The first of our four polls commissioned to take the pulse of Catholics in advance of the 2020 presidential election was released on Dec. 9, and it was very revealing, in many ways. The purpose of the polls — resulting from the collaboration between EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research — is to chart an understanding of where Catholics stand on issues surrounding the Church, politics and U.S. culture. 

At this critical moment, I see these polls as a service not only to Catholics in the United States but also to the universal Church. The polarization of our culture at large, mirrored by an often deep divide among Catholics, prompted us to try to get a clearer picture of the political opinions and general habits of Catholic voters.

While there is much still to be learned in the next three polls about what Catholic voters value and how they engage civically, these first results are a wake-up call for the Church on one thing in particular: Far too few Catholics practice the faith in the most fundamental of ways, such as going to Mass weekly and confession regularly.

To me, the data reflects the fact that, for too long, we Catholics have allowed ourselves to be shaped by an increasingly secular, irreverent and ignoble culture, instead of allowing our Catholic faith to influence every aspect of our lives. Our baptismal call demands more of us.

I invite each of you to reflect on how we can draw ourselves, our families and our communities closer to Jesus Christ through the sacraments in the year ahead. And let us begin this Christmas, as we proclaim Emmanuel, God is with us — now and always.

Merry Christmas, and God bless you!