a highly scientific survey

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 29, 2005

Obtuseness, or academic harlotry? Either way it's not a compliment. The NCR reports on the results of a survey of Catholic beliefs "performed by the research team of William V. D'Antonio, Dean Hoge, James Davidson and Mary Gautier," which it claims was "funded by the Louisville Institute, by a modest donation from National Catholic Reporter, and by a grant from an anonymous donor."

An excerpt:

The 2005 survey asked, "As a Catholic, how important is each of the following to you? Would you say it is very important, somewhat important or not important at all?" We then asked about 12 elements of Catholicism. The percent saying "very important" to each is shown in Figure 1. Tied for first place are "Helping the poor" and "Belief in Jesus' resurrection from the dead." In third place is "The sacraments, such as the Eucharist," and closely following is "The Catholic church's teachings about Mary as the Mother of God."

By contrast, in last place among the 12, at the bottom, was "A celibate male clergy," followed by "The Catholic church's teachings that oppose the death penalty" and "The teaching authority claimed by the Vatican."

I can only imagine a real sociologist would wet himself laughing at this "scholarship." Have you ever opened one of those "EXTREMELY URGENT!" mass-mailed political fundraising surveys where they ask, "Which do you support: 1) Wasteful government spending, OR 2) Responsible and limited taxation?" (and request that you send a check with your reply)? If so, you're on familiar ground here.

Take a look at the contrast in the "elements of Catholicism" listed in the survey. On one hand we have "Helping the poor"; on the other, "The teaching authority claimed by the Vatican." The implicit sneer in the word "claimed" suggests to the respondent that this "element" is dubious if not an outright fraud, and of course "the Vatican" per se has no purposes and makes no claims at all -- like "the Pentagon" in the mouths of Leftists, it's meant to emphasize the faceless institution. They might have written "the teaching authority of the Church," or more simply still, "the truths of the Faith." Likewise, in place of "helping the poor," in which success is implied, we might have gotten the neutral "almsgiving." Nope.

The results of the survey (see below) are about as surprising as the political fundraising kind. Limited taxation beats out wasteful spending 3 to 1. Congrats, NCR! You boys got what you paid for.

Image via National Catholic Reporter.

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Sep. 30, 2005 2:12 PM ET USA

    Yes, Diogenes, the NCR got what it paid for... and you, as usual, make good points about the anti-Church bias of the "survey." "Sir William"'s blog is noteworthy and accurate, too. Such "surveys" are the death rattle of an agenda-ridden bunch of idealogues... men & women whose "revolution" never happened, who keep trying to go backward, to the mid-1960s-to-mid-1980s, where they appear to be stuck, in dissent and traitorism. Saint Jerome, pray for us.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 29, 2005 8:36 PM ET USA

    So, let me see if I get this right: 50% of the respondents don't think Eucharistic adoration is very important, 46% don't think prayer is, 26% don't think the Sacraments are very important, and at least 16% didn't even believe that Jesus' resurrection from the dead was "very important." Hmmmm . . . what was it that St. Paul said? "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain, you are still in your sins." What IS important to these people? Oh, there it is -- sins! THAT's important!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 29, 2005 3:02 PM ET USA

    Wow, Diogenes, you really had me worried for a few seconds. I was under the impression that this survey was given to Catholics. Then I realized that if it were, at least MOST of those numbers would be 100's. Still, it's interesting to see how OTHER people view Church teachings.

  • Posted by: Eusebuis1 - Sep. 29, 2005 12:39 PM ET USA

    It would have been interesting to see where the following question would have been ranked in the survey. Removing gay predatory priests from the ministry (whether they are going after young men who are the age of consent or not.).

  • Posted by: Sir William - Sep. 29, 2005 12:34 PM ET USA

    Hear that gasping? Its the sound of a 'progressive' generation attempting to give the 'kiss of life' to a dying agenda.