Study Finds Catholic College Have Little Effect on Students’ Pro-Life Views

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 6, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Study Finds Catholic Colleges Have Little Effect on Students’ Abortion Views

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 6
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A new study finds that Catholic college have moved so far afield from the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church that they are having little effect on how students view abortions. The Cardinal Newman Society says the study shows Catholic universities need to get back to teaching the basics of the faith.

The CNS Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education study found most students on Catholic campuses reject key Catholic moral values and tenets of the faith.

The study was released in the wake of Tuesday’s presidential election, just as many commentators are looking for reasons why a majority of Catholics supported Barack Obama, a thoroughly pro-abortion candidate.

For the current study, CNS commissioned QEV Analytics to conduct the random survey of current and recent students at U.S. Catholic colleges and universities, all between the ages of 18 and 29.

“Most respondents say that the experience of attending a Catholic institution made no difference in their support for the Catholic Church or its teaching," Wagner writes in his report.

The study found large numbers of students at Catholic colleges and universities whose views are out of step.

The survey shows 60% agreed strongly or somewhat that abortion should be legal and nearly 1 in 5 knew another student who had or paid for an abortion, the survey showed.

It also found 54% of respondents said that their experience of attending a Catholic college or university had no effect on their support for the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The CNS survey also showed 56% said their experience had no effect on their respect for the Pope and bishops and their pro-life teachings.

In April 2008 Pope Benedict XVI, recognizing the reality on many Catholic campuses, told Catholic college presidents gathered at Catholic University of America that the Catholic faith must permeate all aspects of Catholic campus life.

The new study is a follow-up to a study CNS released five years ago, drawing on data from 38 Catholic colleges collected by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute. That study found students’ support for Catholic teaching on abortion declined over four years at a Catholic institution.

Related web sites:
Cardinal Newman Society –

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