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Vol. I No. 4

Welcome to the latest edition of Hartford Institute's News and Notes. This issue focuses on Roman Catholic Research in the US.


If you are looking for quality research on Catholics in the United States, you should consider a recent research report entitled American Catholics: Gender, Generation, and Commitment. This book provides clear evidence of changing trends among American Catholics in the past twenty years. It is based on a series of three surveys carried out by the authors in 1987, 1993 and 1999. The research has a unique perspective because it’s authors are able to report changes over time using trend analysis of these three datasets.

Three trends are evident in this research: 

* There is a strong acceptance of core Catholic theological beliefs; 
* There is declining support for the teaching authority of the Vatican;
* There is a steady decline from seeing church leaders as the single source of moral authority.

As the book's title suggests, gender, generation, and commitment prove to be the three key variables impacting the findings. This recent survey shows that in 1999, highly committed Catholics were more likely to be women (27%) than men (19%) and from earlier generations -- 40% of Pre-Vatican II Catholics (born before 1940), 27% of Vatican II Catholics (b. 1940-1960), and only 14% of Post-Vatican II Catholics (1961+). You can also read more about the changing practices of Catholic's in our October 2001 Quick Question.



There are several quality sites for Catholic Attendance and Attitudinal Data.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), is a research organization at Georgetown University that conducts scientific studies for the Catholic Church. Their site is superb for current, accurate information about Catholics. 

American Religion Data Archive – We’ve mentioned this site before but it is worth repeating because the ARDA site has a tremendous collection of recent Catholic surveys.  Just look under the Data File Directory for Catholic information.

* The Catholic Research Forum is a gathering of researchers from several dioceses. Their site includes interesting reflections on current research and issues. In addition, numerous dioceses (regional groups) within the U.S. Church have research offices which create and post interesting information about the Catholic Church generally. You may consider browsing their websites as well to find this information.



Articles on Women and Religion
We've enhanced this section and have added many new articles on the topic.

The November quick question
Our latest focus is on interfaith ties in US congregations.

Our Sociology of Religion Online Articles section continues to grow with frequent new additions. Come view our wide array of topics




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