Recent polling indicating American Catholic support for LGBT right echoes previous numbers, reported on here and here by Bondings 2.0. However, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute’s latest numbers on this topic are noteworthy for two developments: reactions to Pope Francis’ major interview and shifts in views based on Mass attendance.
Religion News Service reports that the pope received high marks as 89% of US Catholics reported either favorable or very favorable views on Pope Francis. Those viewing him negatively were in the low single digits.
The poll was conducted in the last week of September, just days after the release of America Magazine‘s groundbreaking interview with the pope. Regarding his condemnation of the Church’s focus on social issues, including marriage equality, 68% of adult Catholics agreed with Pope Francis and only 23% disagreed. These results were mirrored when broken down by age groups and Mass attendance.
Religion News Service also reported that American Catholic support for marriage equality still outpaces support by the general American population:
“The survey also found that Catholic support for same-sex marriage continues to be strong, as other surveys have found, with six-in-10 Catholics approving of gay marriage and 31 percent opposed. That’s slightly above the national 56 percent approval rating.
“But the latest research also indicates that support for same-sex marriage only drops slightly among weekly churchgoers, to 53 percent, with 40 percent opposed. That finding could cause consternation among social conservatives who argue that the most devout Catholics tend to support the hierarchy’s position against gay marriage.”
As preparations begin for next year’s synod on marriage and the family, it will be important for US Catholics to make their support for LGBT people and same-gender couples known to the Vatican. Writing to Pope Francis would be a good start.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry