Researchers examine link between sacramental participation, belief in heaven, hell
CWN - July 05, 2012
The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University has examined the link between sacramental practice and belief in heaven and hell.
The Center found that
- 25% of Catholics in the United States who believe in both heaven and hell attend Mass at least weekly, while 28% of these Catholics attend Mass “rarely or never”
- 15% of Catholics who believe in heaven but doubt the existence of hell attend Mass at least weekly, while 44% rarely or never attend Mass
- 8% of Catholics who doubt the existence of both heaven and hell attend Mass at least weekly, while 77% rarely or never attend Mass
In addition, the Center found that
- 15% of Catholics who believe in both heaven and hell go to Confession more than once a year, while 42% “never” go to Confession
- 10% of Catholics who believe in heaven but doubt the existence of hell go to Confession more than once a year, while 66% never go to Confession
- 4% of Catholics who doubt the existence of both heaven and hell go to Confession more than once a year, while 65% never go to Confession
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our final 2013 goal ($22,324 to go, assuming receipt of matching funds):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: FrMatthewG -
Jul. 05, 2012 9:33 PM ET USA
What would be really interesting is to know what percentage of Catholics do in fact believe in both heaven and hell, et cetera. My guess is that, sadly, the majority do not believe in both heaven and hell…
Posted by: New Sister -
Jul. 05, 2012 5:39 PM ET USA
It's really a question of "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" As the Mass has been Protestantized, so also belief.
Posted by: AgnesDay -
Jul. 05, 2012 10:34 AM ET USA
So how do these people get by with calling themselves Catholics?
Posted by: Randal Mandock -
Jul. 05, 2012 9:59 AM ET USA
These meaningless statistics are likely based more on the influence of the dominant media culture than on the influence of reception of the sacraments and assistance at Mass. I agree with "New Sister:" I would like to see the results of a survey of doctrinal beliefs of those Catholics who manifest heroic virtue in their daily lives. Standing against the liberal tide in this day and age may seem a small thing, but it has been shown to change hearts and minds one Catholic at a time.
Posted by: New Sister -
Jul. 05, 2012 9:05 AM ET USA
It would be interesting to see the numbers for Catholics who attend the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass. I would predict ~90% believe in both Heaven and Hell; that they go to Confession more often than those who regularly attend the OF; and that a very high percentage of them attend all Holy Days of obligation.