The Iona Institute
has commissioned a poll by ‘Amárach Research’ into attitudes towards the Catholic Church in Ireland.
The results of the poll are here
The article covering the poll on the Iona website is here
David Quinn’s reaction to the poll in his ‘Independent’ column is to be found here
Amárach carried out a nationwide survey of 1,000 people.
The percentage of people identifying themselves as Catholic is 69%, and of those only 44% have attended mass in the past month. (Which means, extrapolating from this poll, that only 30% of the population have attended mass in the last month.) The age profile of both matches what one would expect, i.e. fewer of the younger groups identify as Catholic or attend mass compared to the older groups.
Only 24% of the those surveyed have a very favourable or mostly favourable view of the RCC with 47% having a mostly or very unfavourable view. Of those who have an unfavourable view, the main factor for the majority is the child abuse scandals (56%).
46% agree that the teachings of the RCC are of benefit, but the age profile here tells a tale with only 33% of 15-24s and only 36% of 25-34s agreeing compared to 67% of 55+. Only 31% of the total number disagree that they are of benefit.
Only 20% of respondents believe that the government is hostile to the RCC with 40% disagreeing.
Finally, the report shows that the majority of those responding have grossly overestimated the percentage of priests that have been involved in abuse, with the average estimate being 28% compared to 4% who have been accused.
Amárach asked but they do not report the figure for those identifying themselves as having ‘no religion’.
The report confirms the battering that the RCC has received over that last decade or two and confirms the continuing decline in numbers of those identifying with the RCC and general religious practice of those who do identify themselves as members.