Catholic Poll: The flock is not following their shepherds

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Remember this from back in November: Pope Francis Orders Survey Of Catholics On Hot-Button Social Issues:

PopeU.S. bishops are among those the pope is asking to find out from their parishioners how they feel about abortion, same-sex marriage, divorce and birth control.

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The decision is dividing some parishioners, some of whom fear the poll could be the first step in the church changing its stance on hot-button issues.

The results are trickling in and as they would say on the Family Feud, "survey says": Global Poll Finds Most Catholics Actually Support Birth Control And Abortion Rights:

A new global poll surveying the world’s Catholics finds that most of them don’t agree with the Church’s strict positions on issues of reproductive health. Specifically, most Catholics around the world actually support birth control and abortion rights — two “family values” issues that the Catholic hierarchy opposes.

According to the new poll, which was conducted by the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision, Catholics break most sharply from Church teaching on the issue of contraception. Seventy eight percent of Catholics across all countries surveyed said they support the use of modern birth control. That number rises even further among residents of European and Latin American countries, where Catholics tend to be more liberal than their counterparts in African countries. Over 90 percent of Catholics in France, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, and Colombia have no problem with birth control.

A smaller majority of respondents also expressed opposition to the Church’s stringent anti-choice stance. Sixty five percent of surveyed Catholics said that abortion should be legal in some cases.

Univision’s findings echo the preliminary results from a global survey of Catholics that Pope Francis commissioned this past fall. Francis wanted to see what Catholics really think about birth control, same-sex marriage, and divorce — and so far, the results coming out of Germany and Switzerland signal a similar gulf between the hierarchy and the laypeople. The vast majority of Catholics in those countries reject Church teaching on birth control, sexual morality, and LGBT rights. In light of the survey results, Swiss bishops warned that the Church’s very mission is being “threatened” by its insistence on staking out a stringently conservative stance on these issues.

Here in the United States, Catholic bishops continue to fight against birth control access and abortion rights, even though most American Catholics think birth control is morally acceptable and support a woman’s right to choose. Catholics for Choice, an international reproductive rights organization that has been very active in efforts to oppose anti-choice legislation, has repeatedly pointed out that the Church hierarchy doesn’t speak for all religious people.

“Bishops across the world have failed to convince lay Catholics to conform to teachings on issues like sex, sexuality, family life and reproduction,” Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, pointed out in a statement about Francis’ ongoing survey. “The reality is Catholics are gay and lesbian, Catholics use birth control and Catholics have abortions. It’s time for the Vatican to go back to the drawing board.”

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The final results from his survey may have an impact on an upcoming “extraordinary synod,” a gathering of select bishops that will consider Church teaching’s impact on family life.

Last week I was disgusted to see Ron Johnson, the lobbyist for the Catholic Bishops of Phoenix, Tucson and Gallop, testify in favor of Rep. "Fast Eddie" Farnsworth's Religious Bigotry bill, HB 2153 (.pdf).

For far too long, Ron Johnson has allied the Catholic Church with the Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists at Cathi Herrod's Center for Arizona Policy (CAP). Does this fool not realize this extremist movement refers to Catholics as "Papists," calls the Pope the "devil," and dismisses the Catholic Church as a "false religion" and a "false cult?" Remember Pastor John Hagee? McCain Rejects Pastor's Backing Over Remarks – Washington Post.

HB 2153 would permit these religious extremists to refuse public service to Catholics simply by asserting it is  their "sincerely held religious belief." It ain't just about "hatin' on the gays" Mr. Johnson. They are coming for you too.

Do the Catholic Bishops really support such religious bigotry? Or do they have a rogue lobbyist who takes positions on behalf of the Church? This "lapsed" Catholic would really like an answer.

The Catholic Church hierarchy is taking positions not supported by the majority of Catholics worldwide. The flock is not following their shepherds. It does not suffice to assert there is something wrong with the flock. The fault must lie with the shepherds.

One response to “Catholic Poll: The flock is not following their shepherds

  1. Frances Perkins

    Olmsted is the one obsessed. He sees boogie men in every issue and giving women’s rights in secular/civil actions is somehow taking away his organization’s religious freedom. The fact is if Olmstead could influence many, many people to his way of thinking he would not have to enlist civil legislative allies to force his views on everyone, not just the members of his organization. They would just listen and obey, apparently what he and his extreme right wing allies want. I was married in a Catholic Church wedding 30 years ago, and gay civil marriage is certainly no threat to me or anyone in Olmsted’s group. I can assure you the vast majority of Phoenix Diocese Catholics ignore him on gays, contraception, and the big A word.