It may make a difference at which church these questions are asked.
I read at Crux,
Only half of US Catholics get Church teaching on Communion, study finds
I know that where I am, people know and believe.
ROME – Results from a new Pew survey show that Jews are the most knowledgeable among America’s religious communities about world religions, while only half of American Catholics know what their own Church teaches on core principles such as communion.
According to the survey, exactly 50 percent of Catholics in the United States correctly answered a question about Church teaching on transubstantiation – the belief that during Mass, the bread and wine become the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.
“The other half of Catholics incorrectly say the Church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion are just symbols of the body and blood of Christ,” and a small percentage are not sure, the study found.
Around 34 percent of Americans overall were aware of this teaching, but more than half showed knowledge of the Catholic concept of purgatory as a place of purification for souls who have died before they reach heaven. Nearly a quarter of participants said they believed purgatory was a place of damnation for evildoers.
Only 71 percent of Catholics got the purgatory question right, which, while not a perfect score, significantly outweighs the number of Catholics who showed a correct understanding of Church teaching on the Eucharist.
Imagine basic knowledge of other teachings, such as the resurrection and virgin birth.
This is a massive condemnation of basic the catechesis, preaching and liturgical ars celebrandi of the last 50 years. Older priests and bishops should hand their heads in shame.
Younger bishops and priests now have 10 times the weight to carry as they trudge towards a dismal demographic horizon.
What can we do?
- First, we have to know our Faith well. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence”. Reach constantly for your good and reliable sources for your knowledge of the Faith, whatever they may be. Use them, review them. Talk about them.
- Teach your children if you have them in your charge. If you have to work with extended family to do this, get to work. Godparents, this means you. Are you involved?
- It is time to form “base communities” of authentic Faith. These could be small groups by invitation – never underestimate the power of an invitation – to meet at a coffee shop or home or park or the Top Of The Mark. Go through the Catechism of the Catholic Church or – why not? – old Baltimore Catechisms or individual volumes of the Navarre Bible [US HERE – UK HERE]. Go through something… anything… but move forward!
- Perhaps the same group can approach the parish priests to learn or to celebrate for them the Traditional Latin Mass. Be ready to supply for them everything they would need, including money to go to a workshop.
Fathers… Bishops… you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. You may want to say that a multitude of things press on you in the administration of the parish or the diocese. I suggest that, of all the things that you are ordained to do, celebrating the sacred mysteries, especially Holy Mass and hearing confessions, is supreme. And, because of supreme importance in the good ordering of life held by the virtue of Religion, unless celebration of the sacred mysteries has pride of place, every other effort and initiative will be enervated from the start. Together with this must be preaching, and preaching the truths of the Catholic Faith.
What we’ve been doing for 50 years – at least – isn’t getting the job done.