Taking a survey of Catholics is one of the most popular pastimes of the media. The way it works is that a series of questions are asked that seek to determine whether Catholics agree with Church teachings on a host of issues, most of which deal with sex. Then the findings become grist for talk shows and media pundits of all stripes. Most important, Catholic malcontents and the Church’s enemies love these surveys so they can demand radical changes (make them quick before the Church crashes!). A recent poll by the Boston Globe was no exception.
Without getting into the specifics, let’s see how well you pass this test.
To begin with, you should know that according to the newspaper, there are four different types of Catholics: those who attend Mass weekly; those who attend monthly; those who attend yearly; and those who attend less than yearly. (Why the Globe didn’t say of this last group “those who never attend,” probably has something to do with its allergic reaction to negative-sounding phrases. But it makes us wonder: would they include whites in a poll of blacks simply because the white person identified himself as black?)
In any event, can you guess which one of these four types of Catholics is most likely to accept the Church’s teachings? Very good. Now can you guess which is the least likely? Go to the head of the class.
On a more serious note, the one question we found mattered most was this: “Is your opinion of your parish priest extremely favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or extremely unfavorable?” Of those who never go to Mass, the combined figure for extremely favorable and favorable was 30 percent (which is itself a laugh since these dolts have no idea who their parish priest is). Of those who go weekly, the combined figure is 96 percent. We rest our case.