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Polling Done on Young Catholics


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Atheist Republic (News)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): n.d.

Independent Catholic News reported on Pope Francis’ Synod on Youth for this fall. Recent research indicates the change in the faith and lifestyle stances of the young Catholic adult population. There appears to be a decrease in agnosticism and atheism.

The decrease, according to the reportage, comes to about 7% between 2009 and 2017 from 49% to 42%. There has been an increase in the frequency of Mass attendance from 25% in 2009 to 36% in 2017. The data comes from Research Now for the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation and Camino House (strategy consultancy).

The polling was done between September and October of 2017. The results showed about “10% more young adults in 2017 are likely to have experienced stress across a range of factors than the comparable group in 2009.”

Young women Roman Catholics will feel anxiety more frequently than their male peers during the week on all measured factors, especially regarding personal appearance with a 79% for female and 54% for male split in the data.

Also, women felt more anxiety about having enough money for themselves and their families (66% female vs 50% male). 2017 young Catholics view the helping of others as an aspiration and expectation of their lives more than those from 2009.

However, this comes to an attitudinal stance because there was no real change in volunteering or campaigning activity. “Female young Catholics say that they have taken more action on social issues in the past year than their male counterparts,” the Independent Catholic News stated, “whilst young male Catholics are more likely to say that they attend Mass (either regularly or irregularly at 82%) than females (71%).”

The report with the data was called “Complex Catholicism.” It was intended to look into the issues import for the young Catholic population. Their “willingness to identify as Catholic/Roman Catholic, beliefs about Jesus, and maintaining contact with young Catholics through life transitions.”

The identification of the spiritual experiences for the young Catholics showed wide range of self-identified experiences. 10% claimed to sense the presence of an angel.

 “Through this research, young Catholics have articulated a strong openness to Christian belief, to social action and to belonging to the Catholic community; but they are also living complicated lives with some perhaps paralysed by pressure,” Matthew van Duyvenbode, the author of the report, explained, “The Church today has an opportunity is to follow the call of Pope Francis to reach out to those on the peripheries and demonstrate an authentic, dynamic and humble expression of Catholicism for the 21st century.”


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