17 July 2011


Inspired by the eminent American statistician John Tukey (1915-2000), figured I'd perform an exploratory data analysis using the search engine at the CCCB website. I entered a representative sample of words and phrases used in discussion on Catholic current affairs and subjects. The analysis was conducted on July 15 and 16.

Here are the results in descending order...

MENTIONS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 100: commission (125), document (121), dialogue (106), justice (105), NGO (100), session (100), structures (100), family (100)

MENTIONS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 50: immigration (93), education (92), publication (92), unions (89), administration (88), Jesus (87), Mary (82), report (74), committee (68), crime (67), rights (64), government (56), interfaith (56), God (56), refugee (55), ecumenism (54), poverty (54), aboriginal people (53), meeting (53), love (53), hate (53), economic (52), economy (52), social justice (52), environment (52), poor (52), United Nations (51), health care (50), schools (50)

MENTIONS LESS THAN 50: Rosica (49), mercy (49), abortion (49), catechism (44), homosexual (37), euthanasia (33), racism (24), life issues (20), stem cell (23), right to life (19), Rosary (16), climate change (15), cloning (14), same sex (14), morality (12), slavery (12), contraception (11), morals (11), sustainable development (11), Magisterium (10), fatherhood (9), gay (9), pro-life (8), papal authority (7), RU-486 (7), pro-abortion (6), global warming (5), chastity (4), devotions (4), motherhood (4), NFP (3), fetal (2), heretic (1), Winnipeg Statement (0)

Word/phrase context, IT logistics and the sample population of words probably affect the aforementioned results to some degree. Nonetheless, the numbers show a general pattern: a strong emphasis on bureaucracy and leftist-inclined subjects (50 to 100+ mentions) over and above moral and life matters (less than 50 mentions). Not that surprising. Yet it's always good to have hard data to supplement and corroborate argumentation. Very interesting was that a certain media cleric rang in at a not too bad 49.

I might perform more rigorous statistical analyses in the future, with all manner of equations, graphs, data tables and other goodies - not just for The Star Chamber, but also for the Catholic MSM, Catholic organizations and so forth.

Numbers are fun !



AllenT said...

I hate to say this, but I was surprized that Jesus & Mary showed up as many times as they did. Ditto God. But I wasn't surprized, just saddenned at the low numbers for the terms that deal with life issues. But expected a higher number for climate change. It would be interesting to see the context of some of the terms, like family. That is another 1 that was higher than expected.
BTW did you really expect them to say anything about the Winnipeg Statement?  It seems that they are doing all they can to hide the fact that it is still an official position of the CCCB. 

Fluffy Kerpuffle said...

Fascinating.  Perhaps one of your intrepid American readers will perform the same task for the USCCB website.

TH2 said...

The Winnipeg Statement is the elephant in the living room. Unless forced by the Vatican, the boys ain't ever gonna touch that one.

TH2 said...

 Good idea. My guess is that results would be similar.

Fluffy Kerpuffle said...

USCCB has 37 results for "Rosica."  Giggle.

Fluffy Kerpuffle said...

And NINE results for "Winnipeg Statement"!  (I will deny being so disorganized as to not perform these searches at the same time, but will instead plead that I'm trying to increase your comment count.)

TH2 said...

Most excellent Fluffy, thanks for the extra exploratory data analysis. The 37 results confirms his previous claim: "I work closely with the bishops of both countries". Rather surprised that the Winnipeg Statement was even mentioned. Should look into those articles.

Koinonia2004 said...

Ha! That's brilliant. I wonder how many times the words "salvation" or "redemption" might be found. I bet they occur a LOT less frequently than "social justice".

TH2 said...

Maybe not "a lot less", but less nonetheless:

social justice = 52
salvation = 51
redemption = 30

Anita Moore said...

I haven't done that, but a few years ago, I actually did that with the Los Angeles Religious Ed. conference.


P.S. I've been wanting to post this comment for days, but have had too many technical problems on my end!

TH2 said...

Recall reading that one a while back. The added commentary elevates your analysis over mine.

Please notify me if problems being experienced are interrelated to my astounding DISQUS commenting system and, accordingly, I will endeavour to ameliorate the technological conundrum.

Magdalen said...


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