Do you know what the #1 reason is? Any guess? Anyone? Bueller?
Do you think it’s because people are too busy or lack time? Perhaps they have family responsibilities to tend to? Health problems? Or maybe they’re just not religious?
If you answered any of the above, you’d be wrong. According to a survey of the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, the #1 reason is “I don’t believe that missing Mass is a sin.” And by a wide margin. 57% of people who missed Sunday mass during the previous 6 months said that this response “Somewhat” or “Very Much” explained why they missed (Source, page 10).
The bad news is that this is just another indictment of the horrible job the Church is doing in teaching the Faith.
The good news is that this can be fixed with some solid formation.
Of note, the pre-Vatican II generation was less likely to give this answer and more likely to answer that “Health problems or a
disability” had kept them away. Not sure if this reflects better education or if it reflects the fact that the pre-Vatican II crowd is getting old and hence has more health problems. But there was still pretty sizeable number of pre-Vatican II people who gave this answer.
The survey also found that only 57% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and that percentage is trending downward. Very sad.