Catholic Church: Too Few in the Pew

Nearly 66% of Catholics have "lapsed," church says

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The Roman Catholic church wants you to come "home."

With roughly 66 percent of Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago considered "lapse" or "non-practicing" because they don't attend mass regularly, the Church will be taking to the airwaves with a television campaign blitz during the holiday season, according to a report out Wednesday on

The time is right for this type of evangelization effort because "we see a larger number of people inactive in their faith," a spokeswoman for the campaign, Nancy Polacek, is quoted as saying.

A similar campaign last year in Arizona and Texas yielded a 12 percent increase in Catholics "coming home," according to Ryan Hanning, the coordinator of adult evangelization for the Diocese of Phoenix.

The Chicago Archdiocese hopes for similar results among its 2.3 million members.

"This is not about money or numbers, it's about souls," said Penny Wiegert of the Rockford diocese, which is pairing with the dioceses of Chicago and Joliet in the ad campaign.

The campaign -- called Catholics Come Home -- will include television commercials produced by a non-profit of the same name.

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