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Fianna Fáil voters most likely to be Catholic, survey shows

A new poll also shows large numbers of Catholics do not believe in key teachings of the Church.

A priest holds a bowl of communion wafers
A priest holds a bowl of communion wafers
Image: Julie Jacobson/AP/Press Association Images

FIANNA FÁIL VOTERS are the most likely of any political party to be Catholic, a new poll of religious belief has found.

Some 95 per cent of FF voters identified themselves as Catholic – more than thirty per cent higher than the 58 per cent of Green Party voters who said they were in an Ipsos MRBI survey carried out for the Irish Times.

The survey also found that 39 per cent of self-identified Catholics go to Mass never or only occasionally – less often than every two to three months. Thirty-one per cent go once a week or more often.

A significant number do not believe in central tenets of the Church, the survey shows. Ninety-two per cent of self-identified Catholics believe in God, while 82 per cent believe God created man and just 50 per cent believe in Hell.

Just over a quarter (26 per cent) believe the key teaching of Catholicism known as transubstantiation – that the bread and wine transforms into the body and blood of Christ when it is blessed by the priest during Mass.

Among the political parties, Sinn Féin had the next highest number of self-identified Catholics with 89 per cent – the same as the national overall figure. Eighty-eight per cent of Fine Gael voters said they were Catholic, against 85 per cent for Labour and 87 per cent of independents.

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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