Attitudes of the Catholic Faithful
Statistics Generated by Le Moyne College of Syracuse, N.Y., and Zogby International of Utica, N.Y.
A poll conducted of 1,508 American Catholics Nationwide
An overwhelming majority of Catholics (90%) agree that Pope John Paul II is doing a good job leading the worldwide Church, while only 8% disagree and 2% are not sure.
Another strong majority (85%) agree that American bishops are doing a good job leading the U.S. Church, while 83% agree that local bishops are doing a good job leading local dioceses, and 86% agree that local pastors are doing a good job leading local parishes.
Catholics are strong in their religious beliefs (97% agree God has the power to answer all prayers) and (92% agree the Bible is the inspired word of God), but 68% say they seldom or never read the Bible.
A majority of Catholics (54%) say they attend Mass at least once a week, with 8% saying they attend Mass daily. Nearly nine in 10 Catholics say they pray at least once a week, with two in three (69%) noting they pray daily.
One in four (24%) say they have increased their devotional practices in direct response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Results show 50-to-64 year-old Catholics attend Mass at least once weekly slightly more often than 25-34 year-olds Catholics (49%-43%)
A majority of Catholics (68%) agree that abortion is morally wrong under virtually all circumstances, while 31% disagree. A majority (61%) agree that homosexual behavior is against natural law, compared to 34% who disagree. At the same time, a strong majority (83%) say it is morally wrong to discriminate against homosexuals.
A majority disagree with Church teachings on whether Catholic priests should be unmarried (44% agree, 54% disagree), that men only should be ordained as priests (44% agree, 53% disagree), that artificial birth control is morally wrong (36% agree, 61% disagree) and that in-vitro fertilization is morally wrong (44% agree, 50% disagree).
A plurality of Catholics (43%) identify themselves as Democrat, compared to 31% who identify themselves as Republican and 18% who call themselves Independent.
Another plurality (44%) say their religious beliefs influence their voting decisions a lot, compared to 29% who say their voting decisions are influenced by religion a little, and 25% who say not at all.
Demographically, a majority (59%) attended a Catholic school. One in seven (14%) have been divorced. Of those who have been divorced, 51% obtained an annulment, compared to 49% who did not obtain an annulment.