Read John Allen's excellent article here. He corrects three widespread misconceptions about the Catholic Church in the mainstream media and general population (and also among many Catholics) 1. The Church is all about the clergy. Nope. The clergy make up only .04% of the Catholic population. 2. The Church is in decline. Nope. The global church is growing phenomonally. What is in decline is old fashioned American cultural Catholicism. 3. The Catholic Church is the oppressor. Nope. The rate of Catholic martyrdoms is sky rocketing. In over 100 countries around the world Catholics are being persecuted, deprived of property, imprisoned, tortured and killed.