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New poll finds young American Catholics disaffected

Catholic World News - February 20, 2013

A majority of young American Catholics believe that the Church’s teaching on sexuality are “out of date,” and find Mass attendance an onerous obligation, according to a new survey by the Barna Group.

The Barna survey covered adults aged 18-29 “who attended a Catholic church at some point during their teenage years.” Thus the poll included a large number of non-practicing Catholics.

Among all the young adults surveyed, 60% said that the Church’s teachings on sexuality are outdated. Among active Catholics that figure was 37%. Similarly, 57% of all respondents said that Mass could be “a boring obligation,” and 40% of active Catholics.

Remarkably, the survey found higher levels of alienation among young people who had attended Catholic schools. Among respondents who had attended a Church-related school, 65% said that Church teaching on sexuality is outdated and 61% said that Mass attendance could be a boring obligation. Both figures were higher than the results for the overall sample.

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  • Posted by: herbalife.melissas2917 - Feb. 21, 2013 12:59 PM ET USA

    As a 30 year old that came back to the Church at 25, it goes to show us YAGs that we need more apostles that are especially versed in Theology of the Body. Ora pro nobis!!

  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 20, 2013 6:17 PM ET USA

    So, young Catholics are following the example of their parents and the culture in the absence of teaching to the contrary. Is that news? The clergy will not touch these subjects, and the U.S. Church has no organized effort to educate them on counter-cultural teachings of the Church regarding sexuality and Mass attendance.

  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 20, 2013 4:44 PM ET USA

    Not surprisingly, the parents of this group are post-Vatican II when so many left and the Mass "changed" into experimenting with different forms and religious education went out the door, too. So you're left with a couple of generations who don't know what it is to be Catholic and why it's important to be one.

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