Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. are nations in which that once all-powerful Catholicism brand continues to lose market share among Hispanics. Not even the out-of-the-box Pope Francis can halt the downward trajectory. According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, from 2010 through 2013, Catholicism's share of the Hispanic market in America plummeted 12%. Here is The Wall Street coverage of this phenomenon by Miriam Jordan (sub. req.)
Hispanics, the assumption had been, were the loyals propping up Catholicism. Although the antipathy against all things Catholic, including Catholic grade school education, has lost some of its intensity, I have only encountered a handful of "fallen away Catholics" who are giving the religion another try. One has been a college friend seemingly overwhelmed by problems with an adopted child. Another is fascinated by Pope Francis. A third recognized how hardwired the dogma was and figured, why not, return to attending church.
More often I am encountering those searching for spirituality. They're eclectic. In the same week they might attend a Buddhist sitting meditation, a meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and secular mindfulness training at a wellness center. Those who had been Catholics just shrug off that past, without bitterness.
No, Catholicism no longer attracts long rants. At least not in the circles where I travel. And perhaps that should worry the church hierarchy. The most devasting scenario is for all that ritual and mysticism (including the making of saints) to be utterly ignored.
The last time I tried out Catholicism yet again was after 9/11. The neighborhood in West Hartford, Connecticut was heavily ethnic. As a group, we went to the Catholic Church around the corner and prayed for the nation. I didn't feel any comfort or uplift. I haven't returned.