Catholic Sentiments by the Numbers

U.S. Catholics’ approval of Pope Benedict XVI’s job performance dropped a “dramatic” 15 points over the past two years according to a new poll conducted by Zogby Interactive, sliding to 56 percent from 71 percent. Meanwhile, 66 percent of Catholics disapproved of President Obama’s job performance, although Obama achieved essentially an even split on job approval among all Americans. Sixty-eight percent of Catholics believe the country is in worse shape now than it used to be and indicated they will vote for Republicans in the November midterm elections by a 2-to-1 ratio. Catholics were against health care reform, 60 percent to 33 percent. Asked which party best represents their values, 25 percent said Republican and 12 percent said Democratic, but most Catholics—58 percent—said it depended on the specific issue. Sixty-seven percent of Catholics said the Eucharist should not be denied to politicians who take stands contrary to church teaching. Close to two-thirds of Catholics polled said abortions should be performed rarely or never. A 58 percent majority of Catholics said women should be ordained to the Catholic priesthood. (Participants in interactive polls opt in to an online pool of potential respondents, from which a sufficient random sample is drawn. Participants cannot choose the timing of their participation nor the topic of their poll.)

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