No longer Catholics
LONDON, Dec. 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An extensive survey conducted by YouGov and designed by a leading secular sociologist have found that only small fraction of self-identified Catholics agree with Church teaching on “hot-button” moral issues like contraception, “gay marriage,” abortion and euthanasia. However, the survey also found that among weekly mass attendees, the number who support the Church's teachings is considerably higher.
Altogether 19 percent of the total 1062 self-identified Catholics surveyed said that abortion ought to be “banned altogether.” That number rose significantly among weekly mass attendees (17% of the total sample of 1062), but still only reached 42%, with another 29% of weekly mass attendees saying that the time limit for when abortion can be legally obtained should be lowered (abortion is currently legal practically on-demand up to 24 weeks gestation in the UK).
Conducted ahead of the annual Westminster Faith Debates, the poll, designed by sociologist Prof. Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University, compared attitudes of Catholics towards a variety of moral and political issues. It broke the data down into various categories including age, frequency of church attendance and what religious factors influenced the respondents’ life decisions.
Breaking down the numbers by age groups, 25 percent of the total respondents over 60 years old wanted a full ban on abortion, with that dropping to just 14 percent in the youngest age group of 18-24. Thirty-one percent of older respondents said the legal gestational age limit of 24 weeks for abortion should be lowered, and 22 percent of the youngest agreed.
The differences between age groups was perhaps most pronounced on the question of same-sex “marriage,” with 68 percent of those over 60 saying it is “wrong” and only 30 percent of the youngest Catholics agreeing with their elders. Twenty-four percent of Catholics aged 35-39 thought same-sex “marriage” was “wrong” and 22 per cent in that age range said they “don’t know.”
Among weekly mass attendees, on the other hand, 68% agreed that same-sex "marriage" was wrong.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed that euthanasia should be legal. Forty-one percent of those over 60 said that Britain should retain its law against euthanasia, with 46 percent saying euthanasia should be allowed. Thirty percent of the 18-24 age group wanted to retain the current law, and 58 percent wanted a change. The spread was even more broad for the 25-39 age group, with only 22 per cent opposing euthanasia and 62 per cent favouring a change to the law.
However, among weekly mass attendees, opposition to euthanasia rose to 63 percent.