as a Catholic without going to classes and attending services. There is a denial of communion to people remarried outside the church. Politicians who uphold the law that allows birth control or abortion have been punished. And so it goes. You reap what you sow: by arguing that persons whose attachment is only cultural are no longer Catholic, the Church has created a new category of Catholic believers who no longer profess to belong to any religion. They have been told they are no longer Catholic, but they can’t bring themselves to become Protestant."Of course, branding everyone as a Catholic, whatever their convictions were, was never a good idea in the first place.
Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, OnFaith, 4. March 2008