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Catholic Education Daily


Study Finds Catholic School Attendees Describe Church’s Teachings on Sexuality "Outdated"

The Barna Group has clarified its survey released last week showing that more Catholic school attendees find the Church’s teachings on sexuality “out of date” than do other young American Catholics. That survey considered only attendance at Catholic or faith-based elementary and secondary schools and not Catholic colleges as widely reported.

The poll, conducted for Barna’s Faith That Lasts Project, included adults aged 18-29 “who attended a Catholic church at some point during their teenage years.”

Among those surveyed, 60% said that the Church’s teachings on sexuality were outdated. That statistic was higher among those who report attending a Catholic or faith-based school at any time while growing up. According to the data, 65% of those who had attended a Catholic or faith-based school described the Church’s teachings on sexuality outdated.

Senior research director Pam Jacob, said that the statistic reflects schools attended as the young adults were “growing up,” so does not reflect college or university attendance.

“While many young Catholics are at odds with Catholic teaching on matters of birth control, only about one-quarter are very discontent and many do not at all share these perceptions,” said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group.

For example, among those who identified as “active Catholics,” 37% described the Church’s teachings on sexuality “outdated.”

The data was drawn from a sample of 562 interviews with young Catholics who had experience attending a Catholic church prior to age 18.

Of the 562 18-29 year-olds who said they had participated in a Catholic church when growing up, 15% describe themselves as "an active churchgoer" and another 29% describe themselves as "semi-active."

Of the 562 18-29 year-olds who said they had participated in a Catholic church at some point when growing up, 45% now describe themselves as "Catholic."

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