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Posted May 21, 2003

Statistics from the Latest Study on Priests May 13, 2003

From: Evolving Visions of the Priesthood By: Dr. Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger For further information e-mail Dr. Hoge hoge@cua.edu


Seventeen Statements About the Priesthood and the Church Today
(In Percents)


1. Ordination confers on the priest a new status or a permanent character which makes him essentially different from the laity within the Church.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
48%
53%
37%
Agree Somewhat
29%
30%
27%
Uncertain
6%
6%
15%
Disagree Somewhat
10%
8%
15%
Disagree Strongly
7%
5%
12%


2. There is no ontological difference between the priest and laity, since all share in the common priesthood of Christ given at baptism; the difference is mainly one of assigned duties in the Church.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
11%
8%
15%
Agree Somewhat
12%
11%
14%
Uncertain
7%
7%
7%
Disagree Somewhat
17%
16%
21%
Disagree Strongly
53%
58%
43%


3. The idea that the priest is a "man set apart" is a barrier to the full realization of true Christian community.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
9%
8%
13%
Agree Somewhat
17%
17%
16%
Uncertain
10%
8%
14%
Disagree Somewhat
27%
28%
26%
Disagree Strongly
37%
39%
32%


4. I feel that I am most a priest when I am "saying Mass" (presiding at Eucharist) and hearing confessions.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
41%
45%
32%
Agree Somewhat
32%
32%
31%
Uncertain
4%
4%
3%
Disagree Somewhat
16%
13%
22%
Disagree Strongly
8%
6%
12%


5. What is lacking today is that closeness among priests which used to be present.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
19%
22%
12%
Agree Somewhat
36%
38%
33%
Uncertain
24%
18%
36%
Disagree Somewhat
16%
16%
15%
Disagree Strongly
5%
6%
4%


6. It is urgent that priests achieve greater status as competent professions in the eyes of the Catholic community.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
24%
23%
25%
Agree Somewhat
43%
42%
46%
Uncertain
15%
14%
17%
Disagree Somewhat
12%
15%
7%
Disagree Strongly
6%
6%
5%


7. Priests today need to be more involved with broad social and moral issues beyond the parish level.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
27%
24%
34%
Agree Somewhat
47%
47%
46%
Uncertain
16%
18%
11%
Disagree Somewhat
8%
9%
7%
Disagree Strongly
2%
2%
2%


8. The Catholic Church in the U.S. should continue to welcome Episcopalian priests who want to become active Roman Catholic priests, whether they are married or single.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
40%
40%
39%
Agree Somewhat
32%
30%
37%
Uncertain
14%
14%
14%
Disagree Somewhat
7%
8%
7%
Disagree Strongly
7%
8%
4%


9. Priests who have resigned from the priesthood should be invited to re-apply for permission to function as priests again, whether they are married or single.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
31%
32%
28%
Agree Somewhat
21%
19%
26%
Uncertain
15%
14%
17%
Disagree Somewhat
13%
14%
11%
Disagree Strongly
21%
21%
19%


10. Celibacy should be a matter of personal choice for diocesan priests.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
35%
35%
33%
Agree Somewhat
21%
18%
27%
Uncertain
10%
9%
11%
Disagree Somewhat
10%
11%
8%
Disagree Strongly
24%
27%
20%


11. The Catholic Church needs to move faster in empowering lay persons in ministry.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
38%
34%
47%
Agree Somewhat
35%
36%
32%
Uncertain
11%
11%
9%
Disagree Somewhat
10%
12%
6%
Disagree Strongly
6%
6%
6%


12. Parish life would be aided by an increase in full-time professional ecclesial lay ministers.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
38%
37%
41%
Agree Somewhat
34%
34%
34%
Uncertain
15%
15%
16%
Disagree Somewhat
7%
9%
4%
Disagree Strongly
5%
6%
4%


13. Priests' attitudes on church issues can never have an effect in our present institutional church structures.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
10%
00%
7%
Agree Somewhat
25%
25%
20%
Uncertain
22%
21%
25%
Disagree Somewhat
28%
26%
31%
Disagree Strongly
17%
17%
17%


14. Priest members of presbyteral councils need more influence if the councils are to be effective in enhancing priestly ministry.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
26%
29%
19%
Agree Somewhat
34%
35%
33%
Uncertain
30%
24%
42%
Disagree Somewhat
7%
9%
3%
Disagree Strongly
3%
3%
3%


15. More effective organizations of priests are needed to serve the needs of the priesthood today.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
16%
16%
14%
Agree Somewhat
37%
37%
39%
Uncertain
30%
28%
33%
Disagree Somewhat
12%
14%
9%
Disagree Strongly
5%
5%
4%


16. I think it would be a good idea if Christian communities such as parishes were to choose their own priest from among available ordained priests.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
7%
7%
8%
Agree Somewhat
16%
16%
16%
Uncertain
21%
17%
28%
Disagree Somewhat
21%
23%
18%
Disagree Strongly
35%
37%
30%


17. I think it would be a good idea if the priests in a diocese were to choose their own bishop.

All Priests Diocesan Priests Religious Priests
Agree Strongly
22%
22%
22%
Agree Somewhat
25%
23%
29%
Uncertain
15%
15%
16%
Disagree Somewhat
15%
16%
14%
Disagree Strongly
23%
25%
19%