The Winter 2012 edition of the Boston College Magazine arrived in the mail today. As always it is chock full of interesting and enlightening articles. One such article “Questioning Authority, Keeping the Faith” has some very interesting statistics about American Catholics. The article was based on the opening remarks at a November 2 conference on the American Catholic laity held in Gasson given by Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and author of The Emerging Church: A Community’s Search for Itself (2011) and conference speakers who conducted a recently released study “Catholics in America: Persistence and Change.” Here are some highlights.:
- Pre-Vatican II – “Pray, pay and obey” Catholics – those born before 1940 make up 10% of the American Catholic population – are dying out.
- 45% of Millennial Catholics – born between 1979 and 1993 – are apt to “become the first generation of American Catholics of which Hispanics are the majority.”
- More than two-thirds of respondents say they “cannot imagine being anything but Catholic.”
- Punditry that says Republicans are “more religious, or friendlier to religion” than Democrats is apparently not true among Catholics.
- Catholic Democrats were more likely than their Republican coreligionists (72 versus 61 percent) to see “helping the poor” as very important.
You can read the full article here in the Boston College Magazine on-line: http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/winter_2012/c21_notes/questioning-authority-keeping-the-faith.html