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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 10, 2005

David R. Carlin
Pages 107-116
DOI: 10.5840/cssr2005109

The Sudden Decline of the Catholic Church in America

The crisis into which the Catholic Church in America fell in the late 1960s and early ‘70s (a crisis that is still with us) is in large measure the result of three factors that occurred more or less simultaneously, thereby creating a “perfect storm” for US Catholicism: (1) Vatican II, (2) the end of the so-called “Catholic ghetto,” and (3) the cultural revolution that swept the US beginning in the ‘60s. Just as Catholics were entering the mainstream of American culture, that culture was losing its old Protestant character and taking on a new, secularist character.