web analytics
service and gratitude

liturgy RSS feed liturgy on twitter liturgy facebook

Does religion make a difference?

All kudos to the Roman Catholic Church in New Zealand for having the integrity to make public the statistics that religious affiliation makes no difference to marriage statistics.

In the recent, December, NZ Catholic newspaper, a two page article looked at the national statistics:

Roman Catholics are 3.7% separated (total population is 3.4%); RCs are 6.6% divorced (population 7.0%); never married/never civil union RCs 31.7% (population 31.4%); non-marital de facto RCs 11.5% (population 12%).

Among Catholics who were married, females outnumbered men by more than 12,000 suggesting that more Catholic women than men are in mixed marriages.

Among Catholics who were divorced or separated, women outnumbered men by 38 per cent, nearly twice the margin of females over males – 20 per cent – in the overall Catholic population aged 15 and over. Females outnumbered males by only 2.55 per cent in the general population aged 15 and over.

… Mass counts in the six New Zealand dioceses in late 2006 revealed that 18 per cent of Catholics – 90,281 out of 508,000 (census) – attended Sunday Mass at that time.

Similar Posts:

Share

6 Responses to Does religion make a difference?

  1. It seems to me, based upon what few facts & figures provided, that it would be difficult, it not impossible to make any accurate statement based upon the information contained therein. It’d be akin to writing that 100% of all people in cemeteries are dead. What value is there in such a statement? More questions remain unanswered by the figures provided. I’d be interested in reading the research to determine it’s validity.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kevin (KLB). That “100% of all people in cemeteries are dead” is an a priori statement, requiring no research. That 10.4% of the NZ population is either separated or divorced requires research and is not “akin” to your statement. That 10.3% of NZ Roman Catholics are either separated or divorced, not much different from the general population, is significant. The value of the statements lie in the importance Roman Catholicism places on marriage, its requirement for sexual activity, and its permanence. If you think that the statements are akin to writing “that 100% of all people in cemeteries are dead” why are you concerned to read the “research to determine it’s validity”? The research is provided in NZ Catholic No.380. If you write to their website (I provided the link) they may send you a copy. Blessings.

  2. It seems to me, based upon what few facts & figures provided, that it would be difficult, it not impossible to make any accurate statement based upon the information contained therein.

    We don’t know, for example, attendance frequency of worship services, whether there was marriage preparation, ages, or any other factors that may influence decisions – either in the population studied, or researchers.

    It’d be akin to writing that 100% of all people in cemeteries are dead. And yet, only those buried in cemeteries are dead. The living go to cemeteries on occasion.

    What value is there in making such a statement? More questions remain unanswered by the figures provided. I’d be interested in reading the research to determine it’s validity.

    • Marriage preparation is a requirement of marriage for Roman Catholics in NZ. It is not a requirement for the general population in NZ. The article makes no analysis of marriage statistics and Mass attendance. Such an analysis would be fraught, as the divorced and living-together cannot participate fully at Mass and so are significantly less likely to be present. Blessings.

      • Yes Fr Bosco but divorced Catholics may not have been married in the Church either.

        People who identify as Catholic (or Anglican for that matter) may never actually grace a Church with their presence or perhaps they might at Christmas.

        In addition a Catholic woman I know who is divorced came into that state entirely against her will. She refused to sign the papers and in the end a Bailiff served them on her to her utter dismay.

        People are sinners and not very nice to each other

Leave a reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.




About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

You are visitor number shopify analytics tool since the launch of this site on Maundy Thursday, 13 April 2006