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Author Topic: Survey: Religious Identity Slips Among U.S. Catholics  (Read 938 times) Average Rating: 0
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xariskai
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« on: November 26, 2011, 04:32:40 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-10-24/catholic-religious-identity-survey/50891152/1?csp=34news
Quote
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.

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 is part of ongoing research by teams of sociologists led by Catholic University sociologist William D'Antonio.

The survey, a comprehensive look at the beliefs and practices of 1,442 U.S. Catholic adults, also finds that 86% say "you can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church." Only about 30% support the "teaching authority claimed by the Vatican."
cf. also http://ncronline.org/news/catholics-america/right-and-wrong-who-has-final-say


« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 04:42:26 PM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2011, 05:09:50 PM »

do we think Orthodox would be any different?
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2011, 05:15:25 PM »

do we think Orthodox would be any different?
You may have a point, but take cheer: a solid 49% of Orthodox Christians do believe in a personal God http://holycrossoca.org/newslet/0807.html
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 05:25:50 PM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2011, 07:44:24 PM »

do we think Orthodox would be any different?
You may have a point, but take cheer: a solid 49% of Orthodox Christians do believe in a personal God http://holycrossoca.org/newslet/0807.html

woohoo! Where did i leave my party hats??  Tongue
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2011, 07:54:29 PM »

American society really is morally sick!
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2011, 07:58:46 PM »

I am tempted to quote Mark Twain's famous qui[ about statistics, but honestly this seems to correspond at least roughly to what I experienced in my own time in the RC. Very sad. I do take solace in the examples of the many wonderful, faithful people that I met during that time, but overall I must say candidly that without a major shift in its manner of approaching and teaching the faith, the RC is doomed to become increasingly irrelevant to the majority of its laity in America.

The Orthodox statistic is also sad. The strong and seemingly growing secularizing forces at work in American society are poison to all believers. I see a lot of questions asked at the Holy Cross page...what do any of you think the answers are or should be?
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2011, 08:17:06 PM »

I would rather have those who believe the Vatican teaches the truth, than those who go to mass just out of rote.  Better those who believe in the Vatican's infallibility than those who believe in their own.
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 08:26:46 PM »

American society really is morally sick!
Chalk that up to moral relativism.
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011, 08:33:28 PM »

The question then is: Why do so many stay when they obviously don't or can't bring themselves to agree with their church? I don't know (I left, after all),  but it'd be interesting to find out what their reasoning is for preferring their own opinions those of their priests and bishops. The article doesn't really explain that, only mentions something about a sense of ownership of the church even if they disagree with most of its doctrine. I suspect if they were to dig a little deeper into the thinking of the respondents, the researchers would find that many who they interviewed were not really Catholic at all in terms of the much-prioritized "formation of conscience" (as they called it when I went through RCIA). Something is failing in the process of religious formation, alright.

I don't understand why religion, particularly in the USA, is looked at in this way. If you bought some consumer item (which I'm afraid is probably the best analogue to the way that many see their religion) and found it disappointing, you likely wouldn't jealously guard it. "It's MY thing! MY thing I dislike!" It makes no sense, I tell ya!
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 08:41:37 PM »

do we think Orthodox would be any different?
You may have a point, but take cheer: a solid 49% of Orthodox Christians do believe in a personal God http://holycrossoca.org/newslet/0807.html

woohoo! Where did i leave my party hats??  Tongue


















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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 09:00:30 PM »

The question then is: Why do so many stay when they obviously don't or can't bring themselves to agree with their church? I don't know (I left, after all),  but it'd be interesting to find out what their reasoning is for preferring their own opinions those of their priests and bishops.
One example of such an explanation is offered by former Jesuit seminarian and liberal Roman Catholic Garry Wills. Much like Fr. Hans Kung and other dissenting Roman Catholic writers he employs the same kinds of arguments from historical scholarship that many Orthodox employ against papal infallibility, universal jurisdiction etc. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Am-Catholic-Garry-Wills/dp/0618134298

Quote from: Garry Wills
"Some who have read this book still ask why I am a Catholic. They must have a stereotypical view of what Catholics are, and I do not fit it. But neither do most Catholics. By large majorities they, too, differ from the pope on such things as contraception, married priests, women priests. They do not consider themselves non-Catholics and neither do their priests.

But if I must spell out my loyalties in the most basic terms, I shall. I cannot leave the church because I would consider that a sin - a sin against thhe three theological virtues, a sin against faith, a sin against charity, a sin against hope.

It would be a sin against faith because I would be saying that if the pope is wrong the church is wrong, and I must leave it. But I do  not believe that the pope is the church, I never have, and neither have most Catholics through the ages. Neither did the Second Vatican Council. To act if that were my belief would be a sin against my true belief in the church."
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 09:05:06 PM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 09:28:27 PM »

do we think Orthodox would be any different?
You may have a point, but take cheer: a solid 49% of Orthodox Christians do believe in a personal God http://holycrossoca.org/newslet/0807.html
Are you kidding me?

 Angry
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 01:09:48 AM »

do we think Orthodox would be any different?
You may have a point, but take cheer: a solid 49% of Orthodox Christians do believe in a personal God http://holycrossoca.org/newslet/0807.html
Are you kidding me?

 Angry
We shouldn't forget the same poll said 95% believed in God. Anecdotal evidence isn't as "scientific" as a poll, but I will say that aside from one man in my parish who I know currently questions the existence of God the Orthodox Christians I know and worship with don't seem to fit this bill -certainly not to the point of one out of two of all of them disbelieving in a personal God! -perhaps someone else has a different experience? Anecdotes aside, it seems to me on the face of it that Fr. Stephen's comment in the cited link has genuine merit:

Quote from: Fr. Stephen
Someone raised the very real possibility that the actual phrase "personal God," would not be understood by many Orthodox Christians. In the minds of many, according to this response, this phrase could mean that "God and Truth is whatever I as an individual determine it to be (implying that the Church is not the authority) which is a Protestant concept." He further stated that "I suspect that many older ethnic Orthodox (my grandparents for example) would not understand what that means." The legitimacy of such a response was demonstrated when someone approached me yesterday and expressed confusion over this term "personal God," interpreting it in a manner very close to the one I just shared with everyone.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 01:14:22 AM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 03:43:47 PM »

Of course its entirely possible for someone to be a member of the Orthodox Church and not believe a word they are saying or hear at Church. Maybe some people are bound by family obligations, etc. and thats the only reason they are a member. I do think that a good portion of the 51% is due to ignorance of the faith though, as odd as it may sound. I think the best thing we can do is continue to increase parishioner education and awareness of the faith and conduct liturgies in languages that are commonly understood, and make people accountable for showing up! (call people, checking in with them, etc.)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 03:45:04 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2011, 12:33:03 AM »

Oh another one of these "doom and gloom" surveys that seek to, time and again prove to us how bad, lazy, and irreligious the ordinary U.S. Catholic is.  I don't buy into them for a minute.  A lot are just propaganda and sensationalism that try and trash the RCC and weaken her position on the national stage.

Even if a person could conclusively prove that their is truth to these polls, how could they then prove that this is some type of recent phenomena among Catholic Americans?  I remember reading surveys and speculations from the 19Th century which claimed that not only less then half of U.S. RC's attended Mass on a regular basis, but that millions had also defected the ranks of the Church into Protestantism or religion.  There is no evidence that modern American Catholics are any better or worse for that matter then their predecessors were.
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2011, 01:57:40 AM »

A lot are just propaganda and sensationalism that try and trash the RCC and weaken her position on the national stage.
It hardly seems credible to suggest the National Catholic Reporter articles linked above, or Catholic University under whose auspices the poll was conducted, or the Roman Catholic sociologist William D'Antonio who conducted the poll (and has conducted similar polls for years) are part of some kind of anti-Catholic propaganda conspiracy.

Respectfully, I see no evidential basis to doubt the academic integrity or professionalism of the poll in your post.
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2011, 02:43:26 AM »

I would rather have those who believe the Vatican teaches the truth, than those who go to mass just out of rote.  Better those who believe in the Vatican's infallibility than those who believe in their own.

Hear, Hear!
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