likely if they are becoming atheist it is because they refuse to submit to God's moral law
Or perhaps, in my case, they were eight year-olds who couldn't make sense of the Latin Mass. My whole family found it strange that God required us to worship him in a foreign language.
We left in 1970. We were active in the parish, and lots of people knew us, but no one seemed to miss us when we left. No one called or came by to visit. I found this strange, because up until this time, we were in each other's homes almost every week for a couple of decades (beginning before I was born).
I find your story odd. Not odd that you left, but especially odd because you say that you left in 1970
because you couldn't understand the mass in Latin
. In fact, 1970 was the year that mass started being said completely in English, with some parts of the Latin Mass being said in English starting in 1967. Are you sure it wasn't the other way around (for your parents), that it wasn't was that they left because
the mass was changing and was going to be said in English? That would make far more sense, and that might describe why they stopped going to mass and no one noticed. There was likely a lot of backlash at that time against the English mass, and especially the big changes to it not counting English.
But still, I don't understand why you would have left in 1970, as that was the year English came out. I think there had to be more reason than that. Not that I think you are lying, but it just doesn't make sense to me.
Recently I visited the rectory, and told them my name. The secretary pulled out a dusty old ledger and, indeed, found all of our names in there as members in good standing. They don't know that both of my parents are dead, and my sister stopped believing in anything at all, after high school.
This is why I don't trust it when they claim 1 billion members. How many other dead people are they claiming as members? How many apostates who never said goodbye on their way out the door?
I don't think the Church uses baptismal records to count "members in good standing". There are several independent sources in the world that calculate these numbers as well, and they all come in the same ballpark.