Mass on Sundays
One can locate the time of the change among the parish clergy and the laity on birth control and of the change by the bishops of the Friday abstinence rule, the de facto change on Sunday Mass is difficult to locate. If the Church expects to increase the size of its Sunday congregations it has a lot of work to do on the quality of preaching and the quality of the Sunday liturgies—which would often mean taking Mass out of the hands of the liturgists. While priests are blamed by those who left the Church and those who are thinking of leaving and at least implicitly blamed for the absence of a compelling liturgy, Chicago Catholics are generally sympathetic to their priests. Nationally the proportion of Catholics attending Sunday mass was 58 percent in 1964, 49 percent in 1974, and 33 percent in the early years of the new millennium—a decline.