What does being Catholic mean to you?
In 1979 U.S. Catholic ran an essay titled “It makes a difference whether you’re Catholic” and asked readers to tell us what being Catholic means to them. In 2010 we asked readers to chime in once more with their opinions about Catholic faith and identity. Now, another 10 years on, we’re asking again.
In today's world of shrinking congregations, multiple clergy sex abuse scandals, and a growing population of young people who identify as having no religion (“nones”), what does it mean to be Catholic? Has the meaning of being Catholic changed over the years, along with all the changes in the church? Or would the Catholics of generations ago find the experience of being Catholic much the same if they were living out their faith in the year 2020?
What does being Catholic mean to you? U.S. Catholic wants to know.
1. To be a good Catholic means:
Participating in the sacraments
Going to Mass regularly
Being baptized in the Catholic Church
Advocating for peace and social justice
Going to confession at least once a year
Believing in the infallibility of the pope
Agreeing with the church’s teaching on Mary
Agreeing with all the teachings of the church
Following the entire moral teaching of the church
Sending your children, if you have any, to a Catholic school
None of the above
2. For me, the best parts about being a Catholic is:
The fact that the church can trace its beginnings to Jesus Christ
The fact that it is a truly global church
The social justice tradition
The Mass obligation
The Catholic devotions like the rosary, benedictions, and novenas
Devotion to Mary
Devotion to the saints
None of the above
3. Being Catholic is the most important part of my identity.
4. I think that it makes a difference whether you’re Catholic.
5. I am a “cradle Catholic.”
6. I converted to the Catholic faith as an adult or teenager.
7. My viewpoints align with most of the official teachings of the Catholic Church.
8. I attended Catholic school and/or a Catholic college or university.
9. I was married or would get married in a Catholic ceremony, if I were to be married.
10. I raised or would raise my children as Catholics.
11. The saying “once a Catholic, always a Catholic” is true.
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