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Poll: Catholics divided on sex teachings

July 27, 2008 at 4:31 PM

LONDON, July 27 (UPI) -- Most practicing Roman Catholics say they believe the church should revise its teaching on birth control, a poll indicates.

The Catholic Church's teaching on contraception is outlined in a papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, issued in 1968 by Pope Paul VI.

The Tablet newspaper's poll found that Catholics across England and Wales use a range of contraceptives, including condoms and birth control pills.

The poll of 1,500 practicing Catholics found that 82 percent of respondents indicated they are familiar with the church's teaching on contraception, but just 15.7 percent said they regarded the teaching as right, while 54.3 percent thought it should be revisited.

The survey also found that about 88 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that "marriage is a lifelong commitment despite any difficulties." But 71 percent also agreed "separation or divorce is better than an unhappy marriage between incompatible people"

On gay couples, the poll found that 35 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that "same sex couples should be accepted as part of the church community," while 36 percent disagreed and 29 percent said they were neutral on the question.

The poll's margin of error was not reported.

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