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Practicing Catholics more likely than general public to back homosexual unions

March 23, 2011

Only 31% of Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions, according to a new report by the Public Religion Research Institute. 64% favor some sort of legal recognition of homosexual unions, with 26% favoring same-sex marriage and 38% favoring homosexual civil unions.

In 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated the Church’s opposition to any form of legal recognition of homosexual unions.

Overall, only 22% of Catholics oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions. 43% favor same-sex marriage, while 31% favor homosexual civil unions.

Latino Catholics are more likely to be faithful to Church teaching on this issue than are white Catholics. 30% of Latino Catholics oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions; only 19% of white Catholics do. In contrast, 58% of white evangelicals, 52% of black Protestants, and 33% of the general public oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions.

Despite the Catechism of the Catholic Church's clear teaching on the "grave depravity" of homosexual acts, Catholics are less likely than other Americans to believe that homosexual activity is sinful. 56% of Catholics-- compared to 46% of the general public-- believe that homosexual activity is not a sin.


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  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Mar. 28, 2011 6:00 PM ET USA

    Something is fishy. I know of NO practicing Catholics who support homosexual marriages.

  • Posted by: impossible - Mar. 26, 2011 12:28 AM ET USA

    Too many Bishops, Priests and laity rejected Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, his prophetic warnings if artificial contraception were practiced. Women became objectified, sexual activity became a "fun entitlement," paving the way to legalized abortion. Who has the responsibilities of sanctifying, teaching and governing? Did they do their jobs? There shlould be zero tolerance for Bishops who don't do their jobs.

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Mar. 24, 2011 3:06 PM ET USA

    I wonder how the pro-homosexual marriage Catholics would answer this: Do you want your children or grandchildren, as young as kindergarten age, to be taught that homosexuality is normal, a sexual alternative. Do you want them encouraged to question their sexuality and engage in homosexual experimentation. Do you care whether they understand tHow about them not being told of the increased risks of venereal diseases, Aids, anal cancer or alcohol and drug abuse, emotional problems or suicide.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Mar. 24, 2011 8:57 AM ET USA

    Does one ever see mention of the organization called Courage which gives support to homosexuals in living a chaste life? Are they ever invited to university seminars? I doubt it,who wants to hear how to live as Jesus asks his flock to do? Being Catholic ain't easy, we can't have everything we want and morals be damned.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 24, 2011 8:47 AM ET USA

    The U.S. Church is made up of the unable who are led by the unwilling. We are uneducated and disorganized due to a lack of leadership. As a result, we are not a force for good in our deteriorating country and are being overwhelmed by the forces of evil. A large majority of the population of the U.S. says they believe in God, but, that God is a fiction. We elected a President, with Catholic support, from a church that teaches black liberation theology. That says it all.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Mar. 24, 2011 2:54 AM ET USA

    Catholic laypeople are bombarded every day with pro-gay-rights propaganda every time they look at a newspaper or TV newscast. The Church's counterbalance to this? In way too may dioceses, a tepid statement once a year which never actually calls homosexual acts sinful, but is heavy on cautions to "reach out" and "be compassionate" to gays. It's no wonder that many Catholics therefore either don't know the Church's teaching, or ignore it.

  • Posted by: Obregon - Mar. 24, 2011 1:43 AM ET USA

    "Despite the Catechism of the Catholic Church's clear teaching on the "grave depravity" of homosexual acts, Catholics are less likely than other Americans to believe that homosexual activity is sinful." Yet, Archbishop Gómez and many bishops in the USCCB pontificate on immigration issues, and on other political issues rather than on good catechesis and the moral teaching of the Church. No wonder Catholics are confused!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2011 12:58 AM ET USA

    I wonder if these practicing Catholics are emulating the Pharisees or the Sadducee in their worship? Just going through the motions. I pray that the research is flawed.

  • Posted by: bnewman - Mar. 23, 2011 10:39 PM ET USA

    The statistics provide yet more proof (if needed) of the susceptiblity of most American Catholics to temporary cultural trends, as opposed to those who stand with the 2000 year old faith of the church established by Jesus.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2011 10:29 PM ET USA

    I don't believe that most American Catholics are opposing it for the correct reasons. You cannot argue to a secularist that Homosexuality should be illegal because it is sinful. We must use reason, not theology, to win them over. Homosexuality is damaging to society. THAT is what we must focus on. By the way, How dare you talk about priests like that! Priests deserve our respect, whether they are a "good" priest or not!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2011 6:54 PM ET USA

    This is deeply disturbing. These are not nominal Catholics.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2011 6:37 PM ET USA

    Is this another example of a failure to teach by the unled American bishops, since the "white evangelicals" have more moral sense and moral courage than their Catholic neighbors? That's what this report indicates.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2011 6:32 PM ET USA

    Many people consider the "right-to-marry" to be equivalent to the right to choose a path of faith. For example, Catholics would not deny fellow Americans the right to practice Hinduism, even though the worship of false gods is sinful. A worse problem that civil recognition of such unions is the high number of apparent gays who are active as catechists, Eucharistic ministers, etc., repelling many straight males and giving the impression that our Church is accepting of that lifestyle.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2011 1:39 PM ET USA

    I would hope that the word "Practicing" is a misnomer. Obviously, they aren't really Catholic if they believe Sodomy and other homosexual acts aren't sinful...or else their parish "Priests" aren't teaching them the truth. I wonder which one is accurate? No, I guess they really aren't learning the truth. Their "priests" don't know it, so how can they teach it? Sad day for AmChurch, huh? Maybe they really should be dumped from Rome as many have suggested. I would agree with that action!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2011 10:06 AM ET USA

    It'll be interesting to see how the Holy Ghost scuttles the lifeboat "Spirit of Vatican II", in order to save the Barque of Peter ...