Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
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Survey: only 13% of Catholics think IVF is morally wrong

August 19, 2013

Only 13% of Catholics--and 12% of Americans--believe that in vitro fertilization is morally wrong, according to a new Pew Research survey. 33% of Americans judge the procedure morally acceptable, while 46% say that it is not a moral issue.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith discussed the immorality of in vitro fertilization in its instructions Donum Vitae (1987) and Dignitas Personae (2008).

The survey also found that 49% of Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong, while 15% say it is morally acceptable and 23% say it is not a moral issue. 64% of Hispanic Catholics and 53% of white Catholics surveyed said that abortion is morally wrong, though among “white Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week,” the figure rises to 74%.

22% of Americans--and 24% of Catholics--said they believe that embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of human embryos, is morally wrong. In addition, 21% of Catholics said that they believe that adult stem-cell research is morally wrong, despite Church pronouncements that it is morally licit.


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  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 20, 2013 10:33 AM ET USA

    The results of the survey are not surprising. I don't believe I have heard a sermon on in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, or abortion in a church in the last 20 years. Apparently, the clergy doesn't like it when the bishops get letters from the weak minded laity who complain that such issues have "no place in church". The lack of meaningful homilies raises the question of whether the role of the clergy is to please the laity or to teach as Jesus did.

  • Posted by: bnewman - Aug. 19, 2013 10:15 PM ET USA

    The usual way Catholics discover the teaching of the Catholic Church on issues that have arisen in recent years is at Sunday Mass, presumably during the homily.In these kinds of surveys a "Catholic" is anyone who says he is Catholic, for what ever reason.So of course many non-Church-attending "catholics" can have little idea what the Church teaches,irrespective of USCCB actions.

  • Posted by: sarsok8679 - Aug. 19, 2013 9:39 PM ET USA

    So basically, 1 in 4 regular Sunday Catholics think abortion is morally acceptable while the other 80% that don't attend Mass on Sundays there are roughly 50% who also think abortion is morally acceptable. I guess those bishops are doing a great job of catechesis along with their socialist allies in the Church bureaucracies?!

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 19, 2013 6:08 AM ET USA

    While those at USCCB may occasionally have something interesting to say about politics and economics, things they seem to talk about a lot, why should anyone listen to them. They have failed miserably at their PRIMARY job, that of teaching the faithful. This survey points out just HOW miserable that failure really is. They should be ashamed of themselves, but as we learned in the recent homosexual scandals, shame is not in their repertoire of feelings.