PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In a somewhat unusual television ad campaign, a local Catholic bishop has an important message.
Entitled "The Light Is Still On For You," it's aimed at getting Catholics who no longer attend Catholic church to attend.
"We're following after the lead of our boss, Pope Francis," said Bishop David Zubik. "I think he has been so open."
Growing the congregation is hardly new for Christian denominations.
It's not just the Catholic Church that wants to welcome folks back. In the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon, there's a bit of a sign war going on where lots of churches want to welcome new folks into their doors.
Along Washington Road, you find competing welcomes from the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, the Lutheran church and the Episcopal church – which claims to be the most welcoming.
"Certainly in the United States where there is no state church, never has been a state church, there has been a healthy competition for members in seats," said Paula Kane with the University of Pittsburgh.
Professor Kane, who has taught religion for more than two decades, says as the Catholic church positions on divorce, gays and abortion seem more rigid, Catholics have chosen other churches.
"They might find the doctrines more amenable to where they are politically and socially, more welcoming," said Kane.
But that won't stop Zubik from trying to get them back – and others, too.
"The light is still on for you," he says in the commercial.
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