A survey conducted by the Polish church shows that the majority of Poles are not ‘religiously active’.
Working as a journalist in Poland forces you to write sentences that include phrases such as ‘in staunchly Catholic Poland…’, or, ‘the devoutly Catholic Polish…’, or, ‘In a country where 95% are Catholic…’, etc. And every time I write these words (editors like it when you do, for some reason) I know that I am misleading the reader. Yes, 95% of people identify themselves as Roman Catholics. But that does not mean Poland is overflowing with the god-fearing.
A survey just released confirms this. Only 43% of Poles claim to be ‘actively religious’, or practicing Catholics. The majority of Poles only go to church on religious holidays, or for births, weddings and deaths. Some never go near the place at all.
This tallies with opinion polls that say that 50% of Poles want their very strict abortion laws liberalized. Seventy-five percent do not believe in the Catholic explanation of what happens after death. And, remarkably for a country where ‘natural methods of contraception’ (otherwise know a ‘cross your fingers and hope for the best’) are taught by the priests, Poland has one of the lowest birthrates in the world.
So the next time you see an article with ‘In a country where 95% are Catholic’ in it, make sure you put inverted commas over the catholic bit.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Posted by beatroot at 11/21/2005