Undeniably, those who willfully shut out God from their hearts and try to dodge religious questions are not following the dictates of their consciences, and hence are not free of blame;
In some cases maybe not all dictates of their conscience. But for one growing up between for instance Jews and Christians, or for instance Orange and Green, it may be a way to honour more than one of the parents.
yet believers themselves frequently bear some responsibility for this situation.
Believers of what religion?
For, taken as a whole, atheism is not a spontaneous development but stems from a variety of causes, including a critical reaction against religious beliefs, and in some places against the Christian religion in particular.
Against Catholicism or against Protestantism?
If the former, it seems like Judaising, like Pharisaism, like wilful misunderstanding. Even after pedophile scandals, I have seen Pharisaism in judging Catholicism. The ones judging either deny or ignore that Catholicism has a strong tradition of taking such offenders very far out of clergy and monasteries. It was however ignored by some readers of Gaudium et Spes who thought they had to give in to the seventies' folly about psychology and being "understanding" even about the worst.
If against Protestantism, with its Puritanism and connection with Capitalism as Big Business and Usury, and with its destroying of indigenous cultures in most of US, whereas most of Latin America kept Indian cultures alive except changing idolatry for Catholicism, why should that bar anyone from becoming Catholic? Only if one does not react enough against Protestantism, only if even after that reaction one still takes seriously its claim to be original Christianity restored and purified from Catholic errors.
Mouffetard, Paris IV
St Agatha, 5/II/2010