Howth Parish Reform and Renewal Group
‘The impact of religious leadership on the belief and affiliation of laity’
Monday 22nd February 2016
St. Columbanus Hall
Facilitated by Hugh Turpin (Queen’s University, Belfast and Aarhus University, Denmark)
Hugh has studied at UCD and Oxford and is currently investigating the impact and influence of the example of parents/guardians and religious leaders on the belief and affiliation of laity. Recent work in the psychological study of religious belief suggests that an important part of acquiring faith is seeing others in the community practice what they preach. If leaders do not practice what they preach this will drive down religious belief and affiliation with the religious tradition in question, and also make it less likely that religious beliefs will be transmitted to the next generation.
In the case of Catholic practice and belief in Ireland is the pace of decline of religious practice in Ireland [second only to Vietnam] related to increasing secularisation or to the revelation of the clerical abuse scandals of the 1990s? If the latter is the case why have some people retained a Catholic identity and faith despite these scandals