An interesting survey of US Roman Catholics from CBS/NYT showing what we already knew, that a lot of American Catholics think their church is out of touch.
Keep in mind that in Europe, the Catholic church fares even worse. Yes, there’s a presence in Eastern Europe, but in western Europe you have Italy, where the Catholic populace is often no fan of the Vatican, Spain where they just made gay marriage legal, and France where no one goes to church any more.
The United States is the high point of the church’s western influence, and even in the states, Roman Catholics tend to think their church is too extreme, too conservative.
Here are a few key points from the poll:
Interestingly, Catholics were much happier with their local church than they were the bishops.
Also, it was interesting to see that the infallibility of the Pope was called into question, and even more, that on “difficult moral decisions” people follow their own conscience, not the Pope’s edicts.
Outgoing Pope Benedict caused a stir by suggesting a while back that condoms are not the solution to the AIDS crisis, and in fact exacerbate the problem. That was one of the most idiotic, and deadly, inanities to come from a Pope in recent years. And guess what? US Catholics overwhelmingly disagree.
The final point that I found particularly interesting was that 54% of American Catholics would like to see the next Pope be more liberal, whereas only 18% wanted him more conservative, and only 19% wanted him to stay the course. (Not that it matters, this isn’t a church that particularly cares what anyone thinks – they aid and abet pedophilia, mind you – let alone its own adherents.)
There’s a lot of talk about the church’s move into Africa in order to bolster its weakening numbers. The Anglicans/Episcopalians have tried a similar tactic, resulting in some real nutjobs trying to force more mainstream Anglicans into embracing some of the most extreme and bigoted elements of African society.
Keep in mind that in Nigeria, for example, “Christians” burn children alive as “witches.”
Catholics should take heed. After all, one of the top Pope candidates is reportedly an African cardinal, Peter Turkson, who thinks pedophilia is a “white” thing. Turkson also thinks that pedophiles are actually gay, an antiquated notion that was debunked by science decades ago.
Though I must admit, a part of me would like to see the Catholic church continue its path into irrelevancy. Another part of me understands that the pedophile-enablers who run this religion sadly exert far more influence than is deserved in US politics, and thus it’s to our benefit that the forces of sanity eventually take over in Rome. Here’s hoping.