The Catholic church is plagued with a bad reputation that they just can’t seem to shake. But it is well deserved, right? Because they’re all against gay marriage. And birth control. And abortion. Right? Think again. A recent survey conducted by Univision tells a very different story. They surveyed over 12,000 Catholics from five different continents about the issues most important to them. The survey covered a spectrum of controversial topics, from gay marriage to abortion, and the results were eye opening.
The Surprising Results
To begin with, readers may be surprised to learn that, according to this data, 76% of Catholics surveyed from the United States supported abortion in at least some cases. 10% believed that abortion should be allowed in all cases, while 66% thought that abortion should be allowed in certain circumstances.
Next, on the controversial topic of contraceptives, 79% of American Catholics surveyed supported it’s use, while only 15% opposed it (Sorry Hobby Lobby, I guess you’re in the minority). And, with the exception of the two African nations, the ten other countries that participated in the survey had similar data.
And what about gay marriage, probably the most widely debated issue in the Catholic church? According to this survey, it is supported by 54% of American Catholics. This is a record breaking number if you consider the fact that 59% of all Americans, regardless of religion, support gay marriage. However, it is worth nothing that gay marriage was much less accepted in the other countries that were surveyed (with the exception of Spain).
Lastly, in what I found to be the most surprising statistic of all, 59% of American Catholics that were surveyed said that they supported women becoming priests, while 61% supported priests being allowed to marry.
So What Does This Mean?
This survey reveals that there are many misconceptions about Catholicism. It shows that the beliefs of many Catholics are misunderstood by our society, and that there are, in fact, many unfair stereotypes associated with Catholicism. Most importantly, in my opinion, it invalidates the common presumption that all Catholics are intolerant, judging, and not accepting of others.
Additionally, the data from this survey shows that times really are changing for the Catholic church. Just a decade ago the results of this survey would have been much different. It is proof that the views of Catholics are evolving, and hopefully, these will continue to evolve until the church is united in common beliefs that reflect the love and acceptance that Jesus taught us all to live by.