Poll finds many Catholics disagree with Church's teachings

By staff writers
September 17, 2010

A poll of British Catholics has found that many disagree with conservative Catholic teachings, with a majority saying that contraception should be used more often and almost half believing that all loving relationships - including gay ones - should be celebrated.

The poll by YouGov found that 71 per cent of British Catholics believe that contraception should be ‘used more often’ to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Twenty-three per cent think it is ‘the couple’s choice’, while four per cent say artificial contraception is ‘wrong’ and should not be used.

Forty-one per cent of Catholics believe we should ‘celebrate all loving [consenting adult] relationships, whether gay or straight’ while just 11 per cent of Catholics consider homosexual acts to be ‘morally wrong'.

Sixty-five per cent believe that Catholic priests should be allowed to marry, but 27 per cent think they should remain celibate.

The public is also scathing about the Church’s responses to the child abuse scandal. Eighty-seven per cent think that the Catholic Church has been permanently damaged by the scandals and 65 per cent believe that the Vatican did try to cover up abuse cases and has been rightly criticised for doing so. Only 18 per cent of British Catholics consider criticism to be unjustified.

The survey also appear to reveal a shifting understanding of what it means to be ‘religious’. Seven per cent of the population think it is necessary to attend religious services to be ‘religious’ while 78 per cent do not think that attendance is necessary.


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