Catholicism in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is planning to collapse its 188 parishes into 48 groups. The NCR article says nothing about how many parishes will disappear, but many will. While the city of Pittsburgh has been undergoing a renaissance for some time, the Catholic Church of Pittsburgh is withering. NCR provides some details.

pittsburgh catholics

Overall, the Catholic population has declined more than the general population. More importantly, many of these are Catholic in name only. The number of practicing Catholics has plunged nearly 50% in just six years, e.g., those attending mass, getting married in the Church, baptisms, confirmations, communions, etc.

NCR’s only explanation is that traditional Catholics have moved to the suburbs (which may or may not be out of the diocese). While this might account for some loss, it is grossly insufficient to account for the Church’s catastrophic loss of participants. Nor does NCR mention that this loss contradicts official Church claims that Catholicism is thriving in America.

NCR also makes no mention of the child abuse scandal, which has struck Pittsburgh. In 2016, the state attorney general subpoenaed the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh for its records concerning clerical child abuse (here). Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, the Catholic Church has been found guilty of an obscene number of such crimes.