By Lisa Wangsness GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 28, 2015
The Archdiocese of Boston has hired a top Democratic consultant to poll Catholics in Eastern Massachusetts — most of whom no longer attend weekly Mass — to find out what they think about the church and its leaders.
John Marttila, who served as a strategist for Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, and Deval Patrick, has overseen a phone survey this month on behalf of the church, asking active and inactive Catholics a wide-ranging series of 90 questions.
They include: How often do you go to Mass? Should women have a larger leadership role in the church? Is your opinion of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley very favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or very unfavorable?
And: Have you seen the movie “Spotlight?” How well do you think the church has responded to the abuse crisis in recent years?
Church spokesman Terrence C. Donilon said the poll is part of a “research study on strategic direction” designed to help the church do a better job serving the estimated 1.8 million baptized Catholics in the archdiocese. Only about 16 percent attend Mass every week, down from 70 percent in 1970, according to church figures.
“We want to be good listeners, and we want to be good learners,” Donilon said. “If you are not in conversation with the people, you’re not listening.”
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