Gallup Poll on Catholics on social issues

A new Gallup poll finds no difference between the views of American Catholics and non-Catholics on issues such as abortion, stem cell research and homosexuality. And, while the most devout Catholics have views more in line with church doctrine than their less devout counterparts, they too have views that diverge from church doctrine:

Despite the Roman Catholic Church’s official opposition to abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, a Gallup analysis finds almost no difference between rank-and-file American Catholics and American non-Catholics in terms of finding the two issues morally acceptable.

. . .

accompanying chart shows the percentage of Catholics and non-Catholics who find each of nine moral issues morally acceptable. Catholics are at least slightly more liberal than non-Catholics on the issues of gambling (an issue to which the Catholic church is not totally opposed), sex between an unmarried man and woman, homosexual relations, and having a baby out of wedlock. Catholics are essentially tied with non-Catholics on the moral acceptability of abortion, divorce, and stem-cell research using human embryos. Only on the death penalty are Catholics slightly less likely than non-Catholics to find the issue morally acceptable.


In general, Americans who are the most religious also tend to be the most conservative on moral issues. Catholics are no exception. Regular churchgoing Catholics (defined as those who attend church weekly or almost every week) are significantly less likely to find most issues measured in this research morally acceptable than are Catholics who do not attend church regularly. These committed Catholics’ views on all these issues are much more in line with the church’s teachings than are the views of non-practicing Catholics. However, even among committed Catholics, a slim majority seem to be at odds with the church’s positions on premarital sex, embryonic stem-cell research, divorce, and the death penalty.


Read it all here.

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