A study commissioned by the Archdiocese of Malta shows that 92% of Maltese are Catholic, of whom 74% claim to go to Mass at least once a month. The research also shows that 40% attend Mass every Sunday. This was confirmed by the census held between the 2nd and 3rd December of last year, that showed that Mass attendance was at 38%.
This research was carried out for the first time using different methods (a census as well as research) for the Church to have a wide and accurate picture of society in order to be more pastorally effective in the coming years.
The census on Sunday Mass attendance was carried out by Discern (the Church institute for research) by means of a form that was filled in by each member of the congregation present for Mass. The census was carried out in 987 Masses held in 329 churches, chapels and other places of worship in Malta every Saturday and Sunday. The attendance was around 122,000, that is 38%, which translates into an average of 123 persons for every Mass. The census does not include attendance of those baptised who are less than seven years of age and those who cannot go to church due to illness or hospital stays.
Research via telephone was carried out by Misco International after the census, that is between the 4th and the 8th December of last year, using a sample of one thousand participants. The aim of this research reflects the Church’s readiness to listen to everyone including those who do not go to Mass. Among those who do not attend Mass, some said that they do not agree with the teaching of the Church; others said that they cannot find the time for Mass. Among those who professed to be Catholic, 75% said that they pray every day, 17% pray regularly and 8% do not pray.
The final result of this research will be analysed by a pastoral committee, with the help of experts, that will be established by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna. This committee, together with the parish priests of 70 parishes in Malta, will recommend the necessary changes in the light of the pastoral plan that is being prepared, while acknowledging the opportunities that exist for the Church to proclaim the Good News. The ultimate objective is that the Church reaches more people in the fringes of society and continues to be of service to the people in their daily lives.