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Under 1% of Catholics agree with church's teaching on sanctity of life issues: Report
Christian Post ^ | 05/08/2024 | Ryan Foley

Posted on 05/08/2024 11:16:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Less than 1% of American Catholics agree with all three of the Catholic Church's teachings on the sanctity of life issues, showing the widespread existence of what some call "cafeteria Catholics" in the United States, according to an analysis.

Researcher Ryan Burge, an associate professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University who publishes articles on a Substack called "Graphs About Religion," shared data Thursday about the beliefs of Catholics in the U.S., focusing on their views on abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia.

Burge attributed the motivation to conduct the research to comments made by Cardinal Wilton Gregory of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, who referred to President Joe Biden as a "cafeteria Catholic" during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" on March 31.

Gregory defined a "cafeteria Catholic" as someone who "chooses that which is attractive and dismisses that which is challenging." Referring to Biden, Gregory stated, "Like a number of Catholics, he picks and chooses dimensions of the faith to highlight while ignoring or even contradicting other parts." In other words, a "cafeteria Catholic" picks and chooses which parts of the faith to abide by, much like someone selecting food in a cafeteria rather than accepting all the teachings of the faith.

When investigating the phenomenon of "cafeteria Catholics," Burge discovered that "it's not just many Catholics who disagree with the teachings of the church."

"[I]n fact, if you look at the data, it's nearly all of them," he wrote.

Using data from the General Social Survey dating back to 1988, he measured the percentage of U.S. Catholics who said they did not support abortion for any reason and also opposed the death penalty and euthanasia at 0.9% in 2022.

The share of U.S. Catholics who aligned with church teaching on all three matters reached a high of about 7% in 1989 while fluctuating between 2.6% and 6.2% in the years since. The 0.9% of U.S. Catholics whose positions on the three issues matched those of the church in 2022 constituted an all-time low.

After noting the Catholic Church's teaching that "Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an ends or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law," Burge presented six graphs documenting U.S. Catholics' positions on abortion over time based on data found in the General Social Survey collected between 1972 and 2022.

Three of the six graphs showed that until recently, most U.S. Catholics opposed legal abortion if a woman "wants no more kids," "is not married" or "can't afford more." However, in all three of those cases, support for legal abortion is at about 50%, according to the most recent data.

"From the 1970s through the 1990s, the share of Catholics who would allow an abortion [if a woman doesn't want more kids] was right around 40%. Now, about half of Catholics would support an abortion in that circumstance," Burge stated. "The trend line is largely the same when Catholics are asked about electing an abortion in a situation where the woman is not married. Now, about half of Catholics would support the right of a woman to obtain a legal abortion in that case."

On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of Catholics have consistently supported legal abortion in cases where the "mother's health" is at risk, the baby was conceived as a result of rape and the baby was determined to have a "serious defect."

The most recent statistics show support for abortions in those cases hovering at around 90%, 80% and 75%, respectively. Support for legal abortion in cases where the mother's health was in danger has never dropped below 80%, while the percentage of Catholics who favored legal abortion in the other two cases has never dipped below 70%.

"[I]f you look at the stated opinion of rank and file Catholics on abortion, there's clear majority support for elective abortion in almost every circumstance," Burge wrote. "For instance, at least three quarters of Roman Catholics favor a woman's right to obtain an abortion if she became pregnant due to a sexual assault. Nearly the same share are supportive of abortion if the child has a serious birth defect."

Burge shared a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops illustrating the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty, highlighting their declaration that "no matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so." He presented a graph showing consistent majority support for the death penalty among U.S. Catholics from 1974-2022, ranging from a low of 55% in 2021 to a high of 81% in 1990, with the most recent data measuring Catholic support for the death penalty at 61%.

When looking at data about U.S. Catholics' support for euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, Burge found that about 70% of American Catholics supported helping or letting people commit suicide in cases of incurable disease in 2022. This represented a stark increase from the 36% who expressed support for euthanasia when the question was first asked in 1977.

The Catholic Church teaches that because "direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons," it is "morally unacceptable."

Burge noted that Catholics are not the only religious demographic that doesn't adhere to the teachings of their churches. He pointed to a poll conducted by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research that asks specific doctrinal questions.

Among Evangelicals who participated in the survey, about a quarter (26%) said they don't believe the Bible is literally true. Meanwhile, more than half (56%) said that "God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam," and 43% said that "Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God."

Research from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University's American Worldview Inventory 2024 finds that only 6% of professed Christians in the United States hold a biblical worldview.

"[T]he typical American adult is not a worldview purist but is essentially a worldview plagiarist, combining beliefs and behaviors borrowed from an average of nine recognized worldviews into their personal worldview blend," the report stated.

TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholics
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1 posted on 05/08/2024 11:16:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Jesus warned us of this: Many will come to me saying, “Lord, Lord!” and I will say, Depart from me ye workers of iniquity. I never knew you.”

2 posted on 05/08/2024 11:27:00 AM PDT by TigerClaws
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To: TigerClaws

Check out this crazy ‘church” praying to the ‘two fathers of Jesus’....

3 posted on 05/08/2024 11:29:22 AM PDT by TigerClaws
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To: TigerClaws

Pretty much.

Remember when Christ wondered if He would find faith when He returned?

4 posted on 05/08/2024 11:32:58 AM PDT by Rurudyne (Standup Philosopher)
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To: Rurudyne


I know people active in their church and they say things like, “However you get to God is fine....”

Uhh.... NOT Christian.

Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Light. Noone comes to the Father but by Him.

Fundamental misunderstanding of Grace and the depravity of man.

For ALL have sinned.... = all deserve Eternal Damnation.

But some are chosen by Grace and will be saved.

This is a useful article to show 99% of people in churches are headed to Hell.

5 posted on 05/08/2024 11:38:53 AM PDT by TigerClaws
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To: SeekAndFind

Well they aren’t Catholic then, are they ?

6 posted on 05/08/2024 11:38:59 AM PDT by George from New England (escaped CT back in 2006)
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To: SeekAndFind

Many American Catholics support the death penalty.

I did for many years, but now witnessing the corruption of our justice system tells me that it cannot be trusted with such a decision.

Therefore, I oppose abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia.

I guess I am part of the 1%

7 posted on 05/08/2024 11:41:29 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (This is the end of the Republic....because we could not keep it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I always knew I was an oddball. An anachronism. This just confirms it.
But… Thank you God, that I am blessed to know people whose Christian beliefs and moral convictions are more finely honed than mine. I know some seriously saintly people. It’s not as hard to be one of those crazy Christians when I have their example to follow.

8 posted on 05/08/2024 11:45:41 AM PDT by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: SeekAndFind
When the pope goes around telling everyone that the Church is not special and no better than non-christian faiths than some people will take him at his word and say either 'cool, I'm out' or 'I've been catholic my whole life, I guess I should stay one but really, I don't pay much attention to them'

Meanwhile Muslims tell women they will be murdered if they don't tow the line exactly and they are super devout. It's as if people want a church that says 'we have the answer, and we will not compromise'. Even if it's hard, people seem to want that, even need that.

This is from a series called "The Young Pope". We're supposed to hate him, of course, what a horrible man. Personally, I think this speech is what the church needs but that's just me:

The Young Pope's Speech To the Cardinals On YouTube

9 posted on 05/08/2024 11:46:59 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie ("We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. F. B. I. is tending in that direction." - Harry S Truman)
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To: Erik Latranyi

If you maintain that the death penalty is inherently immoral, you’re contradicting the Bible, and the Catholic Church’s perennial teaching based on the Bible.

If you maintain that in these United States today, due to government corruption, the several States cannot be trusted to impose the death penalty justly ... that’s your prudential judgment and not in conflict with Scripture and Doctrine.

10 posted on 05/08/2024 11:48:57 AM PDT by NorthMountain (... the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
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To: SeekAndFind

I wonder which doctrines they agree with?

11 posted on 05/08/2024 11:49:09 AM PDT by Salman (It's not a slippery slope if it was part of the program all along. )
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To: SeekAndFind

Lumping capital punishment in with abortion and euthanasia is skewing the results here. There is no official Catholic position against the death penalty and never has been. It remains an opinion, held by the current Pope and many of his predecessors, and much of the hierarchy in general, but you can support the death penalty for certain crimes and remain a faithful Catholic. Not so for abortion and euthanasia.

12 posted on 05/08/2024 11:54:34 AM PDT by Orosius (“Wake America Up Again )
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To: George from New England


13 posted on 05/08/2024 11:56:33 AM PDT by frogjerk (More people have died trusting the government than not trusting the government.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Priests are constantly threatened by various groups (ex: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State) and by liberal lawyers that they cannot say a word about abortion, lest they lose their tax-exempt status. We caught our own diocesan atty sending letters to every priest in Missouri in 2008 election year. He lost his job, but very few knew he was caught lying. The priests were not updated and are still discouraged from speaking out. It made no difference that prolife activists had provided written legal opinions that prove church ministers retain freedom of speech, and that the IRS admits they cannot take tax-exempt status on this basis. All that said, it is simply untrue that only 1% of Catholics agree with Church teaching. On abortion, regular church-going Catholics are decidedly pro-life, despite the silence from the pulpit. This one individual pollster is not to be trusted.

14 posted on 05/08/2024 12:15:26 PM PDT by Missouri gal
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To: SeekAndFind

This story gets attention because people are too stupid to understand basic logic and set theory. You might as well run a story that only 1% of people like ice cream, puppies, and cancer.

15 posted on 05/08/2024 12:23:32 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: SeekAndFind

Satan has done his job.

16 posted on 05/08/2024 12:39:22 PM PDT by TiGuy22
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To: Orosius

Mr. Bergoglio pronounced the death penalty “inadmissible” ... a contradiction of Scripture and Doctrine.

17 posted on 05/08/2024 12:41:12 PM PDT by NorthMountain (... the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
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To: Missouri gal
This one individual pollster is not to be trusted.

Polls should never be trusted. They exist to shape public opinion, not to measure public opinion.

18 posted on 05/08/2024 12:42:38 PM PDT by NorthMountain (... the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
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To: SeekAndFind

I believe that there are many faithful Catholics who accept and believe in the Catholic faith even if they do not fully understand all of the mysteries and teachings.

Yes, many Catholics have fallen away from the faith that Jesus gave us, but we can repent, confess and come back before we die. Many have followed the ways of the world and not the teachings of Christ. Some of the worst sinners have became the greatest saints. Read the Confessions of St Augustine and the prayers by his mother St Monica.

Why does someone want to choose sin and Hell over eternal life with God?

Jesus told us to find and enter by the narrow gate. Mt 7:13

Salvation is a process of learning, seeking and accepting God’s Truths and living it in our lives through love of God and neighbor.

As we mature and grow older and closer to dying, we can grow closer to God and put aside our sinful ways so that we may join Jesus in Heaven.

As Catholics we have the Sacraments to help us before we die.

19 posted on 05/08/2024 2:26:44 PM PDT by ADSUM ( )
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To: NorthMountain


20 posted on 05/08/2024 4:16:01 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Trump will be sworn in under a shower of confetti made from the tattered remains of the Rat Party.)
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