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MW 4 April 2018

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maltatoday WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2018 Analysis 4 98.2% 93.4% 1.1% 4.9% 0.6% 1.8% 90.7% 94.8% 43.3% 89.6% 75.9% 80.5% 53.2% 31.8% 41.9% 35.1% 6.5% 7.6% 2.5% 4.9% 58.5% 81.5% 55.5% 82.9% 22.7% 30.8% Labour supporters PN supporters Catholics Atheist Other Christian Trust Pope Francis Trust Archbishop Charles Scicluna Trust Bishop Mario Grech Agree priests should be able to marry Agree with women priests Agree with removal of Catholicism from Constitution Agree with removal of crucifixes from public buildings Consider yourself a practising member of your religion Attended Mass the previous Sunday Went to confession in the past month THERE are more Catholic La- bourites than Nationalists but they appear to be less pious and more likely to want change in the Church, a MaltaToday sur- vey found. People who voted for the Labour Party in last year's general election appear to be less trustful of Church leaders than Nationalist Party voters. Archbishop Charles Sciclu- na suffers a major trust deficit among PL voters, which con- trasts with the trust rating of Gozo Bishop Mario Grech. While Scicluna is trusted by 43.3% of PL voters, Grech en- joys the trust of 75.9% of those who voted PL in 2017. The survey was conducted a week before the latest contro- versy concerning Scicluna's retweet of an article that ap- peared on Shift News, com- paring 'the government' with the Italian Mafia. The trust levels for both bishops are higher among PN voters. Scicluna's trust rating hits 89.6% among National- ists, while Grech registers a trust rating of 80.5%. When it comes to Church reforms, PL voters appear to be more liberal than their po- litical counterparts. While 53.2% of PL voters agree that priests should be able to marry, only 31.8% of PN voters believe so. Even when it comes to the ordina- tion of women priests, PL vot- ers exhibit a higher level of support to the idea. But it also appears that PL voters are less beholden to their faith. When asked whether they considered themselves to be practising members of their religion, 58.5% of PL voters said Yes, as opposed to 81.5% of PN voters. This was also ref lected in Mass attendance. The sur- vey asked people whether they had attended Mass the previous Sunday. While only 55.5% of PL voters said Yes, PN voters appeared more devout with 82.9% having celebrated Mass. An interesting aspect that emerged from the survey is that people who form part of other Christian denomina- tions and atheists were more likely to have voted PN. The survey found that most of these non-Catholics were concentrated in the North and Northern Harbour re- gions, areas where the PN has traditionally enjoyed strong support. However, despite the liber- al-conservative divide that emerges between supporters of the two major parties, there is almost uniform disagree- ment on the public display of Catholicism. Support for the removal of Catholicism as Malta's official religion from the Constitu- tion hovers around 7% among both sets of voters and agree- ment plummets even fur- ther when people were asked whether crucifixes should be removed from public places. This could be indicative that irrespective of how commit- ted they are to their faith, Maltese feel that Catholicism is part of the national identity and should remain so. The survey was held be- tween Wednesday 21 March and Tuesday 27 March among 553 respondents. Stratified random sampling was carried out in accordance to gender, age and region using National Statistics Office data as basis. RELIGION AND POLITICS: Liberal reds, conservative blues KURT SANSONE

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