Report: “Pope Francis effect” may not exist after all.

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In a survey released Thursday about Americans’ views of the pope nearly a year into the papacy, the Pew Research Center found no change in the share of American adults who call themselves Catholic, or in self-reported rates of Mass attendance, when compared to pre-Francis numbers. Pew also reported no increase in the percentage of Catholics volunteering at their churches or going to confession.

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Survey says: Catholics hopeful that new Vatican survey will make things better. Just not sure how.

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While Vatican officials have made clear the survey is not a poll to help bishops shape church doctrine based on popular vote, it does mark an extraordinary departure from how bishops have prepared for previous synods to determine doctrine. At a recent gathering of America’s Catholic bishops in Baltimore, prelates grappled with how best to execute such an unheard-of request by the Dec. 31 deadline and whether they were correctly interpreting the pope’s intentions.

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Editor’s note: How about a new version of the “Family Feud” TV show – based on the responses, with the Pope as host? It did wonders for the late Richard Dawson’s career. Maybe it can help the Church!

Bishop: Majority of Catholics “woefully deficient on matters of doctrine.”

In releasing the telephone survey of 612 adults, Galante said Wednesday he was particularly dismayed to learn that 57 percent of the Catholics believed Jesus had sinned during his time on Earth and was “no different” from other human beings — in sharp contrast to core church teaching that Jesus was without sin. Only 28 percent of non-Catholic Christians thought Jesus had sinned.

“What does this tell me?” the bishop said at a news conference. “It tells me most [Catholics] know the church’s moral teachings, about things like our objection to abortion and gay marriage … but are woefully deficient” on matters of doctrine.

Galante also deplored the finding that only about 23 percent of Catholics attended Mass weekly and said he intended to “make observing the Lord’s Day a priority.”

To that end, he said, he had instructed all pastors and youth-group leaders to no longer schedule sports games and practices on Sunday mornings, which he said were major diversions.

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Survey reveals serious issues that affect the whole church

Conducted by Villanova University’s Center for the Study of Church Management, the survey, called “Empty Pews,” asked Catholics in the Trenton Diocese a series of questions about church doctrine and parish life to better understand why they are staying home.

While the study was restricted to one diocese, chances are the responses could come from just about anywhere in the U.S., where a 2007 report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found one-third of Americans were raised Catholic but one-third of those had left the church.

Or, as Villanova’s Charles Zech put it, “These are issues that affect the whole church.”

The responses can be divided into two categories, said Zech, who co-authored the study and is director of the Villanova center. In one category are “the things that can’t change but that we can do a better job explaining.” The other category, he said “are some things that aren’t difficult to fix.”

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Editor’s note: My general observation is 50% of the problems have to do with various unresolved sexual issues and marital conflicts. Another 30% are due to personality clashes, ignorance, and simple misunderstandings – on behalf of both the clergy and the laity. 10% result from local Catholic Church politics – including the whims of various bishops. The last 10% is due to various types of idolatry – professional sports addiction, excessive love of money, hobbies, leisure, and self.

In the old days, church teaching was at least, consistent and clear. People back then actually knew WHY they chose to leave the church!

Today, few know or even care what the church authoritatively teaches, and/or why … and what wishy-washy teaching there is does precious little to truly educate or inspire the faithful. Now, most people who choose to leave do so because they can’t quite figure out why they should stay!

On top of all this, we have a shortage of priests, many of whom have been poorly formed in the faith, badly trained in parish management, and receive little or no support from their respective bishops.

If you dare attempt to talk to some of these priests about these issues, they get fidgety and their eyes tend to glaze over. Then …  they run away and hide!

Notre Dame survey of African American Catholics offers important insights

A new, unprecedented national survey of African American Catholics by University of Notre Dame researchers reveals several significant insights into individual religious engagement and identifies several notable demographic trends facing the church. The survey was sponsored by the National Black Catholic Congress and Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life and Office of the President.

Notre Dame social scientists Darren W. Davis and Donald B. Pope-Davis, who coauthored the report, set out to test the validity of anecdotal accounts that African American Catholics were becoming increasingly disengaged from their religion. Although the primary focus of the survey is on African American Catholics, the researchers utilized a significant comparative component with white Catholics, which resulted in several notable findings about both groups of Catholics.

The survey also is historic in that it represents the largest sample of African American Catholics ever surveyed on their faith.

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Real shame: Notre Dame students have little or no idea what it means to be truly Catholic … or why.

A a recent USA TODAY article, examined the survey “Catholics in America: Persistence and change in the Catholic landscape.”

The survey examined the beliefs and practices of 1,442 U.S. Catholic adults. The research was led by Catholic University sociologist William D’Antonio, and provided detailed information about specific beliefs.

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Archbishop says Catholic homes play major role in fostering vocations

In an interview with Catholic News Service while he was in Washington in March, Archbishop Carlson said the majority of newly ordained priests said they were influenced by the parish in their discernment for the priesthood.

According to results of a survey of members of the 2011 ordination class, released April 25, 66 percent of the respondents said it was their parish priest who encouraged them. Forty-two percent identified their mothers as having a major influence on their decision.

The annual national survey is conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University for the USCCB’s Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

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Editor’s note: It would also be helpful if the Catholic hierarchy managed to get a handle on the abuse scandals, successfully overhauled the seminaries … instead of whitewashing them, and figured out a way to quit abusing good priests.

Read “Goodbye Good Men” by Michael Rose

Survey Says: On a given Sunday only about 15.6% of American Catholics attend Mass.


Shery Weddell at the St Catherine of Siena Institute reports that 32% of Americans raised Catholic abandon the identity altogether by their mid twenties. An additional 38% retain the identity but rarely practice their faith. 30% of those who call themselves Catholic attend Mass only once a month. On a given Sunday only about 15.6% of American Catholics attend Mass.

Editor’s note: Looking back to my own “fallen away Catholic” days … not attempting to make excuses … but only observations:

When I was coming of age in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s the Catholic Church was in a state of revolution and flux. So great was the revolution that it was virtually impossible to get a straight answer from anyone in authority. And things are not that much better today!

It seems to me that, in the aftermath of the 2nd Vatican Council, the Catholic Church took a decided turn to the left. And along with that sharp left turn came all of the “sins” of modernism and liberalism: Soft, relativistic, revisionary teachings (if any); Change for the sake of change (derision and/or abandonment of virtually all that came before); Political correctness (a commitment to politics and ideology, even above holiness and traditional Catholic dogma).

And while this was especially noticeable in large, urban centers … it certainly was not limited to those venues.

In short … the Catholic Church made a totally unannounced and unexpected, sharp, left turn. Meanwhile, many otherwise faithful, traditional Catholics … continued going straight ahead!

By the time we took the time to look around, what we once knew as “the Church” had become almost unrecognizable … and now seemed (at least in it’s latest iteration) almost totally irrelevant!

For many, it would take quite a few years of “wandering in the desert” before we could even begin getting back together again. Millions upon millions of others are still “lost”.

The continuing, sad state of many Catholic seminaries, universities, and women’s religious orders … along with the recent, virtually world-wide, clerical abuse scandals … coupled with the apparent large number of weak and/or incompetent Catholic priests and bishops … all serve to further undermine the chances for any real progress.

But fortunately … since all things are possible, with God … hope remains. It’s not the first time the Church has been in crisis. Nor is it likely to be the last!

Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?
And Simon Peter answered him:
Lord, to whom shall we go?
Thou hast the words of eternal life.
(John 6:67-68)

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OSV’s Catholic Guide to the Internet — Readers’ choice edition


The number of Catholic-oriented websites has exploded, and keeping track of the ones that are truly useful gets harder as they proliferate.


Some sites are obvious keepers, like the sites of the Vatican or bishops’ conferences. And most Catholic Internet surfers are aware of some of the larger sites like invaluable news aggregator www.newadvent.org.

But what about those hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered by a broader audience?

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Jimmy Akin, Barack Obama, and the Antichrist

Antichrist center/right. Satan behind. False prophet at left.

There’s a meme going around certain quarters that Republicans are nuts because a massive number of them believe that President Obama may be the antichrist.

I first encountered this on the Drudge Report, which linked to the British paper the Daily Mail, which has a story headlined:

Almost a quarter of Republicans think Obama ‘may be the Antichrist’ as 14 states sue over healthcare reforms

Here’s the entirety of what that article has to say on the antichrist subject:

Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe the Democrat president ‘may be the Antichrist’, according to a survey.

That’s it! No link to the original poll. No clue about how it was run. Nada!

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Recent survey reveals what Muslims detest most about the West

Surveys of the world’s Muslims find that most Muslims support democracy and freedom. Indeed, many Muslims complain that they are ruled by Western-supported secular despots who deny people their right to self-government. Most Muslims also support scientific advancements and seek more prosperity through free markets and global trade. However one reads the Qur’an or the historical record of Islam, no one familiar with this data can call contemporary Muslims enemies of modernity.

At the same time, there are some anomalies. Esposito and Mogahed’s analysis shows that Muslims fear that “Islam is under attack” and that the West is leading that attack. In addition, while most Muslims don’t support theocracy, they do want religion to have an important role in shaping their private and public lives. Even Shari’ah, with its draconian provisions against theft and adultery, enjoys wide support among Muslims, at least in the domestic sphere.

To understand these seemingly contradictory currents, it’s helpful to distinguish between two types of liberalism…

Read the article

Submitted by Doria2

Survey: 58% of Americans Like the Pope. 81% don’t know much about him.

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Survey: 58% of Americans Like the Pope. 81% don’t know much about him.

A recent university survey co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, shows that 58% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Pope, while 81% claim they know little about him. 

In an attempt to remedy the 2nd issue, here’s a few bio’s on Benedict XVI:

From EWTN Television

From the Crossroads Initiative

From the United States Council of Catholic Bishops

From the Vatican