Pope Francis and the Future of the Catholic Church

One in ten adults in the United States is a lapsed Catholic

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Chris Doucot
Photo:Chion Wolf
Fr. Michael Whyte
Photo:Chion Wolf
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Catholic Church


One in 10 adults in the United States is a lapsed Catholic, according to a 2009 report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

This might change, say some religious scholars. They think that the newly appointed Pope Francis is going to bring people back to the church. He’s focusing on the poor, wearing simple vestments, washing women’s feet.  A far stretch from his predecessor.

Today we bring together a panel of religious scholars to talk about what effect the new Pope’s “human touch” will have on former Catholics - how he might change the church, and what the future holds for the centuries-old, patriarchal organization.

 Are you Catholic? What does the church mean to you? Former Catholic?  What would get you to come back?