New report finds Catholics less generous than other Christians

Jan 22, 2013 by Michael O. Garvey
New ND report finds Catholics less generous than other Christians

Catholics are less generous than other American Christians, according to a study recently published by the University of Notre Dame's Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI).

"Unleashing Catholic Generosity: Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the United States," by Brian Starks, director of CSPRI, and Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, compares the religious giving of Catholics with that of other in America and concludes that Catholics, on average, give less than other Christians.

"Our purpose in this report is not to condemn Catholics for their relative lack of generosity," Starks writes in an introduction to the study. "Nor are we saying that Catholics are ungenerous. Some are very generous. Instead, we are trying to understand sociologically why some in the United States tend to be more generous than Catholics, and why some American Catholics are more generous than other Catholics."

"We hoped to look the problem square in the eye and ask, 'What can we do about it?' The suggestions that we make in the report are not Band-Aids but are focused on re-orienting parish culture, which is no easy task," Starks says.

The report suggests that a principal reason for the "giving gap" between Catholics and other Christians is a lack of "spiritual engagement with money." Without such engagement, many Catholics tend to "compartmentalize" by regarding their use of money and as separate from matters of faith and spiritual life. Exploring how "cultures of money" are affected by Catholic parish life, the authors argue that "discussions of money in Catholic parishes should not center on meeting basic organizational needs, but rather on spiritual growth and personal and world transformation. Parish culture should help Catholics reflect on the dangers of compartmentalizing their financial dealings from their life of faith."

"The Catholic Church in the U.S. has so much potential to accomplish so much good in the Church and in the world, but is often hampered by lack of funds," Smith says. "American learning to become much more financially generous would be truly revolutionary."

"Unleashing Catholic Generosity" is the first of many anticipated reports from the CSPRI, which was established two years ago as a project of Notre Dame's Institute for Church Life (ICL).

"It's an excellent study," says ICL director John C. Cavadini, "not only because it diagnoses a problem, but also, because of its skillful analysis of the data, it is able to propose some strategic solutions. This is social science at its academic best and at the same time truly in service to the Church."

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More information: icl.nd.edu/initiatives-project… research-initiative/

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User comments : 8

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Jeweller
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 22, 2013
Noughty Catholics
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2013
"The Catholic Church in the U.S. has so much potential to accomplish so much good in the Church and in the world, but is often hampered by lack of funds..."

Yes by paying their taxes as the law now requires in Italy. If they sold some key properties they could teach STD disease transmission techniques for centuries
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 22, 2013
Conservatives give more than 'liberals':

"People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes.

It is not that conservatives have more money. Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families."
""If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump about 45 percent." {Maybe 'liberals' can't give because of their libertine lifestyle?"}
http://www.realcl...res.html
MandoZink
4 / 5 (4) Jan 22, 2013
Is "giving" a monetary thing only? Those I know who are less religious actually donate a generous amount of their time for causes, not money. Friends of mine who are atheist appear to give the most time. I was delightfully surprised to find this out when I first noticed this years ago. Those in need often need more than just money.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2013
Is "giving" a monetary thing only? Those I know who are less religious actually donate a generous amount of their time for causes, not money. Friends of mine who are atheist appear to give the most time. I was delightfully surprised to find this out when I first noticed this years ago. Those in need often need more than just money.

Read the book. 'Liberals' donated less of their cash AND time.

But then what are the 'liberal's' causes? Save the whales, protest the 1%, ....or feed the poor created by 'liberal' policies?
Argiod
1 / 5 (5) Jan 22, 2013
Catholics are very generous....
to other Catholics...
The rest of us apparently are going to Hades; and they just don't want to waste resources on us.
MandoZink
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 22, 2013
Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families.

I guess a lot of the liberals I know are not as wealthy as you might think. They are busy, however.

One liberal atheist friend began a program to match and provide technologies to aid people with various handicaps. Another liberal atheist friend collects donated camping equipment to provide to local inner-city youth to experience the outdoors. That same guy, a tech whiz, volunteered his vacation time oversees to link third-world medical clinics to the net. Another liberal friend used his vacation time to teach the blind to hike, and even ski, in Colorado. Now retired, he and his wife rescue dogs from puppy-mills.

Other liberal friends of mine visit classrooms and tell stories about local history, geology, flora and fauna. Some friends are performers and musicians who routinely volunteer for benefit concerts. Others do free videos for kids.

I know good people. Lots of them. Damned liberals they be.
MandoZink
4 / 5 (4) Jan 22, 2013
And along these lines, sorta:
"Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers"
http://medicalxpr...ers.html

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