- 15% do NOT believe in life after death. Shocker! They go to Mass more than most other Catholics, but are obviously hanging around for the social and cultural benefits, since they don't ever expect to get to Heaven. Note that a full quarter of liberal Catholics do NOT believe in life after death.
- 42% do NOT believe in the resurrection of the body. This is a central creed of the Catholic faith. We recite it in the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed every Sunday. And yet, almost half of the most practising group of Catholics doesn't believe it. It goes downhill from there, with a whopping 70% of liberal Catholics reporting that they do NOT believe in this basic teaching.
- 21% of traditional Catholic men are viewing pornography, as are 35% of liberal Catholic men. Obviously, addictions are alive and well among the flock.
- 64% of traditional Catholics report having premarital sex. This number goes as high as 79% among self-described "moderate" Catholics. Here the rubber hits the road. Faith meets real-life application, and we are failing in a spectacular fashion. Like, we get an F. There is no excuse for this - every Catholic should know that the Church teaches premarital sex is wrong.
- 48% of church-going Catholics believe it is a bad idea for couples to cohabit before marriage. What does this mean? It means that 52% of our people in the pews think it's either a good idea to shack up, or at least they aren't sure. Since most Catholics have premarital sex, I guess they are just being consistent. Still, this is in blatant contradiction to Catholic teaching.
- 65% of traditional Catholics say that casual sex between two people is wrong. What? Yes, this means that a full 35% of the most church-going group of Catholics are either okay with "friends with benefits" or they are not sure if it is really wrong.
- 45% of traditional church-going Catholics believe that married couples with children should stay married. Wow. This means that less then half are firmly against divorce. And we aren't talking about liberal Catholics who never set foot in a church. We are talking about the people at Sunday Mass.
- 94% believe in life after death. As in, only 6% do NOT believe in Heaven.
- 25% do not believe in bodily resurrection. Still quite high, in my opinion, but much better than Catholics. Among fundamentalist Evangelicals, only 14% do NOT believe in this essential creed.
- 29% of Evangelical men are struggling with porn. This number is similar to Catholics.
- 57% report having premarital sex. Still over half the flock. They are more convinced of the basic Christian faith teachings than even traditional Catholics, but when it comes to curbing their own behaviour, faith teachings still appear to take a back seat. Both among Catholics and among Evangelicals, there is some serious disconnect between faith and practice.
- 79% believe it is a bad idea for couples to cohabit before marriage. They may be having premarital sex, but they know it's not a good idea. At least they are well formed, even if they are making the wrong choices.
- 86% are sure that casual sex between two people is wrong. Wow. Over 20% higher than traditional Catholics.
- 58% say that married couples with children should stay married. Significantly more than than Catholics.
Yes, the Missal is made up of wisely selected excerpts organized into a 4-year cycle. While it is nicely planned out, so that if a parishioner reads the Missal each Sunday for four years straight, he/she will get exposed to a significant portion of the Bible, it doesn't quite work out that way in practice. The actual result is more like this: many church-going Catholics never hold a Bible in their hands, much less open one and read it on a regular basis. They also never pick up the Missal, as I know from many Sundays of observation.
Oh and on that note, here is a sub-proposal: lengthen that 10-15-minute homily and make it 20-30 minutes. Come on, this is your only chance to preach it and bring those stray sheep back to the fold! They can wait a bit longer before they dash to their pre-heated cars and rush off to get their Sunday shopping done. If the Protestants and Orthodox can hang out for most of their morning at their churches, then why can't we? Let's stop being a drive-through church.
Speak like Bl. Fulton Sheen.
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