What Catholic women believe about Mass attendance, confession and God's existence

Photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash.

The women we surveyed do not, for the most part, keep the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. A little over a quarter of the self-identified Catholics (26 percent) rarely or never attend Mass. Another quarter (27 percent) attend only a few times a year. Twenty percent attend every week (an additional four percent attend more than once a week).

Participation in the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) is also infrequent. A quarter of respondents (27 percent) went to confession at least once a year. A higher share (38 percent) reported that they had “never” been to confession. This is higher than might be expected, as confession in most dioceses is now required prior to making one’s first Communion.

Advertisement

Nearly all of the survey participants professed a strong belief in God. Seventy-eight percent of Catholic women said they believed in God and had no doubts about God’s existence, and an additional 16 percent said they believed but “sometimes” had doubts. Less than 1 percent of women said they were confident God did not exist and only 2 percent said they did not expect that God existed but that they considered his existence to be possible.

 

This article is one of four short explorations of the data found in the America Survey, commissioned by America Media and conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Read the other three here: 

What Catholic women actually believe about Natural Family Planning
How many Catholic women have considered religious vocations?
The Prayer Lives of Catholic Women 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Mary Vaghi
4 months ago

Thank you for presenting these facts. I would like to hear the perspective on the reasons why you think this is happening. Also thoughts on the long term consequences of women not being present at church. To me it seems like women are the backbone of a strong church. They bring their children, they volunteer. What happens when they disappear?

Also, I would question the numbers re belief in God. I think there are a lot more cultural Catholics who don’t believe or who have doubts.

Interesting thank you

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, primate of the Episcopal Church, speaks during the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/pool photo via AP)
Fabricated and impersonal, too many Catholic preachers hide themselves, forgetting that personality matters in preaching,
In this image made from video, Archbishop Philip Wilson, center, heads to Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, Australia Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)
Philip Wilson was found guilty of failing to inform police about allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by a priest in the 1970s.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
The Holy Spirit might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity.
James Martin, S.J.May 21, 2018
Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018