A STATISTICS INSTITUTE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - A SEVERAL DOZEN YEARS OF ‘COUNTING FAITH’

FR. ŁUKASZ JAKSIK

Do you want to find out how many priests or monks work in Poland? What does the vitality of the Polish Catholicism look like? Which diocese do most Catholics practice their religion every Sunday in? Ask in the Statistics Institute of the Catholics Church

This is a scientific – research institution. It deals with collecting data on the Catholic Church in Poland and conducts sociologic investigations. There appeared hundreds of works, including books which reflect religious life of Polish Catholics. This institution is run by Pallotines on the basis of an agreement with the Secretariat of the Polish Episcopal Conference.

The Statistics Institute was founded in 1972, when as an Institution of Religion Sociology started some survey investigations (socio-graphic). In 1993 the Institute of Religion Sociology is changed into the Statistics Institute of the Catholic Church, which comprises sociological investigations. It is run by Fr. Prof. Witold Zdaniewicz. In the same year, in the Secretariat of the Polish Episcopate, an agreement is signed between the Statistics Institute of the Catholic Church and the Main Statistics Office about statistics. In 1994,the Secretariat of the Polish Episcopate orders the Institute to conduct statistic and sociological research officially to the needs of the Church, both in the national and local (diocesan) dimension. 20 professional surveys of social-religious attitudes were conducted in dioceses, beginning to build one’s survey network at the same time. In next years, also universal, annual researches were undertaken about participation in the Holy Mass, whose aim is to set an indicator ‘dominicantes’ and ‘communicantes’. Another step in the development of statistic researches was to begin registers of clergy and the parish.

In the 90s of the last century, in the international research program AFBRUCH ‘The new situation of the Church in the Middle and Eastern Europe, in post-totalitarian democratic societies’, in which a several dozen scientific centres from10 countries of the Middle-Eastern Europe participated. The main aim of the program was doing an analysis of the Church in these countries and drawing conclusions for XXI century. The Institute was an organizer and coordinator of these researches in Poland. During nearly forty years of the existence of the Statistics Institute of the Catholic Church managed to gather many prominent sociologists and researches around it. In this way, in the Polish sociology a new school appeared: a religion sociology school of Lublin and Warsaw, which is one of the biggest religion research centres in the world.

Our readers also use the achievements of the institute. Since the year 1998 researches of parish communities have been carried out there. Thanks to the kindness of the Pallotines we can present the results on our pages.

Those who are willing to support the initiative financially, are given the account number:
PKO SA I O. in Warsaw
13 1230 1037 1111 0010 2140 0749

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"Niedziela" 40/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl