Interesting Study

From the Orthodoxy Today Survey, some interesting nuggets.

90% of Orthodox parishioners are American born, not first generation immigrants.

29% of GOA respondents are converts; 51% of OCA respondents are converts.

41% of respondents described themselves as “traditional,” while 28% called themselves “conservative,” and 31%, “moderate-liberal.”

However, only 30% support female altar servers, and not even 10% support the ordination of women, so “moderate-liberal” is shifted less to the left than it would be for Western Christians. Further support for this is shown in the fact that over half of those self-identified moderate-liberals believe that when there is a conflict between the priest and the congregation, the priest should have the final word.

The survey asked some of the same questions asked in a Roman Catholic survey in 2005. In response to the question, “One cannot be a good Orthodox Christian/Roman Catholic . . .” Orthodox and Catholics responded in the following ways.

  1. without believing that Jesus rose from the dead.

    Orthodox: 98%
    Catholic: 77%

  2. without believing that in the Eucharist, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus.

    Orthodox: 97%
    Catholic: 64%

  3. without going to Church every Sunday.

    Orthodox: 40%
    Catholic: 24%

  4. without donating time or money to help the poor.

    Orthodox: 72%
    Catholic: 56%

The first two are theological, and unsurprising. The third, however, is somewhat unexpected, given that the Roman Catholics have a tradition of “social activism,” and the “social gospel” heresy has never established itself in Orthodoxy. The fourth is also intersting, since Catholicism has a weekly obligation to attend, but Orthodoxy does not.

Anyway, it’s an interesting study. I’m still perusing it. In general, the study bears out to some extent that converts are more conservative than cradle Orthodox, and while on many (but not all) questions, OCA priests are more conservative than GOA priests, laity in both jurisdictions seem mostly the same.


2 Responses to Interesting Study

  1. Lubeltri says:

    I would guarantee you that back when Catholics were an embattled minority in this country, the percentages would have been much, much higher. With at least 65 million of them in the USA, they have gone mainstream, with many inactive. Such are the effects of assimilation.

  2. Mitch_WA says:

    Let this be a warning, keep the embattle minority mindset. Pres. Kenedy was the worst thing for Catholic Identity in our country. We felt like we were just like everyone else after he was elected. Read the book the “New Anti-Catholicism,” it has really good points on this issue.

    Also from what I have witnessed I believe that it is because your bishops and priests are less afraid to preach the truth.

    Personally I wish the Catholic Bishops would tell their dioceses that simply put you cant be catholic and… (insert any relevent things that many catholics do and shouldn’t). Then tell people if they have questions about this every parish priest and designated lay people in each parish have been instructed to help people understand these positions and bring themselves in line with them. If they are so far removed from the Catholic faith that they refuse to bring themselves to those positions then at lease they are now aware. So many people that I know who are Catholic do or believe things that are wrong not because they are being conciously disobediant to the Church but rather because they just have never been preached to by their priests and bishops on these issues.

    Preach the truth, many will come to it and some will flee. After those who heed the word have been better educated then go after those who resisted and preach to them even more.

    My two cents.

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