Worldwide poll of Catholics shows … a lot of confusion

posted at 4:01 pm on February 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Not the least of which is on the part of the poll itself. Yesterday, the Washington Post’s religion reporters Michelle Boorstein and Peyton Craighill reported on a global survey conducted by Univision that showed a wide split among Catholics of different regions on adherence to church doctrine. Boorstein and Craighill argue that this demonstrates the uphill battle facing Pope Francis as he tries to unite the global Christian church, and his own:

Most Catholics worldwide disagree with church teachings on divorce, abortion and contraception and are split on whether women and married men should become priests, according to a large new poll released Sunday and commissioned by the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision. On the topic of gay marriage, two-thirds of Catholics polled agree with church leaders.

Overall, however, the poll of more than 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries reveals a church dramatically divided: Between the developing world in Africa and Asia, which hews closely to doctrine on these issues, and Western countries in Europe, North America and parts of Latin America, which strongly support practices that the church teaches are immoral.

The widespread disagreement with Catholic doctrine on abortion and contraception and the hemispheric chasm lay bare the challenge for Pope Francis’s year-old papacy and the unity it has engendered.

Among the findings:

●19 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 30 percent in the Latin American countries surveyed agree with church teaching that divorcees who remarry outside the church should not receive Communion, compared with 75 percent in the most Catholic African countries.

●30 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 36 percent in the United States agree with the church ban on female priests, compared with 80 percent in Africa and 76 percent in the Philippines, the country with the largest Catholic population in Asia.

●40 percent of Catholics in the United States oppose gay marriage, compared with 99 percent in Africa.

The poll, which was done by Bendixen & Amandi International for Univision, did not include Catholics everywhere. It focused on 12 countries across the continents with some of the world’s largest Catholic populations. The countries are home to more than six of 10 Catholics globally.

Some of this, though, depends on definitions. Let’s look at the question asked on abortion, for instance, to understand the limitations of the results:

Do you think that abortions should be allowed in all cases, allowed in some cases for example when the life of the mother is in danger, or should it not be allowed at all?

That framing of the question is deeply deceptive, especially in the US and Europe. Most abortions in both places have nothing to do with the physical health of the mother; they are almost entirely elective, chosen for convenience. Even according to the abortion-friendly Guttmacher Institute, 74% of those choosing abortions cite convenience as a reason (non-exclusively), 48% cite economic issues, and 25% say they just don’t want people to know they’re pregnant. Only 12% mention their own health at all, let alone claim their lives are at risk. The most common answers in combination never even mention it. That framing does not deal with the reality of the abortion debate nor of the Catholic issues regarding it.

Even so, the striking figure here is the low number of Catholics who think abortion should be unrestricted. If, as the question suggests, abortion was restricted to only issues of the mother’s health and rape and incest, there may be considerable support for having just those limited options available as compared to the abortion-on-demand environment which currently dominates the US. Only 10% of American Catholics, and 20% of those in Europe, favor abortion on demand. That’s a little more positive than the poll’s top-line results and analysis indicate.

On the rest of the questions save one, the results show the challenge for Francis not so much on unity as for catechesis. The issue in the West seems to be a lack of education on Catholic teaching on issues such as contraception, marriage and the role of sexual expression in God’s plan, and the nature of the priesthood. The only issue that doesn’t relate to doctrine is whether priests should be married, which is a practice rather than a doctrine, and one limited to the Latin Rite (which is by far the Catholic Church’s largest). Interestingly, it’s also the one where considerable loyalty remains to the Church teaching, even in the West, although still a minority position.

The poll shows that Western Catholics want the church to allow divorced-and-remarried members to receive Communion. Recent comments by Francis about finding ways to minister to those in broken families sounded to some as though the Vatican would rethink doctrine on remarriage and adultery, but those comments were in the context of children from those marriages. John Allen and Lisa Wangsness asked Cardinal Sean O’Malley about the prospects for rewriting doctrine on these points, and the Boston prelate puts them at nil:

But he cautions that those with high expectations that the shift in tone presages major changes in church teachings on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and other flashpoint issues are likely to be disappointed.

“I don’t see the pope as changing doctrine,’’ O’Malley said in an interview with the Globe, though he said the pontiff’s focus on compassion and mercy over doctrinal purity has reverberated powerfully throughout the church.

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston and the closest American adviser to the popular new pontiff, O’Malley said says it would also be unrealistic to expect the church to consider allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments, even though Francis himself once appeared to signal openness to the idea.

“The church needs to be faithful to the Gospel and to Christ’s teaching,” O’Malley said. “Sometimes that’s very difficult. We have to follow what Christ wants, and trust that what he asks of us is the best thing.”

The Vatican is gathering input on the issues highlighted by the poll, O’Malley tells Allen and Wangsness, but to find ways to improve education on doctrine, not to change doctrine to satisfy public sentiment:

O’Malley acknowledged that the church’s teachings on social issues are unpopular in contemporary Western societies. But he said the church cannot change its views to suit the times. Instead, he said, it must find new ways of explaining its teachings to a culture dominated by secular humanist values.

“The church has always tried to explain the faith,” he said.

Clearly, we need to explain it better, especially in the West.


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hang in there Ed!!

How about some good guitar Riffs to liven up
a Monday??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM2b9CcH1KM

ToddPA on February 10, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Catholics may need to frame their answers with more empathy (since that is the only level anyone ever wants to operate at, lest they be labeled), but doctrine and respect for life will never change…

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Oh, man – I can hear the pitter-patter of tiny troll feet, stomping to get in here as quickly as possible…

Midas on February 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Are either Boorstein or Craighill Catholic?

NotCoach on February 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Promises to be a long thread…

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Clearly, we need to explain it better, especially in the West.

It’s too late. We’ve had 50 years of propagandizing and brainwashing through culture, the media and educational system that ego and feelings trumps all, even doctrine that has been around for thousands of years.

That means nothing when Julia’s or Pajamaboy’s feelings are hurt or either wants some instant gratification.

kim roy on February 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Heh. Ed’s picture at the top of Top Picks at the moment showing up right next to His Holiness.

There’s a bit of a resemblance…

DarkCurrent on February 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Worldwide poll of Catholics shows … a lot of confusion

In my new home–the Philippines–the Catholicism of the majority is pretty much a surface religion, even after 300 years of Spanish rule (from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries).
Deep down the population is largely animist.
Superstitions abound.
Some sacrifice chickens to appease demons.
Workers refuse to chop down certain kinds of trees for fear of offending resident spirits.
Chinese folk religion is pretty big here, too.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Yes, a “scientific” poll in Africa and South America. Right. Okay. Do you have a carburetor that runs on water to sell, too?

What a joke.

Also, any abortion question that deals with “to save the life of the mother” as an “exception” is misleading on its face. When the life of the mother is actually directly threatened, abortion has never been illegal or against Catholic doctrine or medical ethics. It is then the equivalent of a self-defense issue. Of course, such cases are even rarer than the cases of pregnancy by rape or incest in the industrialized world.

It is therefore a question designed to solicit and increase the evident support for abortion “rights.” If a survey will slant one question, it will slant them all and “adjust” the results until it achieves its desired results.

Adjoran on February 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM

People prefer sin. Stop the presses…news at 11.

Moses

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

In my new home–the Philippines–the Catholicism of the majority is pretty much a surface religion, even after 300 years of Spanish rule (from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries).
Deep down the population is largely animist.
Superstitions abound.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Imperialist-imposed religion not really resonating deep. Not surprising.

DarkCurrent on February 10, 2014 at 4:30 PM

How about we poll the Holy Trinity and see what they think?

elm on February 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

If the Church is wrong on the right to life then it is wrong on everything else. Why would someone stay in a faith that is contrary to their lifestyles and convictions?

elm on February 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM

People prefer sin.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Even a lot of church-going folks.
Which is why there’s no such thing as a Christian nation on Earth.
While professing Christians (CINOs) are majorities in some places, Christ-followers are a minority in every country.
This is an important point. For instance, AQ justifies terrorism by saying Christianity endorses abortion, homosexuality, & porn. If you say that’s outrageous, they’ll reply by pointing out that “Christian nations” in North America & Europe celebrate those evils.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

I disagree with the Church concerning birth control-since I can’t have any more kids it’s a moot point anyway-and I consider Pope Francis to be too far to the left for my tastes.
That said-I’ll take a Church that is a bit more conservative than I am-than the watered-down, feminist over-run, girly-man, CINO alternative.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2014 at 4:36 PM

In my new home–the Philippines–the Catholicism of the majority is pretty much a surface religion, even after 300 years of Spanish rule (from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries).
Deep down the population is largely animist.
Superstitions abound.
Some sacrifice chickens to appease demons.
Workers refuse to chop down certain kinds of trees for fear of offending resident spirits.
Chinese folk religion is pretty big here, too.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Imperialist-imposed religion not really resonating deep. Not surprising.

DarkCurrent on February 10, 2014 at 4:30 PM

When you quoted me, you left off the “Chinese folk religion” part of my comment. Since you & I have a history of discussion about that Communist oligarchy, I find that “Not surprising.” :)

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Even a lot of church-going folks.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” –Anthony Thiselton

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Clearly, we need to explain it better

Good luck with that with Frankie running the show.

whatcat on February 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Also, any abortion question that deals with “to save the life of the mother” as an “exception” is misleading on its face. When the life of the mother is actually directly threatened, abortion has never been illegal or against Catholic doctrine or medical ethics. It is then the equivalent of a self-defense issue. Of course, such cases are even rarer than the cases of pregnancy by rape or incest in the industrialized world.

It is therefore a question designed to solicit and increase the evident support for abortion “rights.” If a survey will slant one question, it will slant them all and “adjust” the results until it achieves its desired results.

Adjoran on February 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Be careful with that explanation, technically it is different. Abortion is never okay, but if you must do a procedure that kills the child (but is not directed at the child) it is the principle of double effect. To be clear, if a woman has uterine cancer and is pregnant and the uterus must be removed so the woman doesn’t die, you can remove the uterus with child (which kills the child). The action can not be against the child, otherwise it would be murder. This gets hairy and a big debate when you deal with ectopic pregnancies, but it still holds.

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Imperialist-imposed religion not really resonating deep. Not surprising.

DarkCurrent on February 10, 2014 at 4:30 PM

The fastest growing churches by far are in countries that were colonialized. They don’t seem to think that Christianity was imposed on them – they believe it liberates them.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:44 PM

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” –Anthony Thiselton

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Amen! We certainly agree on that.
“Some like to live within the sound of chapel bells.
I’d rather run a mission right next to the gates of Hell.”

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:44 PM

OT
Drudge

-obama delaying employee mandate for year for those with less than 100 employees

Did we call it or what

cmsinaz on February 10, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Overall, however, the poll of more than 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries reveals a church dramatically divided: Between the developing world in Africa and Asia, which hews closely to doctrine on these issues, and Western countries in Europe, North America and parts of Latin America, which strongly support practices that the church teaches are immoral.

But guess which half of the church is growing and which half is in decline?

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2014 at 4:48 PM

OT
Drudge

-obama delaying employee mandate for year for those with less than 100 employees

Did we call it or what

cmsinaz on February 10, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Until 2016

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:49 PM

BTW, only the Pope can get away with the picture for this thread. Anybody else is clearly a poser.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2014 at 4:50 PM

When you quoted me, you left off the “Chinese folk religion” part of my comment. Since you & I have a history of discussion about that Communist oligarchy, I find that “Not surprising.” :)

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

I believe Chinese folk religion was first introduced to the Philippines long before the western philosophy of Communism made its way to China. Is there some sort of connection I overlooked?

DarkCurrent on February 10, 2014 at 4:51 PM

The fastest growing churches by far are in countries that were colonialized. They don’t seem to think that Christianity was imposed on them – they believe it liberates them.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Really? What a coincidence…

DarkCurrent on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

This gets hairy and a big debate when you deal with ectopic pregnancies, but it still holds.

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Actually this is the easiest example to point to. An ectopic pregnancy will result in both a dead baby and mother. Diagnosis is straight forward and clear.

Your cancer example is one that would be a real quandary.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

It seems odd that they would consider themselves Catholic yet disagree with the Church on so much.

bluegill on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” –Anthony Thiselton

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM

A nice thought, really. The only problem is that in this case some of the patients are demanding that they don’t have to take the medicine necessary to get well. Instead they go “doctor shopping.”

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

bluegill on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Dissent is alive and well in the Church. We are followers of Christ, not leftist loons.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Hi ALT!

How did the bunny suit day work out? lol

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Actually this is the easiest example to point to. An ectopic pregnancy will result in both a dead baby and mother. Diagnosis is straight forward and clear.

Your cancer example is one that would be a real quandary.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The ectopic is a debate, because no one wants to remove the tube, as opposed to just force an abortion and maybe let it happen again. The cancer example is only a quandary if there is a chance to hold out until possible birth age (22-24wks), if there is no chance it is less so. And it is all a heartbreaking decision….

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 4:59 PM

bluegill on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Dissent is alive and well in the Church. We are followers of Christ, not leftist loons.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:55 PM

HA, this made me smile!

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM

The Pope, unfortunately, has managed to complicate the confusion by repeatedly giving the leftists soundbites they can use to suggest that he’s on the verge of embracing their pet causes like same-sex marriage and women priests.

I know from my own family that the liberal Catholics see the Pope as a rubber stamp on all of their secular leanings.

And this is not good.

Kensington on February 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Dissent is alive and well in the Church. We are followers of Christ, not leftist loons.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Supporting abortion is a sin. Not a dissent.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Isn’t it nice that our discussion centers around obvious life threatening situations of real moral doubt? I wish the national conversation was this far along. So do a lot of babies.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

If this poll by Univision I wouldn’t trust it one bit. They are a network with a very specific agenda down to the point that they only report what promotes their goal.

I know it doesn’t sound much different than many other English speaking networks, but trust me when I say it is EVEN WORSE with that network.

ptcamn on February 10, 2014 at 5:07 PM

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Isn’t it nice that our discussion centers around obvious life threatening situations of real moral doubt? I wish the national conversation was this far along. So do a lot of babies.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

The way it should be!

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Supporting abortion is a sin. Not a dissent.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

My comment was made in a general sense, there is more in the article than abortion. Also, my comment was meant to point out that Catholics try to use persuasion and apologetics to bring people into harmony with the Church’s teachings, not demand fealty via the leftist thug way.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

It’s seems odd to me for people to belong to a church that they don’t believe in. Why don’t they find a church that teaches what they believe and go there?

Annielou on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

it is EVEN WORSE with that network.

ptcamn on February 10, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Very true! They are very socialist leaning, leftist and secular.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Supporting abortion is a sin. Not a dissent.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

It is technically both. Too bad Catholics don’t understand we are to try to reconcile with the church actively, instead of sitting on our hands and waiting for something to change. I just wish they’d make it official with a nice ex cathedra statement….

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

My comment was made in a general sense, there is more in the article than abortion. Also, my comment was meant to point out that Catholics try to use persuasion and apologetics to bring people into harmony with the Church’s teachings, not demand fealty via the leftist thug way.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Thanks for clarifying.

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Why don’t they find a church that teaches what they believe and go there?

Annielou on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Some do, and that is why the protestant movement is splintering into a thousand shards. Once you shop around, it gets easier and easier to change belief systems to accommodate your discomfort or sins.

That is the path of subjective moralism.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:14 PM

kcewa on February 10, 2014 at 5:12 PM

My pleasure. Sometimes my thoughts get lostjumbled between my brain and finger tips!

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Any poll that doesn’t break down polling between those who attend mass weekly and those who don’t is deliberately misleading. Only 25% attend weekly.

Source:
http://cara.georgetown.edu/caraservices/requestedchurchstats.html

Some “Catholics” have never stepped inside a church, but have a parent who has. They may call themselves ethnically Catholic. They may never have been baptized or confirmed. Even if they have, if they haven’t gone to confession and mass during the Easter season within a year, they’re not members. The polls of non-attendees is indistinguishable from the general populace precisely because they are not Catholic and may never have been Catholic.

As an aside, Pelosi and Biden seem to fit in the category of lapsed Catholics… I haven’t seen either darken a church door in years. Back when they did so, they’d alert the press and make sure photographers were present. Biden in particular used to go to Ash Wednesday service first thing in the morning and make sure to give a televised speech on something or other with ashes on his forehead. Haven’t seen him do that in years. He also gives less in charity as a percent of income than the vast majority of Hot Air chatizens.

theCork on February 10, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Recent comments by Francis about finding ways to minister to those in broken families sounded to some as though the Vatican would rethink doctrine on remarriage and adultery, but those comments were in the context of children from those marriages.

Actually, the storm around remarried divorcees suggests that Francis was speaking of the divorcees themselves rather than the children. He was speaking of the Orthodox practice rather than the current practice. The current annulment system is a mess and the farthest thing from healing or pastoral as possible. I have a few relatives, etc. that have gone through it and it is as stressful and hurtful as having to get a second divorce. One casual acquaintance that I knew growing up (neighbor) tried to get an annulment after a contentious divorce, her ex used the process to harass her. There is something wrong with a system that makes abuse victims go through the same process as a serial adulterer like Newt Gingrich. It seems like the Church should be on the side of an innocent abuse victim while making sure that serial adulterers like the Kennedys and Gingrich are truly contrite.

There are also lots of unfair quirks in the system. For instance, baptized Protestants need to get annulments to marry Catholics or convert despite not adhering to Catholic marriage laws. It is actually more difficult for some Protestants to get annulments than many Catholics. I’ve also never heard of a priest ever suggesting that a couple not get married despite being incompatible. It seems to me if the Church is going to be choosy on the back end it should be choosy about who it marries in the first place.

Illinidiva on February 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM

It’s seems odd to me for people to belong to a church that they don’t believe in. Why don’t they find a church that teaches what they believe and go there?

Annielou on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Many do. However, for those who stay, there are other reasons. I’m from a working class Irish American family so I have issues with the Episcopalian Church that have to do with ethnicity and culture. Catholicism also has a much different theology than many Protestant sects. I don’t think that Protestants understand the devotion to Mary and the saints and even with the changes in worship with Vatican II, an Evangelical church service is very different from a Mass.

Illinidiva on February 10, 2014 at 5:31 PM

And then there are the real weirdos like me who accept the catholic teachings for themselves but want the church (any church that is) stay the hell out of making public policy.

Mu on February 10, 2014 at 5:38 PM

And then there are the real weirdos like me who accept the catholic teachings for themselves but want the church (any church that is) stay the hell out of making public policy.

Mu on February 10, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Technically the “church” isn’t asking for any policies, but people in the church want policies put in place based on what the church teaches. I’m curious, do you have an example that you think is out of bounds?

ledbylight on February 10, 2014 at 5:44 PM

I think that some of the bishops’ reactions to gay marriage have been over the line. The chief bozo in Illinois a guy by the name of Paprocki had an exorcism to protest the gay marriage law.

Illinidiva on February 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM

I think that some of the bishops’ reactions to gay marriage have been over the line. The chief bozo in Illinois a guy by the name of Paprocki had an exorcism to protest the gay marriage law.

Illinidiva on February 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Your respect for the successors of the Apostles is astounding. You are a truly mature person.

philoquin on February 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM

I think that some of the bishops’ reactions to gay marriage have been over the line. The chief bozo in Illinois a guy by the name of Paprocki had an exorcism to protest the gay marriage law.

Illinidiva on February 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Somehow I suspect there is a lot more to that story than you are telling.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 6:34 PM

By “over the line”, do you mean “in clear accord with the Catholic faith”, or “not what I believe in”? Only one of these answers is right :-)

I just wish that the bishops had been doing the exorcisms and such about 40 or 50 years earlier, when the Church was still a potent political force in this country.

Credo in unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolican Ecclesiam…

philosoph0123 on February 10, 2014 at 6:39 PM

By “over the line”, do you mean “in clear accord with the Catholic faith”, or “not what I believe in”? Only one of these answers is right :-)

I just wish that the bishops had been doing the exorcisms and such about 40 or 50 years earlier, when the Church was still a potent political force in this country.

Credo in unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolican apostolicam Ecclesiam…

(oops)

philosoph0123 on February 10, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Welcome to the thread philo

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

That said-I’ll take a Church that is a bit more conservative than I am-than the watered-down, feminist over-run, girly-man, CINO alternative.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2014 at 4:36 PM

So how do you really feel, ALT?

crankyoldlady on February 10, 2014 at 6:47 PM

heh.

Yea, ALT is so ambiguous.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 6:49 PM

One key problem among both (a) many Catholics and (b) much media reportage is that there is no proper understanding of the distinction between (i) those areas in which there can be prudential judgments of how one is to act and (ii) those areas in which there is no latitude for such judgments. Health care? Poverty programs? Fall under (i). Abortion? Gay “marriage”? Artificial birth control? Under (ii). That a majority of Catholics may disagree with Church teachings on these latter issues is irrelevant. Doctrine is not up for vote and does not depend on such.

If I recall correctly, during the Easter Vigil service, one question that is asked of the congregation is whether they believe in what the Church teaches. One is expected to say yes. If one cannot honestly do so, then one should definitely think twice (at the least) before receiving the Lord.

philosoph0123 on February 10, 2014 at 6:52 PM

(Actually, may be in danger of mortal sin by receiving…I should not be mushy in my language!)

philosoph0123 on February 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

It’s seems odd to me for people to belong to a church that they don’t believe in. Why don’t they find a church that teaches what they believe and go there?

Annielou on February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Much too sensible. Some people would rather force change to suit themselves.

crankyoldlady on February 10, 2014 at 6:55 PM

I don’t have much use for religion whether it’s Catholic, Protestant, Judaism, Muslim, Socialism or whatever but I was brought up Catholic. Looking at it objectively if they want the church to go on they will have to allow women and married priests. there’s no earthly reason not to. I remember when every little church had a pastor and an assistant. Now they have one priest covering several churces.

crankyoldlady on February 10, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Kraut, where are you?

The thread needs an atheist to get things moving.

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2014 at 7:12 PM

I have no idea where you are getting that women and married priests are necessary for the church to continue. About 60 years ago, there was (in a sense) a golden age of Catholicism in this country, in that there was a great abundance of priests and religious. This exceeded (to the best of my knowledge) the historical norms. We may have been spoiled…but now we are reaping the bitter fruit of poor catechesis, lukewarm belief, etc. But numbers of priests (and of believers) is less important than the holiness thereof.

Nevertheless, if the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ, it will persevere; if not, it will (and should) fall into ruin.

philosoph0123 on February 10, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Your respect for the successors of the Apostles is astounding. You are a truly mature person.

philoquin on February 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM

I’m sorry.. The ones who covered up for priests who were abusing little children. I’ve never heard anything out of Paprocki’s mouth suggesting anything pastoral or caring to anyone. He is a very small-minded man.

Somehow I suspect there is a lot more to that story than you are telling.

captnjoe on February 10, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Not really.. Paprocki had a hissy fit over Illinois passing a same sex marriage bill and held an exorcism service. Those yucky gays might give him cooties and turn him gay. http://www.sj-r.com/x825433229/Paprocki-exorcism-marks-same-sex-marriage-bill-signing

Illinidiva on February 10, 2014 at 8:35 PM

crankyoldlady on February 10, 2014 at 7:05 PM

There is every reason not to ordain women if you believe Scripture opposes it. The Catholic Church (and many Protestant denominations) believe there is no authority to ordain women, and that such a thing violates Scripture. As for married priests, because a celibate clergy is not considered a doctrine but rather a discipline (consistent with the teachings of the Apostle Paul), it is possible (but in my view, highly unlikely), that the Church will someday allow it.

DrMagnolias on February 11, 2014 at 6:14 AM

One doesn’t have to be a Catholic or a Christian at all. Rules are rules and doctrine is doctrine. It seems to me that the churches here that are going out of existence are the ones that have become squishy and adopted policies counter to what is in scripture.

John_G on February 11, 2014 at 9:35 AM