The Vatican worries the church is losing the young — and abuse is just one factor

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Source: The Washington Post

 By age 9 or 10, she had her first doubts about the faith, and not long after, she felt confident telling her parents: The Catholic Church, Agata Leoniddi said, seemed “outdated and backwards.”

The language at Mass was archaic. The teaching was rigid and unwelcoming. And some of the issues most important to her — including gender equality — were not discussed in church, where the leaders were entirely male. Agata, now age 12, had spent her childhood in the church, but more and more she was reaching the conclusion of so many young people in the developed world who have abandoned organized ­religion and, in particular, the ­scandal-riddled Catholic faith.

“I don’t think the church understands my generation,” said Agata, who lives in a village among rolling hills 50 miles outside Rome. “We are not like our grandfathers.”

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