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Poll: majority of Catholics who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage, women’s ordination

October 07, 2013

A majority of Catholics in the United States who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage and the ordination of women to the priesthood, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released October 4.

The survey found that 56% of Americans, 53% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and 65% of Catholics who attend Mass less frequently would support “a law in your state that would allow same-sex couples to get married.” Support was stronger among Catholics of ages 18-49 (64%) than ages 50-64 (62%) or 65+ (46%).

According to the survey, 72% of Catholic women back same-sex marriage, while 49% of Catholic men do.

The survey also found that 52% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and 66% who attend less frequently, favor the ordination of women to the priesthood. Support was stronger among Catholics of age 65+ (68%) than ages 50-64 (64%) or 18-49 (57%). By a slight (2%) margin, women are more likely to favor women’s ordination than men are.

According to the poll, 53% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 39% believe it should be illegal in most or all cases. By a 61%-32% margin, Catholics who attend Mass weekly believe abortion should be illegal in most or all cases; by a 64%-29% margin, Catholics who attend Mass less frequently believe that abortion should be legal in most or all cases. By a slight (2%) margin, women are more likely to oppose abortion than men are.

93% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and 85% who attend less frequently, have a favorable or very favorable opinion of Pope Francis.


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  • Posted by: chady - Oct. 08, 2013 12:10 PM ET USA

    'My son, keep my words. Keep my commandments and live.' [Divine Office week one - Friday 1st reading of the day]

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 08, 2013 8:36 AM ET USA

    Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has done a pretty good job of debunking the poll, showing that Quinnipiac skewed the poll data to show how Catholics in the pews differ with the 'pulpit thundering' perspective they are offered.

  • Posted by: robertrees1422 - Oct. 08, 2013 12:14 AM ET USA

    I would urge more parishes to get involved in the Pro-life movement. I find it very depressing that this percentage of purported Catholics find homosexual marriage acceptable and abortion an alternative to a lifestyle of free sex and promiscuous behavior. Additionally, it's apparent that these CINO's, Catholics in Name Only, have received the proper catechism lessons. I would like to direct interested persons to this website, Put together by a Pro-Life movement.

  • Posted by: john1948 - Oct. 07, 2013 11:19 PM ET USA

    I don't believe it. This sounds more like the results of a poll of the Episcopal Church which gives its parishes Catholic-sounding names.

  • Posted by: JDeFauw - Oct. 07, 2013 10:51 PM ET USA

    The Gallup tracking poll over the last 4 years has consistently shown more positive numbers on the abortion debate (for the total population) than this Quinnipiac poll. According to the most recent Gallup poll, 39% of Americans want abortion legal in most or all circumstances, with 58% supporting wanting it "legal only in a few" or "illegal in all" circumstances. When it comes to so-called same sex "marriage", the numbers in this poll, sadly, may well be accurate. There's work to do.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2013 9:59 PM ET USA

    What is wrong with these people?! Watered down catechesis ... clergy reluctant to call a spade a spade ... and a Pope who seems to agree with them!!!

  • Posted by: impossible - Oct. 07, 2013 9:35 PM ET USA

    Catholics who no longer attend Mass at least on Sundays and Holy Days should not be considered “Catholics” any more than committed Ford owners should be referred to as Chevrolet owners. Now, as during the last six decades, who has had the duty to properly teach orthodox Catholic teachings to the laity? Who specifically have the duty to teach, sanctify and govern the laity? The blame should not be placed on Hollywood, secularism, the media or any other non-Catholic entity. Shame on USCCB.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Oct. 07, 2013 7:35 PM ET USA

    I question the metrics of this poll. We know from other polls that a majority of Americans favor outlawing abortion in at least some cases, so the 53% in the other direction is skewed somehow.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 07, 2013 5:19 PM ET USA

    I went to the link. There's something BOGUS about these results. 1) QP data have 43% of Adult American Catholics as weekly Church attenders--this is way too high according to the folks at CARA, the actual number should be around 26%. QP oversampled the less observant Catholics by about 20 points. 2) it's curious that observant nonCatholic Christians reject GM by 26 points, while observant Catholics accept GM by 13 points! Yet these same two groups hold almost identical views on abortion!

  • Posted by: New Sister - Oct. 07, 2013 2:48 PM ET USA

    "Crisis... what crisis?" (sayeth some US cardinals)

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 07, 2013 11:28 AM ET USA

    As a Catholic school teacher, I'm not surprised. I know for a fact that when the discussions came to homosexuals, SSM, etc, most students merely echoed their parents' views on the subject. After we went through biblical and Church teachings, they would comment that their parents had never told them these things. They don't hear anything in Church nor in school, so the parents and students hear and see it on TV and the media - hardly Christian or objective today.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 07, 2013 10:29 AM ET USA

    "93% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and 85% who attend less frequently, have a favorable or very favorable opinion of Pope Francis." And so does President Obama (has a favorable opinion of Pope Francis) but it makes no difference. Jesus said "If you love Me you will obey my commandments." God (and the Pope) are not looking to win "popularity contests." Jesus preached in his home town and was almost thrown off a cliff... Neither being Catholic or Jewish gives anyone immunity from damnation.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 07, 2013 8:01 AM ET USA

    Depressing but predictable. For the most part, older Catholics are better taught in the truths of their religion, but even there the corrosive phenomenon of television has worked its evil (they favor ''ordination'' of women). Few read things of substance or analyze what they hear any longer, and so when these people say they like Pope Francis, we can safely assume they have only half-heard what he is really saying. We live in very dark times inside and outside the Church.