Jerry Johnston Interviews Michael Ward on the Decline of the Catholic Church16 August 2016
There are portions of the world, such as Latin America, where the Catholic Church is growing. Yet there is a dramatic problem of Catholics withdrawing from the church in the United States. Superficially, the Catholic church seems to be declining. Should we be worried? I addressed this question to a highly noted C.S. Lewis scholar and Anglican turned Catholic, Dr. Michael Ward. Author of Planet Narnia (2008), Ward is a Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriar’s Hall, University of Oxford and Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. Dr. Ward’s answer was hopeful,
“Well, again, I think it depends where you look. The church is always dying, and always being reborn. So you can concentrate on the exodus, or you can concentrate on the areas of growth. And there are some promising signs. There are always, you know, green shoots of recovery. If you’re looking for the brighter side of the picture, you would focus, I think, on someone like Robert Barron and his Word On Fire Ministry, the new evangelization, which he and others like him are doing great work with. There’s a sign of growth, and hope, if you look there. I don’t know the overall statistics. I would be surprised, if yes, the general picture is poor. But that, I think is typical of, you know, the First World, in general – Europe and America. It’s in the South, where the church is particularly growing, I think.”
Hope is not lost for recovery of the church across continents. With this hope in mind, Cristie Jo and I are interviewing Christian, atheist, agnostic, and secular leaders across the globe. What is causing the shocking progression of unbelief?