The Numbers Game

Critics of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious often blame the huge drop in sisters to the Conference's promotion of liberal or "renewal" theology.

At the same time, however, under two strikingly conservative popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and a prevalence of conservative American bishops, the ranks of the priesthood have dramatically thinned, a third of those born Catholic have left the church, mass attendance and confessions are down and there are fewer church weddings.

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