Survey: Religious identity slips among U.S. Catholics
#1
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/st...csp=34news

One in four Americans call themselves Catholic, but a survey released Monday finds this is more a cultural brand label for many than a religious identity.

    Forty percent of Catholics surveyed say you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ — a core doctrine of Catholicism.

    Forty percent of Catholics surveyed say you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ — a core doctrine of Catholicism.

Forty percent of Catholics surveyed say you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ — a core doctrine of Catholicism.


An overwhelming majority, 88%, say "how a person lives is more important than whether he or she is Catholic," according to Catholics in America: Persistence and change in the Catholic landscape.

The survey, a comprehensive look at the beliefs and practices of 1,442 U.S. adults identifying themselves as Catholics, also finds that 86% say "you can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."

And 40% say you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ — a core doctrine of Catholicism.

That could reflect the decline in Mass attendance. The survey finds it has declined from 44% attending at least once a week in 1987 to 31% in 2011, while those who attend less than monthly rose from 26% to 47%.

When asked why they don't go to Mass more often, 40% say they are simply not very religious, says sociologist William D'Antonio of Catholic University.

This is the fifth such national survey since 1987, conducted by a team led by D'Antonio and published in The National Catholic Reporter.

Catholic support for "teaching authority claimed by the Vatican" is down to 30% for Catholics of all ages, the survey found.

The church's opposition to the death penalty, same-sex marriage and permitting priests to marry "has not persuaded a majority of Catholics," says Tom Roberts, editor of the National Catholic Reporter and author of a new book on Catholic community life, The Emerging Church.

"When it comes to questions of abortion, non-marital sex, and homosexuality," more than half of Catholics, including those most highly committed to the church in their personal practices, say it's their own moral views, not those of church leaders, that matter, says survey co-author Michele Dillon, chair of the sociology department at the University of New Hampshire.

"They see this as their church and they won't be exiled because there is a doctrine they disagree with," Dillon says. "To be Catholic, even for the highly committed, is to keep the bishops at arm's length. The bishops have lost their credibility to be pastoral and spiritual leaders."

This shows up in Catholics' responses on questions related to the sexual abuse scandal, which exploded in the USA in 2002:

•7% of Catholics say they personally know someone who was a victim of abuse.

•12% say they know a priest accused of abuse.

•83% say the issue has hurt church leaders' political credibility at least somewhat.

•77% say it has hurt priests' ability to meet parishioners' spiritual or pastoral needs.

•Only 29% say the bishops have done a good or excellent job in handling the issue.

The survey also finds the face of the church is changing. Hispanics, who were 10% of U.S. Catholics in 1987, are now 30% overall and 45% of all Catholics ages 18 to 31.

The survey was conducted in English and Spanish between April 25 and May 2. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Other authors include Mary Gautier, senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., the research arm of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Greg Smith, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.


So...I'm not one to follow catholic journalist organizations but from what little I have seen, the National Catholic Reporter can't really be trusted. Though even if the numbers were right, they wouldn't surprise me THAT much. How about you?
Reply
#2
This just in: There's a difference between being catholic and being catholic!  Shocking!

Not meant to be snarky, atl, but I'm not surprised by this at all (and don't think it's necessary to confirm the above)

If that many people were really Catholic then I doubt infanticide would be legal and sodomy would be encouraged.  Think about it.
More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com/

Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
Reply
#3
(10-24-2011, 05:43 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: This just in: There's a difference between being catholic and being catholic!  Shocking!

Not meant to be snarky, atl, but I'm not surprised by this at all (and don't think it's necessary to confirm the above)

If that many people were really Catholic then I doubt infanticide would be legal and sodomy would be encouraged.  Think about it.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Still saddens me.
Reply
#4
1,442 surveyed out of 68,503,456. Okay, drum roll ...  .00002%. Most surveys are bunk. Even if the data is correct, this data means nothing. I also think the margin of error is bunk. Any reasonable look at the state of the Church would not be based on self-report surveys on a very small number of people.
Reply
#5
(10-24-2011, 05:52 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: 1,442 surveyed out of 68,503,456. Okay, drum roll ...  .00002%. Most surveys are bunk. Even if the data is correct, this data means nothing. I also think the margin of error is bunk. Any reasonable look at the state of the Church would not be based on self-report surveys on a very small number of people.

I was thinking the sample size was to small, at least it would need to be 10%
Reply
#6
These questions were not well crafted and probably not well executed. 

For example, 'Do you know a priest accused of abuse?'  Abuse of what- power?  Pedophilia?  A hetrosexual liason? Actually disciplining a spoiled American brat who did something stupid?  Also, by 'do you know' any idiot on the phone could take that to me 'know of.'

The sample is too small to take seriously and we have no idea what the methodology of the study was. 

Parts of the survey seem to be just wrong: I find it doubtful that attendance of 'at least once a week' is at 31% of a sample that 88% answers yes to "how a person lives is more important than whether he or she is Catholic."

So this USA Today report sounds like a pile of garbage to me.

Still, the KoC did a much more real study and found the numbers are actually worse in terms of dogmatic belief in the sacraficial nature of the Mass.  So while the USA Today report is junk, the conclusion happens to be absolutely right.


Reply
#7
The sample size is fine.  It actually skews results incorrectly to have too large of a sample size.  I mean did the results seem off to you?
Reply
#8
(10-25-2011, 09:04 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: The sample size is fine.  It actually skews results incorrectly to have too large of a sample size.  I mean did the results seem off to you?

The results may accord with reality. My point is that rational people would pay the amount of respect to a poll like this that it deserves -- .00002%. Self-reporting polls like this I think are absolutely worthless.
Reply
#9
(10-25-2011, 09:04 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: The sample size is fine.  It actually skews results incorrectly to have too large of a sample size.  I mean did the results seem off to you?

I concur, the sample size is fine. That's a 3.5% margin of error with around 99.5% confidence level.

edit: whether the questions are good is another matter.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)