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Bishops refute church attendance statistics

Pollsters have got it wrong, say Church leaders

 Filipinos attend early morning Sunday Mass Filipinos attend early morning Sunday Mass
  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • April 10, 2013
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Catholic bishops today refuted the results of a recent survey that found declining church attendances.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro said the nine Masses in his cathedral every week are always filled to capacity. 
"Priests also maintain that their Masses in the city center and in [villages] in our 93 parishes are full," he said.
The former head of the Catholic bishops’ conference said that while there are those who no longer go to Sunday Mass, there are also new Catholics who have started to attend.
"It’s a matter of minus and plus," said Lagdameo.
Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel agreed with Lagdameo's observation. "In the 26 parishes in Marbel, attendance is up. I have visited 17 parishes and the findings also show vibrancy," he said.
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, from a diocese in the suburbs of Cubao, and Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church in the center of Manila, said Mass attendance has been increasing.
The prelates were reacting to the result of a survey by a leading pollster which claimed the number of Filipino Catholics who go to church every Sunday has slumped from 64 percent to 37 percent.
The survey results also stated that Filipino Catholics are less religious compared to Protestants and other religious groups and that one in every 11 Catholics sometimes think of leaving the Church. It was the first time the pollster asked the question in its survey. 
Ongtioco, however, said a "scientific study" should be done to validate the survey results.

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