Global Catholicism, Civil Society, Democracy, and Mass Migration



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 IBM-SPSS statistical program (IBM-SPSS XXIV) 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.

Our 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 toward immigration than overall society.


Relation of economics to social values World Values Survey Vatican Pope Francis European social survey 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.American Studies CenterUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

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