Among the conclusions of the survey were that black Catholics feel more committed to their parishes emotionally, spiritually and socially than do white Catholics. In those respects, as in many other aspects of the survey, black Catholics were shown to be much more like black Protestants in their approach to church than they are like white Catholics.
"Compared with other religious and racial groups, African-American Catholics behave and look like African-American Protestants," said the executive summary written by study authors Darren W. Davis, a professor of political science and associate vice president for research at Notre Dame, and Donald B. Pope-Davis, professor of psychology and vice president and associate provost Notre Dame.
"African-American young adults, both Catholic and Protestant, are more religiously engaged and consider religion to be more important than whites of the same age," the authors wrote. "Older individuals are more religiously engaged than younger adults, and there is an age gap, but African-American young adults are also religiously engaged. Whatever disengagement exists among African-Americans, it cannot be attributed to a generation gap. White Catholic young adults, by contrast, have an extremely low level of religious commitment."
It also found that black Catholics were much more likely than their white counterparts to say religion is important in their lives. They also are more likely to say they would turn to their pastor or another church leader for help in times of crisis such as a death in the family, marriage or alcohol problems.
I wonder how much of this high parish commitment is due to many Black Catholics being converts from Protestantism, thus keeping some of that Protestant ethos. I suspect formerly Protestant Orthodox, Black or White, might exhibit similarly high levels of religious engagement.