The new poll has thrown up some surprising statistics about practising Catholics
Catholics are less religious and attend church less frequently than those of other religions, according to a new survey released Sunday by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS).
Only 29 percent of Catholics consider themselves very religious, compared to 50 percent among Protestants, 43 percent among the sect Iglesia ni Cristo, and 41 percent among those from other Christian denominations, SWS found. Among Muslims, 38 percent considered themselves very religious.
The survey also found that one in every 11 Catholics sometimes think of leaving the Church. This was the first time SWS asked this question.
The pollster said it fielded the question in its survey as a public service in response to a blog post by Jesuit priest Joel Tabora saying the Catholic Church is in trouble because people have been leaving.
While the SWS said there is no direct data to show a trend of Filipino Catholics wanting to leave the Church, it said there is survey evidence to support Tabora's claims.
The pollster found a very slight, but statistically significant, downward trend in the proportion of Catholics in the country over the past 22 years.
The SWS said its series of surveys also show a slightly downward trend of church attendance among all Filipinos, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
Of the 1,200 respondents who answered the survey, 81 percent were Catholic, six percent were Protestant, six percent were Muslim, three percent are members of the Iglesia ni Cristo sect, and three percent belong to other Christian denominations.