May 05, 2006

Researchers: U.S. Catholics Remain Loyal to Church

Georgetown University

Washington, D.C. - Reactions to sexual abuse allegations among Catholic clergy have not led to any measurable numbers of Catholics leaving the Church nationally.

A new working paper by the Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University shows that the proportion of the U.S. population identifying themselves as Catholics has remained constant since 2000. The study also shows stability in weekly levels of Mass attendance from 2000 to 2005.

“Although most Catholics have expressed dissatisfaction with some aspects of the Church’s handling of the issue of sexual abuse, most are also loyal to their faith in that they have not changed their patterns of Mass attendance or parish giving,” the study’s conclusion states.

The study indicates that Catholics have become less likely to give financially to their diocese. The percentage of Catholics indicating giving to their diocesan annual appeal declined from a high of 38 percent in 2002 to 29 percent in 2005.

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2006 01:34 PM