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Survey: Catholics Adapt to Culture at Cost of Committed Faith
Christian Post ^ | Jul. 10 2007 | Audrey Barrick

Posted on 07/10/2007 8:14:04 AM PDT by Between the Lines

A new Barna Group survey examined the largest religious group in the United States. With over 69 million adherents, the Catholic Church was found to be as mainstream as any people group in the nation, but much less committed to practicing their faith.

According to the survey released Monday, 68 percent of Catholics said their religious faith is very important in their life, which was also true among non-Catholic adults. But Catholics were only half as likely as others to say their faith is the highest priority in life. A majority identified family as their priority.

Only 44 percent of Catholics claimed to be "absolutely committed" to the Christian faith compared to 54 percent of the American adult population. Moreover, Catholics were less likely than average to look forward to discussing their religious views with other people, to attending church services, and to reading the Bible. However, Catholics were 16 percent more likely than average to attend a church service and 8 percent more likely to have prayed to God during the prior week.

The gap between Catholics and other Americans was also apparent in other faith-oriented behaviors. The study found that 67 percent of Catholics were less likely than the average to attend a Sunday school class; 20 percent were less likely to share their faith in Christ with someone who had different beliefs; 24 percent were less likely to say their religious faith has greatly transformed their life; and 36 percent were less likely to have an "active faith" (reading the Bible, praying and attending a church service).

Catholics differ substantially in spiritual beliefs from the typical views of Americans. They were significantly less likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; half as likely to maintain that they have a responsibility to share their faith with others; more likely than average to say that Satan is not real, to believe that eternal salvation is earned, and to contend that Jesus Christ sinned while on earth.

The study also found the moral convictions of Catholics differ from that of non-Catholic Americans. Catholics were twice as likely to view pornographic content on the Internet and more likely to use profanity, to gamble, and to buy lottery tickets. But they were more likely to not say mean things about people behind their back and were more likely to recycle.

When it came to behaviors outside of faith and morals, Catholics were found to be strikingly similar to people aligned with other faith groups. Catholics were just as likely or similarly likely to adopt the terms "independent thinker," "seen as a leader," "loyal and reliable," "stressed out," and "clear about the meaning and purpose of my life."

The only difference was adopting the term "evangelical Christian." Catholics were 39 percent less likely to accept that label.

Although one out of every four Catholics is born again (based on their beliefs), making Catholics the second largest denominational grouping of born again Christians in the nation behind Baptists, they are 37 percent less likely to be born again than are adults not associated with the Catholic faith.

"The history of American Catholics is that of a pool of immigrants who have successfully blended into the native culture. They have done well at adapting to their surroundings and emerging to become a backbone of the community and the national economy," said George Barna, who directed the study.

Catholics have become a slightly more affluent group and the current Catholic population has a disproportionately low number of blacks, who make up one out of every seven Americans but only one out of every 25 Catholics, and high number of Hispanics, according to the Barna Group.

The study noted that while immigrant groups have a tendency to work hard to adapt to their new culture, the group often loses its religious distinctive, as in the case of American Catholics over the past century.

"Today, they are a large and vibrant group, but one that is faith-aware rather than faith-driven," the report stated.

American Catholics are more similar to non-Christians than Protestants are to the non-believers, the survey showed.

"[T]he cost of that struggle to achieve acceptance and legitimacy is that Catholics have largely lost touch with much of their substantive spiritual heritage," Barna stated. "They retain an appreciation for tradition and consistency, but have much less of a commitment to knowing and practicing the commands of Christ. For instance, the data show that some of their long-held distinctives, such as being champions of social justice, are no longer a defining facet of their community.

"The trail of Catholicism in America is a clear example of culture influencing faith more often than faith influencing culture."

Results from the study are based on telephone surveys with 4,014 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted between August 2006 and January 2007. Among those interviewed, 876 were self-identified Catholics.

Copyright © The Christian Post


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/10/2007 8:14:06 AM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: Between the Lines
Catholics differ substantially in spiritual beliefs from the typical views of Americans. They were significantly less likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; half as likely to maintain that they have a responsibility to share their faith with others; more likely than average to say that Satan is not real, to believe that eternal salvation is earned, and to contend that Jesus Christ sinned while on earth.

The Earth Times:
Vatican document reaffirms Catholic Church's supremacy
Forbes/Associated Press:
Pope: Other Christians Not True Churches
Monsters & Critics:
Vatican document reaffirms Catholic Church's supremacy
Washington Post/Reuters:
Vatican says other Christian churches "wounded"
Australian Broadcasting Corp.:
Vatican hits 'wounded' Christian churches
International Herald Tribune:
Vatican repeats other Christian denominations are not true churches

See related FR threads:
Vatican says other Christian churches "wounded" (Non-Catholics not fullly Christian)
Vatican reiterates hardline on primacy of Catholic Church

2 posted on 07/10/2007 8:31:44 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (As heard on the Amish Radio Network! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1675029/posts)
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To: Between the Lines

Why would we send our kids to sunday school when they can get the same thing in religion class at Catholic school?


3 posted on 07/10/2007 8:51:37 AM PDT by AzaleaCity5691
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To: Between the Lines

We don’t HAVE Sunday school class!! What an idiot writer.


4 posted on 07/10/2007 8:52:57 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Between the Lines

1 out of 4 are Born Again Catholics? There’s no such term.. This writer knows NOTHING.


5 posted on 07/10/2007 8:55:06 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Alex Murphy

This writer is so wrong on so many things.


6 posted on 07/10/2007 8:55:56 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy; Between the Lines
1 out of 4 are Born Again Catholics? There’s no such term.. This writer knows NOTHING.

I know someone who claims to be just that. She refers to herself as an "Evangelical Catholic." Her local priest doesn't seem to have any problem with that....

7 posted on 07/10/2007 8:57:51 AM PDT by Gamecock (FR Member Gamecock: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Suzy Quzy
from the Barna Group:

"Born again Christians" are defined as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents are not asked to describe themselves as "born again."

Original Article

8 posted on 07/10/2007 8:58:25 AM PDT by GCC Catholic (Sour grapes make terrible whine.)
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To: Gamecock

No such thing....except in Baptism.


9 posted on 07/10/2007 8:58:51 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: GCC Catholic

Catholics are not Born Again Christians, even though the definition is the same.


10 posted on 07/10/2007 9:01:34 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Between the Lines
more likely than average to say that Satan is not real,

Yikes! Screwtape is ahead on points!

to believe that eternal salvation is earned,

Double yikes! Are they sleepwalking?

and to contend that Jesus Christ sinned while on earth.

Okay, who are these people really?

11 posted on 07/10/2007 9:01:59 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Suzy Quzy; Alex Murphy; xzins; Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe

I’m just telling you what I know.

I think the Priest has more authority on this than you do. After all, he represents Rome and you are a lay person.


12 posted on 07/10/2007 9:04:23 AM PDT by Gamecock (FR Member Gamecock: Declared Anathema By The Council Of Trent)
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To: Suzy Quzy; GCC Catholic

Catholics are not Born Again Christians

It’s Barna talk. They mean something in particular within their articles when they use this term. It may not be the same thing you mean.


13 posted on 07/10/2007 9:04:48 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Suzy Quzy; AzaleaCity5691
We don’t HAVE Sunday school class!! What an idiot writer.

Many Catholic churches do have Sunday schools, though they may not be called Sunday school.

14 posted on 07/10/2007 9:05:21 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Suzy Quzy
This writer is so wrong on so many things.

IMO the article is written from a evangelical POV, and suffers for it. But the survey results definitely reflect the varied beliefs of those Catholics that I know personally (not counting my FR Catholic friends), giving me reason to believe the study itself gets it right.

15 posted on 07/10/2007 9:07:36 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (As heard on the Amish Radio Network! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1675029/posts)
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To: Between the Lines

Where?


16 posted on 07/10/2007 9:08:09 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
Definition

In Barna Research Group studies, born again Christians are not defined on the basis of characterizing themselves as “born again” but based upon their answers to two questions. The first is “have you ever made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today?” If the respondent says “yes,” then they are asked a follow-up question about life after death. One of the seven perspectives a respondent may choose is “when I die, I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.” Individuals who answer “yes” to the first question and select this statement as their belief about their own salvation are then categorized as “born again.”

17 posted on 07/10/2007 9:08:30 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Alex Murphy

I doubt if ANY devout Catholics would agree. Ask your FR PRACTICING CATHOLIC friends.


18 posted on 07/10/2007 9:09:22 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy

Catholic “Sunday school”

http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=catholic+%22sunday+school%22&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


19 posted on 07/10/2007 9:09:41 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Between the Lines

Barna might call them Born AGain, but Catholics don’t.


20 posted on 07/10/2007 9:10:55 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Between the Lines

Sorry.....never have heard of ONE Catholic Sunday school...this could be ANYTHING.


21 posted on 07/10/2007 9:12:35 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
Protestant Fundamentalism and the Born Again Catholic by Fr. Robert J. Fox
22 posted on 07/10/2007 9:14:32 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Between the Lines
I've never known a Catholic church to have Sunday School for adults, which I gather is fairly common among Protestants. Catholic Sunday Schools are for children.
23 posted on 07/10/2007 9:15:57 AM PDT by maryz
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To: Between the Lines

One title....


24 posted on 07/10/2007 9:16:49 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: siunevada; Suzy Quzy

Yes, I realize that. I just posted so that it was clear what Barna was trying to say.

I don’t put a whole lot of stock into what they are saying though.


25 posted on 07/10/2007 9:20:50 AM PDT by GCC Catholic (Sour grapes make terrible whine.)
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To: Suzy Quzy
Sorry.....never have heard of ONE Catholic Sunday school...this could be ANYTHING.

Being too lazy to go though the searched articles doesn't mean that they don't exist.

26 posted on 07/10/2007 9:21:04 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Suzy Quzy
One title....

Again being too lazy to research the subject doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

27 posted on 07/10/2007 9:22:06 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Between the Lines

Are you a Catholic?


28 posted on 07/10/2007 9:24:36 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: maryz

I have been Catholic all of my life and I come from a long line of Catholics, been to Churches all over the world and have NEVER heard of Sunday school for Catholics....NEVER.


29 posted on 07/10/2007 9:26:06 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: maryz
Many Protestant churches do not have adult Sunday schools either. Instead of Sunday school for adults our church does small groups. Same thing - different time and place.
30 posted on 07/10/2007 9:26:22 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Between the Lines

Waiting...


31 posted on 07/10/2007 9:27:55 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
I doubt if ANY devout Catholics would agree.

I think I can mostly agree with you on this, with the exception of "inerrency/infallibility of scripture" issues. The Catholic Church doesn't promote that as vigorously as Protestant (and some Evangelical) churches do, to their shame.

Ask your FR PRACTICING CATHOLIC friends.

The problem with asking them is that they will tell me that A) only Real Genuinetm Catholics should be counted as Catholic, while simultaneously telling me that B) there are 68+ million Catholics living in the United States right now and that C) there are 33,000 "Protestant denominations" who all hold "mutually exclusive doctrines". Oh, and all Protestants read "Jack Chick" comics.

In short, my Catholic friends on FR have a tendency to exaggerate wildly (if not just make up numbers out of whole cloth) whenever it benefits their case. They are credulous to a fault when it comes to Protestantism, and (most of) their credibility with me is shot to zero. I rarely take them seriously about anything anymore. They are a myopic subset that thinks they have a better handle on Catholicism than their own bishops do.

32 posted on 07/10/2007 9:28:03 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (As heard on the Amish Radio Network! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1675029/posts)
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To: GCC Catholic; Suzy Quzy
Yes, I realize that.

I guess I should have made it clear that I was directing that to Suzy.

It's like jargon in a technical article, Suze. Jargon terms have specific definitions that might not be related to common usage of the same words. Born again has a particular definition within the "Barna universe" that it might not have outside that universe.

33 posted on 07/10/2007 9:30:38 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Suzy Quzy

Well, we always used the term “Sunday School” for those religious education classes for public school children, generally scheduled for after the children’s Mass. Granted, for the past 20 or 30 years, the church bulletin refers to it as CCD. I still say “Sunday School” — that’s what it was when I went, and that’s what I called it when I taught it.


34 posted on 07/10/2007 9:45:35 AM PDT by maryz
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To: Between the Lines
Hey, but we do recycle! Al Gore would be proud of us.

On a more serious note, how many folks of other religious denominations are in church worshiping God everyday? There were quite a few at noon Mass today, and probably even more at the 0800 Mass.

35 posted on 07/10/2007 10:46:20 AM PDT by k omalley (Caro Enim Mea, Vere est Cibus, et Sanguis Meus, Vere est Potus)
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To: Suzy Quzy

I go to a nondenominational church, but it is about as Southern Baptist as you can get. Our pastor even works for the SBC teaching church planting.


36 posted on 07/10/2007 11:13:54 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: k omalley
Hey, but we do recycle!

I was wondering where that question came from. I guess with so many liberal denominations adopting green issues environmentalism is becoming a matter of faith. Go figure.

37 posted on 07/10/2007 11:31:40 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: maryz

CCD is different.


38 posted on 07/10/2007 1:17:08 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary in '08.....Her PHONINESS is GENUINE !!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
CCD is different.

You mean it's not religious instruction for children?

39 posted on 07/10/2007 3:27:19 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: maryz
Other than adult catechism classes for converts & unbaptized adults, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of adult Sunday school. I think most Protestant churches have Bible study groups & maybe some of them meet on Sundays, but they aren’t “Sunday school”. Sunday school is for children.
40 posted on 07/10/2007 3:42:20 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly
It may be outdated, but I've read of it -- I think in some of L.M. Montgomery's books (Mrs. Lynde I'm pretty sure typically went to Sunday School), and in Life with Father (and probably others that escape me at the moment) -- all older books, you'll note. The practice IIRC was to hold Sunday School after church.
41 posted on 07/10/2007 3:57:42 PM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz

I never heard of it before, but it seems there is curriculum available, so I’d have to say it is being done!

http://www.sundayschoolcourses.com/


42 posted on 07/10/2007 4:37:56 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly

I checked the site at your link — churches using it include some in Canada and include Presbyterian churches, so that covers L.M. Montgomery! ;-)


43 posted on 07/10/2007 5:17:03 PM PDT by maryz
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