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MT 27 March 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 27 MARCH 2016 12 MaltaToday Survey How do you judge the way Archbishop Charles Scicluna is leading the Maltese church? How do you judge the way Pope Francis is leading the world church? THE survey reveals a considerable change in at- titudes towards social issues when opinions of re- spondents are compared with those expressed in surveys conducted in 2008 and 2010. Agreement with abortion in the case of rape has shot up from 20% to 31% when compared to 2008. Agreement with euthanasia for terminally ill pa- tients suffering from unbearable pain has also risen from 41% to 53%. Disagreement with the church's teachings on contraception has gone up from 69% to 77%. The survey also shows that university-educat- ed respondents are equally divided when asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape. But all other edu- cational groups opposed abortion in these specific circumstances. Interestingly, respondents aged between 35 and 54 years were the most favourable to abortion rights in cases of rape. While only 30% of under- 34-year olds and 28% of over-55-year olds favour the legalisation of abortion in this circumstance, support for abortion rises to 36% in the 35-54 years category. The survey also shows an overwhelming rejection of the church's ban on contraceptives. Only 3% of university-edu- cated respondents (and 15% of all respondents) agree with the church's stance on contraception. Majority against cartoons of religious figures While the survey suggests a liberalisation of social mores, it also shows that the vast majority think that newspapers should not be allowed to publish cartoons 'making fun' of re- ligious figures. This suggests a majority of the Maltese agree with censorship when it comes to offending deep rooted reli- gious sensitivities. The depiction of re- ligious figures in car- toons was brought to a head after the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which distinguished itself with making satirical cartoons of religious figures like Moham- med and Christ, was singled out in a ter- rorist attack which saw 11 people mur- dered by Islamic fun- damentalists in Janu- ary 2015. The survey also shows that the vast majority of the Maltese are not motivated by islamophobia in objecting to cartoons like those published in Charlie Hebdo, and that the Maltese make little difference between satirical cartoons of Moham- med or Christ. In fact while 95% think that newspapers should not allow cartoons depicting Christ, 90% think that newspa- pers should not be allowed to publish cartoons de- p i c t i n g Mohammed. Support for the publication of cartoons making fun of both religious figures is higher among younger respondents. While 30% of 18- to 34-year olds agree that newspapers should be allowed to publish cartoons of Jesus Christ only 14% of 35- to 54-year olds and 4% of over-55-year olds agree. Educated respondents were also more likely to support the right of newspapers to publish cartoons of both Jesus Christ and Mo- hammed. Respondents with a secondary or primary level of education were the most likely to distinguish between the two religious figures. While 5% of secondary-educated respond- ents agree with publishing cartoons of Jesus, 7.3% agreed with publishing cartoons of Mohammed. And while 95% of respondents with a primary education oppose publishing cartoons of Mohammed, 95% opposed publishing cartoons of Jesus. Respondents with a higher education opposed the publication of cartoons of both religious figures by the same margin. 65% of under-35-year olds do not attend Sunday mass Although the Maltese overwhelmingly (89%) define them- selves as Catholics, only just over half go to Sunday mass. The survey indicates that 65% of under-35-year olds do not attend Sunday mass. But overall the survey indicates lit- tle change in attendance at mass when compared to the last church census carried out in 2006, which showed 53% attend- ing mass. The MaltaToday survey has 51% saying that they had attended mass the previous Sunday. The rate of Sunday mass participation rises to 62% among over-55-year olds. The survey indicates that Malta still has a higher rate of church attendance than other Catholic countries like Spain (21%), Ireland (46%) and Italy (31%) but lower than that of Po- land (54%). This suggests that Catholic ritual remains an inte- gral part of the life of a large section of the Maltese population. The survey also finds that core Catholic beliefs, such as the belief in eternal damnation are waning. The survey also shows that only 40% of under-35-year olds and of university-educat- ed respondents do not believe in hell. The survey also shows an overwhelming approval of the way Pope Francis is leading the global church and a more luke- warm approval for the way Archbishop Scicluna is leading the Maltese church. While only 12% judge Scicluna's leadership negatively, 47% express a positive judgement. A large segment (31%) express a so-so judgement. Significantly 30% of under-35-year olds could not express a judgement on Scicluna while a majority of over-35-year olds expressed a positive judgement. On the other hand 93% judge Pope Francis's leadership posi- tively. Only 0.4% judge the pope's leadership negatively. Maltese not keen on church speaking on tax evasion Yet in contrast to Pope Francis's highly politicised pontifi- cate, marked by sharp pronouncements against indifference towards migrants and the ravages of global capitalism, a slight relative majority of 46% of the Maltese would like the Maltese church to speak less in favour of accepting migrants, while 44% want the church to speak more on this issue. A relative majority would also like the church to speak less against tax evasion. Only 37% would like the church to speak more on this issue, on which the church has been quite silent, though tax evasion is considered a sin by the universal church: In 1992 the Vatican issued a new universal catechism which identifies a range of new sins that are products of modern- day society. These include tax evasion, mistreatment of im- migrants, financial speculation, abuse of the environment and genetic engineering. In 2008 Pope Benedict XVI also lashed out against tax ha- vens, calling for the effective closure of secretive tax havens as a 'necessary first step' to restore the global economy to health. In line with the present Pope's strong environmental stance a small majority think that the church should speak more against ODZ development. The survey shows the public even- ly divided on whether the church should speak more or less against embryo freezing, with a slight majority calling on the church to speak more on this issue. Youth and higher education show less adherence to religious dogma 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 All 18-34 35-54 55+ 47% 11.6% 30.6% 10.8% 36.1% 20.4% 13.4% 30.1% 52.1% 13.2% 28.7% 6% 55.3% 6.6% 35.9% 2.2% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 All 18-34 35-54 55+ 92.9% 94.2% 5.8% 92.1% 94% RELIGIOUS ROCK STAR Whoever in the world gets an over 90% approval rating? NO CHARLIE PLEASE, WE'RE MALTESE The kind of humour that will never sit well with the Maltese LEGEND • POSITIVE NEGATIVE SO AND SO DON'T KNOW Against embryo freezing Accepting migrants Against tax evasion Against ODZ development 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 43% 42.1% 14.9% 43.9% 45.6% 10.5% 36.6% 42.1% 21.3% 44.1% 43.2% 12.7% MORE LESS DON'T KNOW Should the church speak more or less on these issues: Did you participate in Sunday mass last week? All 18-34 35-54 55+ 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 52.6% 43.9% 3.5% 32.5% 65.1% 2.4% 57.7% 41.4% 0.9% 75.2% 19.4% 5.4% YES NO SICK

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