This Reuters report quotes people saying that the Catholic clergy scandal is driving them to become Mormon. Stupid them. Obviously the scandal is but one symptom of a very serious problem in the Northeast -- a lack of true formation.
Get this line: "But doctrinal similarities with Catholicism could account for some of the expansion, Shipps said."
Ah yes, I remember those doctrinal similarities -- they're so similar that Rome recently said that Mormon baptism is completely invalid. This is something certain dioceses in the U.S. had been asking the Vatican to say for years so that annulment processes could be made easier. But more than that, those who live with them know that what they teach and what the Church teaches is diametrically opposed. Just as three small examples -- Mormonism teaches many gods, no hell and salvation by good works. Catholicism teaches one God in Three Divine Persons, heaven and hell, and salvation through the grace of God.
The bishops of the Northeast will need to get their collective acts together and strike back. Not by any kind of harsh rhetoric, but by evangelization. Closing parishes because Catholics are moving out of particular areas is not the brighest move they could make. What is bright is bringing a serious evangelization effort to those areas which the old ethnic Catholics have left so that those who took their place have the chance to hear the Gospel as well. "There is no other name given in heaven or on earth by which we may be saved." So, Excellencies all, evangelize away.