Survey: Only 24% of Catholic Women Attend Mass Weekly

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Photo:  Catholic women at Mass. (YouTube)

By Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews, January 17, 2018

( — A new survey shows that only 24% of Catholic women of all ages in America attend Mass once a week — Sunday Mass attendance is mandatory in Catholic teaching — but for those women born prior to the liberal reforms of Vatican II, a higher percentage (53%) of them go to Mass weekly.

The survey, conducted Aug. 3 – 24, 2017, was carried out by CARA (Center for Applied Research), a social science division at Georgetown University. CARA interviewed 1,508 self-identifying Catholic women by telephone and online. The results were released this week.

The survey results indictae there are 37.3 million Catholic females in the United States, among which 28.8 million are adults.

A Catholic woman receives
Communion. (YouTube)

When asked, “Aside from weddings and funerals, about how often do you attend Mass?” 20% said “every week.” Another 4% said “more than once a week.” However, 26% said “rarely or never,” 27% said “a few times a year,” 12% said “once or twice a month,” and 11% said “almost every week.”

In other words, only 24% of the Catholic women in the United States attend Mass at least once a week. Under Church teaching, if a Catholic deliberately skips the Sunday Mass obligation, they have committed a serious sin and must go to Confession before receiving the Eucharist, the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Church.

Thus, 76% of Catholic women are objectively disobeying Church teaching on Mass attendance.

However, for those who are objectively faithful — the 24% — the survey showed that 53% of Pre-Vatican II respondents (born before 1943) go to Mass at least once a week, as do 31% of the Vatican II respondents (born 1943-60).

(YouTube image) 

But for Millenials (born 1982 or later) and Post-Vatican II generation (born 1961-81), “they are less likely than older Catholic women to attend Mass at least once a week,” said the survey.

“Seventeen percent of Millenials and 18% of Post-Vatican II respondents indicated they attend Mass at least once a week,” according to the survey.

CARA further found that “married Catholic women are significantly more likely to attend Mass weekly (29%) than those who are divorced or separated (19%), never married (16%), or who are living with a partner.”

As for Confession, only 3% of Catholic women go “once a month or more.” Another 27% go either “several times a year” or “once a year.”

38% of the Catholic women said they “never” go to Confession and another 32% said they go “less than once a year.”

Pope Francis at Confession.  (YouTube) 

Like Mass attendance, Confession is mandatory in the Church — at least once a year.

The survey shows that at least 70% of Catholic women objectively disobey the Church’s teaching on Confession.

On the upside, 72% of the Pre-Vatican respondents said they pray daily, and 81% of the weekly Mass attendees pray daily.

Vatican II, a major meeting of Catholic bishops and cardinals in Rome, occurred between October 1962 and December 1965. The meeting was supposed to help strengthen the Church and aid the Chruch in fulfilling her mission in the modern world. 

Some of the alleged reforms, however, led to abuses and not a few critics blame Vatican II for the many problems in the Church today, including low Mass attendance, few religious vocations, and widespread disobedience to the Church’s moral teachings.