Survey: Pope Francis popular; Mass attendance unchanged over past year

A new Pew Research Center survey has found that Pope Francis remains popular among Catholics in the United States.

According to the survey, 85% of Catholics view Pope Francis favorably, up from 79% in September; in the past, similar surveys found that 67%-83% of Catholics viewed Pope Benedict XVI favorably, and 91%-93% viewed Blessed John Paul II favorably. 68% of the 1,821 Catholics surveyed believe that Pope Francis represents a “major change” in direction “for the better.”

Majorities of Catholics report that their excitement about their faith, their time spent in prayer, and their time spent reading the Bible “has not changed much” in the past year. 40% of Catholics told Pew that they attend Mass weekly-- the same percentage as a year ago.

catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=20696

According to the survey, 63% of Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly want the Church to change her teaching on birth control; 72% want to “allow priests to get married,” 68% support women’s ordination to the priesthood, and 50% support same-sex marriage. The percentages are 21%-25% higher among Catholics who attend Mass less than once a week.

catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=20696

If you asked weekly Church ateeneds whether they support a change in birth control etc. do you really think the majority would support such change? I don’t know about this poll. I am not saying Pew are lying, but it kind of hard to believe.

According to the survey, 63% of Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly want the Church to change her teaching on birth control; 72% want to “allow priests to get married,” 68% support women’s ordination to the priesthood, and 50% support same-sex marriage. The percentages are 21%-25% higher among Catholics who attend Mass less than once a week.

catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=20696

I think that part of the Catholic Culture got some of the percentages mixed up.

Nearly six-in-ten U.S. Catholics (56%) say they think the church will definitely or probably change its position and allow Catholics to use birth control by the year 2050. And 51% say they think the church will begin allowing priests to get married in the next few decades, up sharply from the 39% who said this a year ago, in the days immediately following Francis’ election. Four-in-ten Catholics (42%) say they think the church soon will allow women to become priests, and roughly one-in-three Catholics (36%) say the church definitely or probably will recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples in the decades to come.

There is widespread support for change on most of these issues among U.S. Catholics. Regardless of their expectations about what the church will do, large majorities of Catholics say the church should allow Catholics to use birth control (77%), allow priests to get married (72%) and ordain women as priests (68%). Half of Catholics say the church should recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Support for change on these matters is much stronger among Catholics who attend religious services less than once a week than it is among weekly Mass attenders. Still, even among Catholics who report attending Mass regularly, nearly two-thirds express support for allowing Catholics to use birth control (63%), while 57% say the church should allow priests to get married and 54% say the church should ordain women as priests. One-third of weekly Mass attending Catholics say the church should recognize same-sex marriages.

pewforum.org/2014/03/06/catholics-view-pope-francis-as-a-change-for-the-better

Among weekly Church attendees?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, as I didn’t grow up Catholic.

But do most Catholics get catechized officially or do they grow up learning as they get older via family or school?

It seems people who support these things do not view the Church as an institution with divine inspiration…

To them, it might just seem like man-made rules that can be changed with the times.

Circa 1970’s-1980’s, we had Wednesday night CCD classes and some Saturday morning classes to prepare for confirmation. Attendance was generally poor at these classes and the quality of instruction varied widely.

As you have probably observed, the catechesis of US Catholics is often very poor, even those who are regular Mass attendees.

The Church has recognized this problem. This was certainly the reason for publishing the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Unfortunately, it’s a mixed bag. In my parents’ generation, most Catholics either went to Catholic school or to CCD regularly and had a fairly good idea what the Church taught. They expected the same for their children. But my generation went to Catholic school in the Kum By Ya years. There was no formal Catechism and the material we learned in school was a mish mash of “peace and love” with some older traditions like the Rosary. CCD was even worse. As a result, many in my generation only sent their kids to CCD for Sacrament years and very few send their kids to Catholic school. Now, the formal teaching is much better, more comprehensive and we have the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a resource but since so many of the kids aren’t going regularly, it’s not being taught effectively.

Add that to a generation of priests who sincerely believed (and were even taught in seminary) that the Church would change “soon” on her teaching about married priests and contraception and you have a weak environment for doctrinal faith.

Maybe but it seemed easier to teach the Baltimore Catechism IMO. (Of course, that was available only in the English speaking countries.)

It only goes to show the sad lack of catechesis, and the fact that people don’t even remotely understand that reality of objective truth.

Spot on. I started teaching an apologetics class at my parish, as I had a real passion for defending the faith in the multitude of discussions I have with my Protestant and atheist friends. What I have learned over the last few years is that my time is better spent focusing on other Catholics who a) ARE poorly catechized b) talk like they are not poorly catechized c) talk to their Protestant friends and misrepresent the true teachings of the Catholic Church.

I have a friend who belongs to Church of Christ, and who loves to come up to me and say, “Hey, I have this other Catholic friend who says _________________” I end up spending a lot of time helping him to “unlearn” what his poorly catechized other Catholic friend told him.

very frustrating…

Many in the USA are poorly catechized for a variety of reasons. These studies don’t help the situation either. Some of the items discussed are “man made rules” and can be changed (e.g. priestly celibacy and allowing married men to be ordained priests) while other items discussed are not (e.g. ordination of women, recognition of homosexual “marriage”). The problem with such studies is they lump those things that are unchangeable with those that are, to the confusion of many.

very astute observation…I didn’t notice on my first reading of it

As others have mentioned,these numbers are reflective of how poorly cathetized many Catholic are. Continuing education of the laity is essential to living and defending our faith in our secularized society.I also believe this speaks to the responsibility of our priests to reach out to the laity on the importance of this issue.

And how many of those Catholics who say immutable doctrine can change could articulate an accurate representation of the theology behind those doctrines? I tend to challenge such people I encounter to present a theological basis for their position that takes into account the Church’s bases. Typically, what is discovered is rather a western culture attitude of “equality” or “get with the times” or some other non-theological bases. And so there is the opportunity to tell them about the theological bases and the method of determining matters of faith and morals, which are likely alien concepts to the dissenting Catholic.

I’m not so sure that offering classes that can be attended by the same 20 people that attend everything else the parish offers is going to be all that effective.

Plus the people who don’t even attend mass aren’t going to attend anything else. And the people who just disagree, but continue to attend mass, will continue to just disagree. Chances are they already go to a like-minded parish, if they’re in a bigger city.

Also, I believe there;s a distinction between letting priests marry, and ordaining married men to the priesthood. The first is not allowed in either Catholic (of any rite) or EO rites. The latter is allowed by most (even the Latin rite has been ordaining married men in specific circumstances i.e. Anglican Use).

Only 40% attend Mass weekly? That is so sad. :frowning:

That is self reported and it’s probably about half of that! Most actual estimates based on more accurate methods such as diarying and headcounts of churches come up with a number between 18% to 25%.

Yes, a Quinnipiac poll released last fall came up with roughly the same figures for the topic of female ordination
quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1961

I believe that of the under-30 people, it’s down to 5%.

Twice my pastor has reflected on the sad fact that, after those who receive their First Communion, most never step foot inside a Church again.

I think these surveys should be read more carefully.

First, the question was who attends mass once a week.

I don’t. I only attended about 45 times. Between vacations sickness And life I missed a few

So reading the question 40 percent is good. Think about it in standard deviation standards.

40 percent go to church once a week then add those who go almost once a week that’s around 50 percent. Add this who go had the time and
I speculate that would bring the numbers to 75 percent. Now add in 2 times a year which is what the church requires and we have 95 percent.

All march those numbers with any formal
Religion.

Just my two cents

Wow,pretty cynical.While I can’t speak for every parish,I can give testimony to my own parish.It is Avery alive and has over a hundred ministries.This includes bible instruction,faith

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.