EWTN's fourth 2020 poll sheds light on faith practices and priority.
The latest poll in a series of surveys from RealClear Opinion Research in partnership with EWTN has suggested a deepening of faith in young adult Catholics. While the series, of which there have been four installments, was established to ascertain the political leanings of Catholic probable voters, recurring questions about faith practices from all four polls have shown a distinct trend towards acceptance of Church teachings and doctrine.
The new survey, which was conducted between October 5-11, found that a plurality of Catholics (50%) believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist, which has only risen one point since the beginning of the year. Previous polls found this percentage rose to as high as 66% in those classified as Active Catholics, or those who accept all or most of the teachings of the Catholic Church. In contrast, 35% of respondents said they considered Real Presence to be symbolic, while a further 14% were uncertain.
More young adult Catholics are falling into the Active Catholic category than previously recorded. Catholic News Agency reports that one 25% of 18- to 34-year-olds responded that they accept everything the Church teaches, compared to 21% of those ages 35-54 and 16% of those 55 and older. This portion of ‘Active’ young adult Catholics has risen significantly from the 17% who answered as such in the February poll.
In other questions of Catholic practices among the laity, more than 8 in 10 responded that religion is important in their lives. About 40% said that they attended Mass weekly before the pandemic and more than 50% suggested that they would attend more frequently when pandemic restrictions loosened.
Prayer was also on the rise, with 4 in 5 surveyed Catholics reporting at least weekly prayer and more than half of these who responded saying that they pray daily. Nearly 3 in 10 of those surveyed said that they prayed the Rosary at least once a week.
The lowest attended Catholic practice was found to be Confession. Fewer than 4 in 10 Catholics reported going to Confession either monthly or yearly, while a full 60% said they receive the sacrament less than once a year, if at all. The frequency of Catholics going to the confessional did, however, rise to 68% in Catholics who attend Mass weekly.