83% of students believe abortion should be allowed in Ireland

Only one-third of Irish students say that they believe in God, with 83.5% saying abortion should be allowed in Ireland.

The research, conducted in the past two weeks by the Student Marketing Network, also found that 66% of those surveyed don’t believe that religion makes the world a better place.

The survey of 1,146 students showed that 57.8% of respondents considered themselves Catholic, another 20% Atheist.

This contrasts with the most recent census, where 84.16% of the country said they were Catholic.

Conversely, 2.81% of those questioned described themselves as Church of Ireland in the census, a figure not wholly dissimilar from the 2.2% of students who said they were Church of Ireland or Protestant.

Colman Byrne, managing director of Student Marketing Network and oxygen.ie said: “The survey brought up a lot of interesting information that people may have different views on but it certainly shows that there is a major disconnect between organised religion and young people in Ireland.”

The survey also showed that while 61.5% of the Catholic students take Communion at Mass only 32.2% of them believe it’s the body and blood of Christ.

When asked why students aren’t religious, 77.8% said they “don’t believe in the teachings” and 40% said they don’t want their children to follow the same religion they were brought up with.

But despite students’ disdain for Catholicism, 41% admitted to praying when they need something or are facing an exam or job interview. Only 11.7% said that they follow religious teachings in everyday life.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Meath has sent a directive to his priests that eulogies are not to be allowed during Mass as they are a “dumbing down” of the “integrity of the funeral Mass”.

Bishop Smith has said that eulogies can take place at the graveside but warned that secular songs, poems and texts devoid of Christian content are “out of place in the funeral liturgy”.

“A post-Communion reflection of a prayerful nature can be given after Communion but this should be agreed beforehand with the celebrant and should not be used as a cloak for a eulogy.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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