Poll: Catholics Support Contraceptives, Give Pope Francis High Marks

Image: Poll: Catholics Support Contraceptives, Give Pope Francis High Marks

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 06:19 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Seventy-eight percent of Catholics worldwide support the use of contraceptives, in direct opposition to church teachings, a Univision poll has found.

The survey, which examined hot-topic issues including abortion, divorce, gay marriage, and the marriage of priests, also showed 87 percent of Catholics give Pope Francis an excellent or good job rating.

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

Though the poll of 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries showed the church split over most key teachings, there was overwhelming support for the use of contraceptives.

"Most observers doubt that any serious scrutiny leading to resolution will occur during the pontificate of Pope Francis," Robert McClory of the National Catholic Reporter wrote Tuesday. "Meanwhile, the ban on contraception sits virtually invisible and disregarded by an overwhelming segment of Catholic laity, a 45-year-old elephant in the middle of the living room."

Forty-five years ago, Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae forbade all forms of artificial contraception.

In Latin America, overall support for contraceptives was 91 percent, with Brazil at 93 percent; Argentina, 91 percent; and Mexico, 88 percent.

In Europe, overall support was 89 percent, with Spain's support, 90 percent; Italy's, 84 percent and Poland's, 75 percent.

The United States came in with 79 percent support.

Only two countries did not approve; Uganda and the Congo, each with just 44 percent support, the poll showed.

In other findings, the poll found 58 percent of Catholics in all countries disagreed divorced Catholics who remarry are living in sin; 75 percent of European Catholics disagreed; in the United States, 59 percent disagreed.

On the question of whether abortion should be allowed, 9 percent in all countries said it should in all cases; 57 percent said it should be allowed in some cases and 33 percent said it should not be allowed at all.

Asked about support of gay marriage, 30 percent of Catholics in all countries support same-sex nuptials, 66 percent oppose it. In the United States, 54 percent support it and 40 percent are opposed; in Europe, 38 percent support gay marriage, and 56 percent are opposed.

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

On the marriage of priests, 50 percent of Catholics in all countries said it should be allowed; 47 percent said it should not; in the United States, 61 percent said it should be allowed, and 34 percent said it should not. In Europe, 70 percent said priests should be allowed to marry; 25 percent said they should not.

The poll's overall margin of error was plus or minus 0.9 percent.

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