Pew Survey: Only half of Catholics know teaching on Eucharist

Well, this isn’t good.


It also isn’t new; in fact, I can’t recall the last such survey, but those statistics may even be an improvement. The issue with these surveys is they take Joe Schmoe off the street, ask if he’s Catholic - his parents were and baptized him, but he never goes to church, he still says yes - and he becomes one of the Catholic respondents of the survey. The better surveys do try to correct for that, but statistically, it’s very difficult to accomplish.


Still embarrassing though, because the Eucharist is so central to our Faith. Even non-practicing Catholics who have been away for years should have remembered this from their youth. It’s not like they were asking people what the major heresies were in the first four centuries of the Church.


I agree, but for people who barely acknowledge that they even might be Catholic, I could kinda get it. I mean, I’ve been around a number of self-labeled devotees of various faiths over the years who really don’t understand an ounce of what they profess to believe, but for some mysterious reason, they show up and do whatever it is they think they’re doing. The rest of us really have our work cut out for us.

What a hideous statistic. Very sad. It is the fault of laypeople and not the hierarchy, still, it is terrible.

Pray for them.


How do you figure that only the laity are to blame? Is it not the job of the clergy (hierarchy) to instruct their flock?


Well, they’re right on one thing–they ARE Catholic. According to the teachings of the Church, if one is baptized Catholic, they are Catholic.

I do think it’s shocking that Catholics don’t know the doctrine of the True Presence of Christ, Body, Bloody, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist. That’s one of the reasons we became Catholic–we RECOGNIZED Jesus when we first attended Mass (2002) and saw Him elevated during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We KNEW it was Him, because we had known and trusted Him as our Savior and Lord since we were young children (Evangelical Protestant–me Baptist, my husband Pentecostal).

I still remember how thrilled I was to see Him in the room! It’s still a thrill–Jesus!

I don’t understand why Catholics don’t recognize Him when He’s right there before them. :confused:

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“What do you know” surveys tend to come up with similar results. Over 50% of American adults are functionally innumerate: they can add up a shopping list but can see no problem with “a game of three halves”. Many Catholics have a poor understanding of what is meant by the “Real Presence”. They’d lay down their lives to defend transubstantiation even if they don’t know what it means.

This is nothing new.
Question: Can Catholics who know what the Catechism says about the Eucharist really explain it to someone else? To go beyond “it’s the body and blood of Jesus Christ” to explain the profundity and abundance of God’s love using Scripture and Tradition Etc…
Does the average knowledgeable Catholic even know that the word “Eucharist” is rooted in “gratitude”? I’ve sat through enough RCIA sessions to know that even many catechists don’t explain the Eucharist very well.
On another front: can Catholics who know the Church’s moral teaching really explain it to someone else and communicate the goodness of morality?
Does the average knowledgeable Catholic even know what morality is?
No, most knowledgeable Catholics explain morality as prohibitions rather than the way to fulfillment and goodness.

Catholics (all of us) are frequently inadequate at communicating and living our faith. That’s not just the job of priests.

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I agree, it isn’t good. It also isn’t unique to the Catholic Church. I was raised in the Methodist Church and have considered myself a Methodist my whole life. I had no idea that Methodists believe in a distorted form of the Real Presence.

As a convert, I have to admit that the Eucharist was a shock to me at first. Once I really researched it and began to understand it, I now see it as one of the most beautiful things about the Catholic Church.


Parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith.


I agree with @CilladeRoma. The hierarchy are the teachers of the Faith. They should be teaching us the Faith. It is the same as blaming a pupil for their ignorance if they were taught a subject by a poor teacher.

And just who is supposed to teach them?
Are they just born with all the answers? Gain them by osmosis? Maybe they are gifted to them after the birth of the first child?

Yes, parents have a responsibility, but so does the clergy. We cannot dismiss the clergy from all blame for the state we are in like the poster I replied to was trying to say.


The number of non practicing Catholics in our world is staggering. Let us be the sort of people who attract them back to the practice of the Faith!


And not push them away again!


Their parents.


I don’t recall being asked about it.

Today’s parents - and, increasingly grandparents - grew up in a time of a collapsing parochial school system and the “burlap banner era” of parish CCD. That’s on the hierarchy.


Doesn’t really trouble me, to be honest. I would much prefer that Catholics know and follow moral teachings, than that they understand theology. Religion should be about helping people live proper lives, not about educating them on theology. Just one man’s (likely unpopular) opinion.


My mom grew up and was educated in the “golden age” of the 1950’s in the US. She is the only practicing Catholic among her group friends with the same background.
Neither of her siblings could adequately explain any Catholic belief at this point in their lives either.
I know many, many others who were educated during the 1930’s-early 1960’s who arw thw same.
So the rot/decay of meaningful catechesis didn’t start post-VII, it waa brewing long before. VII just turned up he heat.

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