Thursday, April 14, 2005

Young, conservative and Catholic

The New York Times reports today that this is a growing force in the Church, one that is quite possibly a shock to people who remember Paul VI's election.

This movement is not confined to the US or any one particular country either.
Data from the World Values Survey, gathered by researchers in 58 countries, tends to bear out impressions of a conservative trend. It shows that the "millennial generation" of young Catholics - those born in 1982 or later - has returned to the traditional religious attitudes and behavior of generations born before World War II, said Mark M. Gray, a research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The values survey, coordinated by the University of Michigan, has been conducted periodically since 1981 by researchers who pool their data and make it available to scholars.

Catholics in the "millennial generation" are more likely to attend Mass weekly, pray every day, feel that religion is important and have a lot of confidence in the church than Catholics in either the Vatican II generation (born 1943 to 1960) or those in the Post-Vatican II generation (1961 to 1981), he said.
All those who think the Church has to "move with the times" just might find that the times have moved right back to the Church.

If this movement is more than just a blip, then I think it will be John Paul II's greatest legacy. Is there a man in the conclave who can keep it going?