Posted August 29, 2003
Active Catholics More Satisfied
With Bishops’ Response To Scandal
Crisis Magazine recently surveyed American Catholics about their attitudes on politics, faith, and morals. The study involved a survey of 1,000 adults, including 499 “active” Catholics, identified as those who attend Mass at least weekly, and 438 Catholics who attend three times a month or less, identified by Crisis Magazine as “inactive.” As was the case in a previous study in 1998, a significant difference in attitudes was found between “active” and “inactive” Catholics. The survey results fell into several general categories, a follows:
Moral State of the Nation
79 percent of the active, compared to 67 percent of inactive, say there is a crisis of declining individual morality in the country today.
83 percent of the active and 64 percent of inactive, think popular culture — meaning TV, movies, music — seriously undermines the character and values of young people.
Abortion, Cloning, and the Death Penalty
75 percent of the active, compared to 41 percent of inactive, consider themselves to be pro-life. Twenty percent of active and 52 percent of inactive consider themselves to be pro-choice.
44 percent of the active, compared to 25 percent of inactive, strongly favor legal restrictions on abortion in order to reduce the number of abortions being performed.
59 percent of the active and 39 percent of the inactive would outlaw cloning for any purpose. At the same time, 36 percent of the active and 55 percent of inactive would allow cloning for medical research.
55 percent of the active and 64 percent of inactive favor the use of the death penalty for persons convicted of murder.
Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal
29 percent of active, compared to 50 percent of inactive, have less confidence in the moral teachings of the Catholic Church as a result of the abuse of children by priests.
67 percent of active, compared to 35 percent of inactive, are satisfied with the way the bishops have responded to the sex abuse scandal.
58 percent of active and 72 percent of inactive believe that acts of clergy sex abuse are still occurring today.
For further information on “Catholic Opinion by the Numbers,” by Deal W. Hudson, March 2003, visit the website for Crisis Magazine at www.CrisisMagazine.com