As the nation prepares for Pope Francis, others ask: What does it mean to be Catholic?
RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
More than 81 million U.S. adults identify themselves as Catholic. But how they live that identity — how they connect to the church beyond celebrating the popular Pope Francis — adds up very differently. Only about 1 in 3 adult Catholics (31.4 percent), chiefly older women, attend Mass in any given week, according to a survey of 1,007 self-identified Catholics by the Catholic research agency, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The same 2008 CARA study, “Sacraments Today,” shows participation in the faith’s seven sacraments, such as baptism, Communion and confirmation, has been dropping steadily with each succeeding generation. [link]