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Irish survey finds decline in Catholic practice, belief

June 05, 2012

A new survey of Irish Catholics has found that only 31% attend Mass each Sunday, and most do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

The Irish Times/ Ipsos MRBI poll found that 62% of Catholics see the Eucharist as symbolizing the Body and Blood of Christ, while only 26% embrace the Catholic teaching that the bread and wine are transubstantiated. The survey found that 39% of Catholics rarely or never attend Mass, and another 20% attend every 2 or 3 months.

The poll found that Catholic practice and belief were strongest in Ireland’s rural areas, and weakest in the cities.


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Jun. 06, 2012 7:42 AM ET USA

    Not really surprising or new. It's tremendously sad nonetheless. Thomas Merton wrote as follows: "Society...was regarded (by the Desert Fathers) as a shipwreck from which each single individual man had to swim for his life...These were men who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster."(The Way of the Heart- Henri Nouwen) Our Faith is a treasure that must be transmitted, valued and preserved.