Global Catholicism in the Age of Mass Migration and the Rise of Populism: Comparative Analyses, Based on Recent World Values Survey and European Social Survey Data
Posted: 8 Dec 2016 Last revised: 2 Apr 2019
Date Written: September 20, 2017
Our data are from two sets of reliable and regularly repeated global opinion surveys: The World Values Survey (WVS) and the European Social Survey (ESS). Our statistical calculations were performed by the routine and standard SPSS statistical program (SPSS XXIII), and relied on the so-called oblique rotation of the factors, underlying the correlation matrix. In each comparison, we evaluated the democratic civil society commitment of the overall population and of the practicing Roman Catholics, i.e. those Catholics who attend Sunday Mass regularly, the so-called dominicantes.
Our main population-weighted global research results rather caution us against the view that the Catholic global rank and file will follow the Church’s substantially weakened leadership in endorsing a liberal asylum and migration policy. The overwhelming strength of still existing Catholic activism is to be found in the global South, while the developed countries are strongly affected by secularization.
Based on European Social Survey-based criteria that include pro-immigration attitudes, Euro-multiculturalism, the rejection of racism, personal multicultural experience, and the rejection of right-wing culturalism, it is fair to suggest that in not a single European country, practicing Catholics were more liberal in their attitudes towards immigration than overall society. Only in Germany, there was any relevant active Catholic support for liberal attitudes, as measured by our index, while opposition to them was especially strong in Ireland, Slovenia and Austria.
The global country-based evidence based on the World Values Survey also indicates that only in a limited number of countries, Catholic dominicantes are at the forefront of a democratic, open society. We also found that at lower levels of socio-economic development, active Roman Catholicism indeed is a countervailing force of humanizing societies, but it fails to influence developments at higher “stages of development”.
Keywords: Index Numbers and Aggregation; International Relations and International Political Economy; Religion; Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
JEL Classification: C43; F5; Z12; D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation