Monday, October 24, 2011

ATTITUDES OF CATHOLICS POLLED


William V. D'Antonio, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, led this fifth survey, as he has all the others. His colleagues this year were Mary Gautier, senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, and Michele Dillon, professor of sociology and chair of the department at the University of New Hampshire.

Some significant points:

Foundational theological convictions and the sacraments remain at the core of belief for most Catholics.

For 73 percent of Catholics, belief in the Resurrection is very important while teachings about Mary as the mother of God are very important to 64 percent.

Sixty-three percent say that sacraments such as the Eucharist are very important.

Sixty-seven percent rate "helping the poor" as very important, ranking it nearly as essential to their beliefs as the Resurrection.

Mass attendance rates remain fairly steady but vary across generations. The attendance rate of the youngest generation of Catholics, known as Millennials, or those coming of age in the 21st century, is lowest of all generations surveyed. But even most Hispanics, whose attendance rate is higher than non-Hispanics, agree that weekly Mass attendance isn't necessary to be considered a good Catholic.

The generation known as the "pre-Vatican II" generation is disappearing. At the same time, the Millenial generation of Catholics is filling the ranks. One of the distinctive characteristics of Millennials is that 45 percent are currently of Hispanic background and that number is expected to grow over the next two decades.

7 comments:

Bill Meyer said...

I'm about to turn 63, and was in high school during Vatican II, but I have yet to think of myself as disappearing. ;)

Marc said...

It is disconcerting that many believe one can be a good Catholic without attending Mass weekly. This is, perhaps, related to the statistic wherein 67% say helping the poor is very important (only slightly less than the percentage saying the Resurrection is very important). There is a connection there. Although, I question whether anyone is actually missing Sunday Mass because they are just too darn busy feeding the poor, visting the imprisoned, and clothing the naked...

I wonder what percentage of those good Catholics who don't attend Mass weekly know that they are in an objective state of mortal sin and, absent "mitigating circumstances", are subject to hell upon death...? Every Catholic is to blame for these lost souls - priests and lay people alike. We have to boldly and charitably (in the true sense of that word) proclaim Catholic Truth that it is simply not okay to be lukewarm. This is the Year of Faith, afterall!

Anonymous said...

I love it when a priest includes information such as this in the Sunday homily or the weekly bulletin or newsletter. It must not be taught well in CCD and/or RCIA or else it is just ignored. The confession guides include Mass attendance in the questions for examination of conscience, but hey -- that's another homily!

pinanv525 said...

So, all you gotta' do to be a good Catholic is help the "poor" and go to Mass every now and then...cool.

Bill Meyer said...

"Many believe" is not a recipe for anything but disaster. Many believe that abortion is ok, and a right. Many believe that the banks created the mortgage problem, rather than the politicians whose Community Reinvestment Act was the impetus for those ill-conceived tools.

That many believe weekly Mass attendance is not necessary does not surprise me, but neither does their consensus reduce my obligation.

Ave Verum said...

Well, Bill, I'm 64 and haven't yet noticed my disappearance either, but my millennial adult children have all swear I'm no longer visible...

William Meyer said...

Ave Verum, when you were visible, no doubt they didn't listen.

They will acquire wisdom later, when their kids do it to them.