USCCB News Release
May 13, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reports On Cara, Pew Research Part Of June Bishops' Meeting
WASHINGTON—Reports on research on the Catholic Church from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life will be presented at the June meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Orlando, Florida.
Mark M. Gray, Director of CARA Catholic Polls (CCP) will report on "Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice among U.S. Catholics" (http://cara.georgetown.edu/sacraments.html).
The CARA survey, taken last February, polled self-identified adult Catholics in the United States on participation in the sacramental life of the Church as well as beliefs about the sacraments. Results indicate important differences in belief and practice related to generation, gender, ethnicity, education, and frequency of Mass attendance.
CARA is a national non-profit, Georgetown University affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about Catholicism and the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1964. Gray has been with CARA since 2002 and holds a doctorate in political science.
Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, will report on Pew's recently released U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (http://religions.pewforum.org). The study found that Catholics account for nearly one-quarter of U.S. adults and that the proportion of the population that identifies itself as Catholic has remained relatively stable in recent decades. Pew reports, however, that this apparent stability obscures major changes that are taking place within U.S. Catholicism. The Catholic Church continues to attract a good number of converts, but the Landscape Survey finds that former Catholics outnumber converts to Catholicism four-to-one.
Pew looked at how has the Catholic share of the U.S. population has held fairly steady despite these net losses and reports that one obvious factor is immigration. The Landscape Survey finds that nearly half of all immigrants to the U.S. (46 percent) are Catholic, compared with just 21 percent of the native-born population, and that the vast majority (82 percent) of these Catholic immigrants were born in Latin America.
Lugo became the director of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in political science. The Forum, launched in 2001, seeks to promote understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. It delivers timely, impartial information to national opinion leaders, including government officials and journalists. Based in Washington, it a project of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "fact tank" on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The bishops' spring meeting will be June 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. Those seeking credentials or other information may contact the Department of Communications at 202-541-3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.