MaltaToday survey | 67% of independent schools alumni don’t attend mass

Survey on religion suggests Sunday mass attendance falls according to the level of education attained

james
James Debono
25 April 2017, 7:36am
What the survey reveals is a sharp drop in mass attendance among those attending independent schools when compared to those who attended church schools. This suggests that children from the same social background are more likely to grow up as practicing Catholics if they are given a Catholic education
What the survey reveals is a sharp drop in mass attendance among those attending independent schools when compared to those who attended church schools. This suggests that children from the same social background are more likely to grow up as practicing Catholics if they are given a Catholic education
Respondents to last week’s MaltaToday Survey on religion and identity who said they attended a private independent school (not owned by the State or by the Church) were the least likely to have attended Sunday mass the week before as well as the most disposed to vote for an atheist or Muslim candidate in a general election.

Remarkably, respondents who attended a State school were slightly more likely to have attended Sunday mass while those who attended a Church school the most likely to agree with removing the reference to Roman Catholicism in the Maltese Constitution.

But the slightly more secular outlook of students who attended private or church education may be a reflection of their greater likelihood of attending post-secondary education. While 59% of church school alumni and 58% of independent school alumni went on to complete a post-secondary education, only 26% of those who attended a State school did so.

The survey in fact indicates that attendance of Sunday mass falls according to the level of education achieved.  

In fact while a majority who completed a secondary education (59%) attend Sunday mass, a majority of those with a university education (62%) don’t.

What the survey reveals is a sharp drop in mass attendance among those attending independent schools when compared to those who attended church schools. This suggests that children from the same social background are more likely to grow up as practicing Catholics if they are given a Catholic education.

Some private independent schools can also be guided by a Catholic ethos, but Church schools in Malta tend to be run by Orders, for example the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Agostinians, the Lasallian Brothers, and the Franciscan sisters.

In fact while 56% of those who attended a church school attend Sunday mass, only 33% of those who have attended an independent school do likewise.  

But then again, the drop in mass attendance among respondents hailing from independent schools does not necessarily result in more secular views. Only 14% of those attending an independent school want to remove the constitutional article recognising Catholicism as Malta’s official religion.

On this aspect Church school alumni are slightly more secular in outlook. The overwhelming majority of those who have attended an independent school would not vote for a Muslim or an atheist candidate in a general election. But those who have attended an independent school are still the most likely to vote for an atheist (43%) and for a Muslim (33%).

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...