have much work to do in the area of
re-evangelization. Catholics are baptized,
sacramentalized, catechised, liturgized
(I am inventing words here) but not
evangelized. The work of evangelization
is most crucial in the tasks needed
to be done by the Church, especially
in this third millennium, as we plunge
into the end of time. Of course catechism
and the sacraments continue to be crucial.
But before we have an opportunity to
really form Catholics in the faith,
they have to first be there, open to
being formed. This is the work of re-evangelization.
is one of the results shown by a survey
from the Pew Research Center’s
Forum on Religion & Public Life,
which was released Tuesday.
survey asked 32 questions about religion
-- such as what religion was Mother
Teresa, where Jesus was born, what religion
are most inhabitants of Indonesia, and
if the Dalai Lama is Buddhist.
averaged the lowest score, getting 14.7
correct, below the national average
of 16 out of 32 correct answers.
and agnostics averaged 20.9 correct
answers. Jews averaged 20.5; Mormons
20.3; and Protestants 16.
and Jews had high scores regarding questions
about religion and public life, including
what the U.S. Constitution says about
45% of U.S. Catholics surveyed were
unable to recognize Church teaching
on the Real Presence of Christ in the
Bible is a strong-point for U.S. citizens,
though Mormons are those who scored
best in this line of questions.
to the executive summary of the survey,
most Americans were able to answer correctly
at least half of the survey's Bible
questions. "For example, roughly
seven in 10 (71%) know that, according
to the Bible, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
More than six in 10 (63%) correctly
name Genesis as the first book of the
Bible. And more than half know that
the Golden Rule -- 'Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you' --
is not one of the Ten Commandments.
the full battery of seven questions
about the Bible -- five Old Testament
and two New Testament items -- Mormons
do best, followed by white evangelical
Protestants. Atheists/agnostics, black
Protestants and Jews come next, all
exhibiting greater knowledge of the
Bible than white mainline Protestants
and white Catholics, who in turn outscore
those who describe their religion as
nothing in particular."
executive summary of survey: http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx