Catholic World News

Researchers examine link between sacramental participation, belief in heaven, hell

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

References:

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  • Posted by: MatthewG - 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.