I had an aunt whose motto for everyone was, "Pull yourself together, and get on with it", I entirely agree with Jeff Smith, I can hear Aunt Rose's sentiments ringing through his words but then I am also a soft wet liberal...
The yapping continues about the substantial number of former Catholics. Oddly, very few of the yappers seem to have noticed the most likely explanations, in their rush to blame 1. poor catechesis 2. Vatican II 3. bishops 4. priests 5. the vast left-wing conspiracy, for all I know. The blame seems to be placed everywhere, admittedly with some slight justification, except where the lion's share belongs.
The ones who should be bearing the blame are the individual skedaddlers, themselves. Three important points should be kept in mind. First, take a look at the Old Testament. God bent over backwards to give them undeniable evidence of His Presence. What? Twenty million miraculous interventions weren't enough? Yet, they still went "whoring after other gods" at the drop of a hat. It's the same today. You can catechize till the cows come home and surround a substantial portion of the population with saints, beauty, fellowship, free literature, coffee and donuts after Mass, and the Real Presence of the Lord God of Hosts and plenty of them still won't believe. Why? Well, "boredom" ( The American disease ), wounded feelings, unrealistic expectations, and general persnicketiness, for starters. The list is endless.
Second, since the 50's, the social pressure to "worship at the church or synagogue of your choice", as they used to say on television, has pretty much disappeared. The average self-deifying American just doesn't want to be bothered, and to use their favorite phrase "you can't make me." Case closed.
Third, try taking a look at the average
Evangelical/Fundamentalist/pie-in-the-sky-megachurch/prosperity gospel doors they tend to darken and you'll see what may be the main reason. Being a faithful, or even semi-faithful Catholic is hard work. Elsewhere, it's just "me and my best buddy Jesus". All you have to do is watch the dog and pony show every Sunday ( Unless you feel like skipping a week, here and there. ), read your Bible ( Unless you're too busy ), and talk to your best bud ( Good ol' Jesus ), who's more doting and lax in the discipline department than any baby-boomer grandparent. Could the real reason be old fashioned, spoiled brat laziness and willfulness?