U.S. Catholics agree with pope that church too focused on hot issues

Oct. 4, 2013 at 10:37 AM
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HAMDEN, Conn., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A majority of U.S. Catholics say they agree with Pope Francis' view that the church is too focused on flashpoint social issues, a Quinnipiac poll said.

By a 68 percent-to-23 percent margin, Catholics in the United States said they were in agreement with the pope's comments that the church was focused too much on homosexuality, abortion and birth control, results of the Quinnipiac University national poll released Friday indicated.

Support for Pope Francis' observation was strong among men and women, spanned all age groups and showed little difference between more observant or less observant followers, results indicated.

U.S. Catholics also said they liked the new Catholic leader -- 36 percent said they have a "very favorable" opinion of him, 53 percent said they have a "favorable" opinion, while 4 percent said their opinion of the pontiff was "unfavorable."

"American Catholics liked what they heard when Pope Francis said the church should stop talking so much about issues like gay marriage, abortion and contraception," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Conn.

American Catholics also said they support the ordination of women priests, 60 percent to 30 percent.

Results are based on nationwide interviews with 1,776 adults, including 392 Catholics, conducted Sept. 23-29. The overall margin of error is 2.3 percentage points. The margin of error for the survey of Catholics is 5 percentage points. Live interviewers call both land lines and cell phones.

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