Appearing on "CBS This Morning: Saturday," Sullivan said the crisis facing Christianity was especially bad today for one reason: "When I go and see young people, their image of Christianity these days is one of judgment, intolerance and to some extent bigotry and politics," Sullivan said. "They associate it with one political party in this country, because of the fusion of evangelical and ultra-orthodox Catholics with the Republican Party. They don't see it as the message of Jesus, they don't see it any more as a message of love and forgiveness. They see it as a bunch of people trying to control their lives through political mechanisms.
"Or, if they're in an evangelical church they're also susceptible to things like the 'prosperity gospel,' which is saying that Jesus told you to get rich.
"There's so much bad religion right now in this country that I felt it was important as a Christian to say, 'This is not what I believe. This is not what many of my fellow Catholics believe. We want to return to the message of Jesus and the gospels, not these obsessive battles over contraception or gay marriage or these other, I think, political issues, where Jesus really, really avoided politics at all costs," Sullivan said.
Sullivan added, "The current obsession with contraception by the bishops in this country does not resonate with people trying to find Jesus in their lives. It feels like the church is trying to make a power play instead of being " He also blamed the abuse scandals as creating a rift between the hierarchy of the Catholic church and its followers.