Independent from Long Beach, California on March 24, 1976 · Page 7
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 7

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Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 24, 1976
Page:
Page 7
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POPE BIRTH-CONTROL CURB HELD DISASTER i«ng«jch.c.iii..won.,M.rcnn,im INDEPENDENT (AM) PRESS-TELEGRAM (PMJ--A-7 NEW Y O R K (AP) Findings of a m a j o r Roman Catholic study issued Tuesday blame Pope Paul Vl's 1968 r u l i n g against contraception for sleep declines in church p r a c t i c e s , c a l l i n g t b e ..papal decision "an organ- i z a t i o n a l and religious disaster." The conclusions were based on representative national samplings of U.S. Catholics, with the data analyzed by computers of the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago. Rev. Andrew Grceley, senior project researcher, said the results do not merely suggest that "the cause of Catholic decline was the birth-conlrol deci- sion," but "we prove it with the kind of certainty one rarely attains in historical analysis." On the basis of findings that linked the encyclical prohibiting contraception with drops in Mass attendance, financial support, d a i l y prayer and other religious practices, he said, the impact "as far as the American church goes was one of the worst catastrophes in religious history.' 1 The data for the study was drawn from two samplings of Catholics, 2,071 of them in 1963 and 1,128 in 1974. Between those years, two major forces were at work -- the "positive force" resulting in the re- forms of the Second Vatican Council and the "negative force" of the birth-control ruling, the report says. It says the council ref o r m s , by themselves, would have I n c r e a s e d Catholic religious practice by a sixth, while the birth- control encyclical by itself w o u l d have c a u s e d de- clines of about a half, but Ihe " t w o f o r c e s c o m - bined" h a v e yielded an overall decline of about one-third. However, support for Catholic schools remains strong, with 90 per cent favoring their continuation and 80 per cent willing to Increase contributions to sustain t h e m . Shrinking enrollment was attributed almost entirely to unavailability of schools ami failure to expand the system. As for finances, the study s a y s the rate of Catholic contributions has fallen so thai current estimated income of $3.8 bit- lion would, If still nt the 1963 rate, be $5.5 billion. Most of the loss was at- t r i b u t e d to tho b i r t h - cnntrnl decision. The encyclical WHS "issued to restore f a i l h in the institution, b u t in ( a c l badly weakened it." the report says, noting tin! the rilling not only failed to check the increase in Catholic use of birth-control methods-- 80 per cent of Catholics now practice birth control-- hut eroded support for papal authority. AT ALL 8««mi | o«ii "ERA" UQU1D LAUNDRY DETERGENT CURTISS 12-OZ. 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