Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Study Shows American Catholics Vary on Understanding the Real Presence

The recent survey of American Catholics published in NCR is quite revealing not only about attitudes about the faith, but also about how well catechesis has succeeded or failed.  When it comes to belief that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Christ, results are unsurprising, if somewhat disheartening for those of us in the work of catechesis.  The reasons for attending Mass are also revealing.  Three out of four said they go because they "enjoy the liturgy."

The report on knowledge and beliefs about the Eucharist is here.  

This is definitely a call for liturgical catechesis of adults!


  1. Definitely need more liturgical catechesis!

    Well, it's nothing new. The disciples even walked away from Jesus when he said that!

    Why do you think it's so hard for people to believe? Is it because it seems so way out? Does it just seem so impossible that people slowly stop believing it?

  2. Not sure about why. Maybe it's the whole post-modern outlook: people don't believe something any more just because someone in authority tells them it is true. They have to discover the truth of it for themselves in order to "own" it.

    I think it goes deeper than whether or not they believe this. We assume that people who are catechized have undergone conversion. Believing in the Real Presence is a matter of faith. Because so many say they go to Mass because they "enjoy" the liturgy, I suspect we have created a lot of "social Catholics," who go to Mass out of habit, and out of a desire for connection with others, but not necessarily out of a desire for connection with Jesus Christ.