MANILA, Oct. 14, 2013—A ranking Church official lamented the youth’s negative perception about the Church’s intention in meddling over political issues, saying it is high time to understand where the young is coming from.

Echoing the initial findings of the National Filipino Catholic Youth Survey (NFCYS) 2013, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said young people generally doesn’t like the Church getting involved in political advocacies, especially concerning the controversial Reproductive Health Law, which seeks to use taxpayers’ money to fund family planning using artificial means of contraception.

“There seems to be a negative attitude (among the young) when the Church goes along this line. We need to understand why. Is it because they feel that the Church is venturing into an area where She should not be?” he said.

The outgoing chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), Baylon said the respondent’s negative experience with priests, bishops, their religious formators or school administrators have something to do with their negative perception.

“We acknowledge that we have to understand this further that’s why we are having focus group discussions with the respondents for the second part of the survey,” he added.

The partial results of the NFCYS 2013 were presented during the recently concluded convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Cebu City. The conducts of the survey was a joint initiative of the ECY and CEAP.

According to an article posted at the CEAP website, initial findings of the FCNS are as follows: 1) Religiosity significantly predicts socio-political participation; 2) Mother’s education is not a significant predictor of religiosity; 3) The youth whose dads have better schooling appear more religious than those whose fathers have lower educational attainment; 4) As socio-economic status increases, religiosity of the youth also increases;

Youth whose parents are both Catholics seem to be more religious compared to those who have parents with different religion; 5) Older Filipino youth appear to be more religious compared to the younger youth; and, 6) Females exhibit higher religiosity compared to males.

Baylon said he finds the findings “very interesting and eye-opening” although “they may not be absolutely new.”

According to the ECY, the survey “aims to gather a substantial set of data concerning Filipino Catholic youth, leading to a better understanding of these youth which will be important for a relevant and effective ministry among them: in our parishes, schools, youth groups, etc.”

The ECY disclosed that the survey had a total of 1,067 respondents, selected using proportionate sampling by size based on the Catholic population per ecclesiastical territory as of year 1999.

“After a long and careful process of preparation and necessary trainings, the Local Survey Teams (per diocese), composed of youth ministers and leaders, conducted a face-to-face oral interview with the respondents, using a structured questionnaire, which lasted from 20 to 30 minutes,” the ECY explained in its website

Survey participants hail from the schools under the randomly selected dioceses that include Holy Angel University, Angeles City: Dioceses of Cabanatuan and San Jose (Nueva Ecija); St. Louis University, Baguio City: Diocese of Bangued and Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe; University of the Assumption, City of San Fernando: Dioceses of Balanga and Iba; Adamson University, Manila: Archdiocese of Manila; University of Santo Tomas, Manila: Dioceses of Kalookan and Ilagan and Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk; De La Salle University, Manila: Military Ordinariate of the Philippines and Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Prinsesa; Divine Word College of Calapan: Diocese of Gumaca and Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan; Divine Word College of Legazpi: Archdiocese of Caceres; Aquinas University of Legazpi: Archdiocese of Caceres; Ateneo de Naga University: Diocese of Daet; University of San Agustin, Iloilo City: Archdiocese of Capiz and Dioceses of Kalibo, Bacolod and Kabankalan; University of San Carlos, Cebu City: Dioceses of Dumaguete and Maasin; St. Peter’s College, Ormoc City: Archdiocese of Palo and Diocese of Naval; Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City: Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro and Dioceses of Butuan, Dipolog, and Pagadian; University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City: Diocese of Digos; Ateneo de Davao University: Diocese of Tagum; Ateneo de Zamboanga University: Archdiocese of Zamboanga and Prelature of Isabela; Notre Dame University, Cotabato City: Archdiocese of Cotobato and Diocese of Marbel. (YouthPinoy)