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Sue Cifelli

Researcher reports on effects of Vatican II - 0 views

    Researcher says days of Catholics who 'pay, pray and obey' are gone MIAMI (CNS) -- The days of Catholics who "pay, pray and obey" are gone and likely never coming back, according to a sociologist who has studied the beliefs and practices of American Catholics for more than two decades. As a result, the church must find ways to reach new generations of Catholics who "don't think church leaders are any wiser or any holier than they are," said Purdue University's James Davidson, who spoke at the opening session of the annual gathering of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Davidson has conducted research on four generations of American Catholics, divided in relation to the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council: pre-Vatican II, those born in 1940 or earlier; Vatican II, born 1941-1960; post-Vatican II, born 1961-1982; and millennial, born since 1983. His findings set the tone for the June 5-8 conference, the theme of which was "Generations." Today's Catholics are generally better off financially, better educated and more integrated into mainstream American culture than their pre-Vatican II counterparts, Davidson said. They are no longer outsiders or victims of discrimination for whom the church was a refuge. They also grew up in a church where the emphasis shifted from the hierarchy to the people of God, from the ordained to the baptized. "These formative experiences have lasting effects on the way Catholics think and act," more so than age or any other factor, Davidson said.
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