Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, May 4, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
Pope Francis' appeal not measurable yet in church attendance
Catholic News Service photo
Catholic parishioners gather for Sunday Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, Va. 
Catholic News Service photo
Catholic parishioners gather for Sunday Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, Va. 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis' popularity began immediately after his March 13, 2013, election when he walked onto the balcony and humbly greeted the crowd in St. Peter's Square.

His appeal has been on a fast track ever since, causing many to speculate a possible "Francis effect" of increased numbers of Catholics going to church.

Although there has been anecdotal evidence of a resurgence of interest in the church since the pope's election, it may still be too early to see if this interest translates to new or returning members to the fold.

A Pew Research Center report released March 6, reiterates what most people likely realize: Pope Francis is immensely popular among U.S. Catholics -- so much so that eight in 10 have a favorable view of him. But according to the poll's results, the pope's popularity has not brought more people to Mass or the sacraments.

The polling -- conducted Feb. 14-23 among 1,821 adults nationwide that included 351 Catholics -- found no change in the number of Americans -- 22 percent -- who identify themselves as Catholic now and those who did prior to the election of Pope Francis. The data also found no change in self-reported rates of weekly Mass attendance among Catholics, which the report said remains at 40 percent.

The survey, "Catholics View Pope Francis as a Change for the Better," also did not find evidence that Catholics are volunteering or going to confession more often now than in the previous year but it did find that seven in 10 U.S. Catholics see Pope Francis representing a major change in direction for the church. It also showed that during the past year 26 percent of Catholics have become "more excited" about their Catholic faith and 40 percent of Catholics have been praying more often.

The poll, conducted by landline and cellphones, has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

The margin of error in this poll and others is one factor that makes it difficult to fully measure the "Francis effect," according to Mark Gray, director of Catholic polls and a research associate at Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, or CARA.

He noted in a blog last December that although Pope Francis' popularity could be bringing people back to church, it may be in smaller numbers than would cause a poll to fluctuate.

In the blog, he said, it's "really too early to know anything more than anecdotes," but he told Catholic News Service Feb. 27 that CARA will have more evidence to measure the pope's impact on the pews once it receives the 2013 data on sacramental practice from the Official Catholic Directory this summer. This data will enable CARA to make comparisons with previous years without margins of error since the numbers are directly from church records of baptisms, marriages, and other sacraments and rites.

Some observers told CNS that the pope's impact shouldn't be measured in returning Catholics, but in the restored image of the Catholic Church since Pope Francis was elected and the number of Catholics who feel proud of their faith again. Others say the measurement of the pope's impact will take at least another year, and might be more noticeable after the synod on the family this fall.

Eileen Burke-Sullivan, associate theology professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., said she has visited with Catholic lay leaders and deacons in recent parish presentations, where she has heard stories of adult children, inspired by the example of Pope Francis, wanting to come back to the church.

"I think there is a bounce right now," but the key is what they will find when they return: "Will it be different, or the same old same old?" she told CNS March 4.

She said parishes can act on the momentum generated by the pope by following his example of consultation.

Burke-Sullivan, who holds the Barbara Reardon Heaney Endowed Chair in pastoral liturgical theology at Creighton, said parishes should consider taking on serious studies and prayerful reflections of what they want to do differently to attract people and not drive them away and also how they can be more of a "field hospital" after battle as Pope Francis has described the church.

But even as local parish leaders -- and pollsters -- try to figure out what the pope's appeal means, church leaders don't deny that they have seen a ripple effect from the pope's example, which they say should ultimately point to God.

Bishop Rodolfo Wirz Kraemer of Maldonado, president of the Uruguayan bishops' conference, told CNS there has not been an automatic or immediate increase in Mass attendance since the pope's election. "There is a growth but it is a slow process."

"What I have seen is a renewal ... a greater interest of the people for the gospel, for the church ... for Christ," he added.

Bishop Guilherme Werlang of Ipameri, president of the Brazilian bishops' commission for justice and peace, had a similar reaction.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved