OPINION: Are we losing our religion?

I was a bit taken aback there were so many negative comments regarding the cathedral at Lismore getting a new altar.

There's a sprinkling of these comments in the web column to the right of this one.

The whole Catholic brand, indeed all forms of institutionalised religion, have taken such a battering with the revelations of the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, I fear everything else they do is being tarred with the same brush.

Open criticism of the church has never been higher.

I mean, if the Catholic parishioners of Lismore want to spend their money on a new marble altar, aren't they entitled to do that?

Many have obviously questioned it seeing as the Catholic church and others have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to account for the sins of many of their former colleagues and forced to pay (reluctantly) recompense and apologise to victims of abuse.

This unbridled abandonment of the church is evidenced by the sell off of disused churches around the country and dwindling attendances at remaining services.

Once the results of this year's Census in August are collated, people ticking the "no religion" box is set to be well above those ticking the box for the big two religions in this country - Catholic and Anglican.

Results of the 2011 Census had 25% of Aussies ticking the box as being Catholic.

But 22.2% of the population ticked the "no religion" box and this was well before the revelations of the Royal Commission started to emerge.