The Lost Sheep
A little less than one-quarter of people who fell into the Survey Lab sample were former Catholics. They bear witness to the mistakes the Church has made with some of its people and are perhaps a unique sample of those who have left with, to put it mildly, a clear conscience. The alert young staff of the survey lab not only coded their responses but also jotted down the substance of their explanation. The former factor correlates with gender and the second with gender, age, and college attendance. Fourteen percent of the lost sheep indicate that they might seriously consider returning. Fifty-six percent say they absolutely will not return. With the limited number of cases available none of these correlations are statistically significant. However, they point in the direction of a conclusion that suggests the ones most likely to have left the Church lived in suburban Cook and Lake County are younger, better educated, and women.