Irish Catholics still believe in heaven but not so much in hell says new poll

New poll shows 82 percent of the adult Irish Catholics said they believed in God, but only 34 percent attend a church service or mass weekly

A recent poll carried out by Behavior & Attitudes for the Irish Sunday Times on religious beliefs has yielded some very interesting results.

Of the adult Irish Catholics polled, 82 percent said they believed in God, but when it came to attending a church service or mass weekly, only 34 percent could say they did.

When it came to heaven and hell, 76 percent said they believed that St. Peter waits at the gates, while 46 percent believed that hell exists.

The results of weekly mass attendance among different age groups were somewhat unsurprising. The young have poor attendance (in the 18-34 bracket, only 14 percent attend) while the attendance rates increase with age (30% in the 35 -54 bracket and 61% of those over-55).

When it came to party political affiliations and Catholic beliefs, Fine Gael topped the weekly mass attendance with 44 percent, while Fianna Fail topped the belief in God poll at 90 percent.

The Association of Catholic Priests’ Fr. Brendan Hoban recognizes the challenges ahead.

“This is the looming crisis,” he said. “[We are] out of synch with the world they live in. We are failing to resonate with [them].”

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