Sisters Should Speak Out: Poll

Cathy Grossman over at Faith & Reason has highlighted a new poll that suggests that 53% of American Catholics should speak out publicly on matters concerning the church and society.  Other findings:

  • 53% say "Women religious should follow their consciences and make public statements concerning the Church and society."
  • 15% said they should do so "only if they support the teachings of the Vatican and the bishops."
  • 3% said they should stick to "prayer and service."
  • 23% had no opinion

Twenty-three percent with no opinion?  It's amazing that Catholics could have no opinion on that matter. 


James Martin, SJ

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Stanley Kopacz
8 years 7 months ago
I don't think they're more thoughtful but that's just my opinion.
Tom Maher
8 years 7 months ago
Pope John Paul II rightly barred Catholic clerics from political offices. The church should not be used as a platform for political active clerics. Their activist agenda often works out very badly as when the politician priest becomes tyrranical distator..

Catholic clerics political judgement is highly questionable. It's bad enough to hear at Sunday Mass the utterly studid personal politcal commentary along with the scripted political messages from the diocese. Why should support of the church involve support of clerics' personal political interpretations and agenda that most people do not at agree with?

The church is becoming a colonial government too concerned with insider churchmen's views than the views of wider citizen-members of the church. The views of the clergy are nowadays not at all representative of the community.
8 years 7 months ago
I think a lot of Catholics struggle with their faith for lots of reasons, such as a liberal education, secular and other non-Catholic opinions of friends and the media, and a perhaps a general skeptical nature. I wouldn't expect those people to have an opinion on whether it is appropriate or not to speak out about catholic/social issues.
Tom Maher
8 years 7 months ago
That is funny. How can so many not have an opinion? Well of course they have an opinion. They just do not want to express it publically to anyone who comes along. This is the "politically correct" response. It is not acceptable to say to the interviewer "I hate the damn nuns." So this is actually concealed strong disapproval. You probably would not want ot hear what they actually think.

A fovorite example is a Massachusetts Democratic primary race where Losi Pine was running against Tom Reilly for Attorney General around 2001. Early on the night of the primary the TV stations announced Lois Pine the winner based on exit-iterviews and early polling results. Exit-interviews are considered very reliable since they adk who did you just vote vote for? This time overwhelmingly people lied. They did not vote for the women candidate but said they did. Democratic politics put a premium on electing women. So the political correct easy way out was to lie. The actual results overwhelmingly favored Losi Pine opponent Tom Reilly.
This shows that even exit intviews can be grossly misleading due to political correct factors.

False responses are definately happening in this poll.
8 years 7 months ago
This poll supports the opinion that we have a very poorly catechized generation. The Jesuits and others in education are failing. America Magazine, the Jesuits and all involved in the teaching the Catholic Faith need to ensure that people understand the basics such as how does one rightly form their conscience.
8 years 7 months ago
Actually, Joe, the Jesuits are among the few in education that have encouraged the right formation of conscience as opposed to blind obedience and loyalty.  My guess is that the 53% polled who supported the voice of conscience were Jesuit-educated.
Stanley Kopacz
8 years 7 months ago
The Jesuits are stimulating.  I remember a fellow graduate of our Jesuit College now University saying he thought he'd be a lot happier if the Jesuits hadn't taught him about what was most important in life.  If we'd received our education from the local secular technology powerhouse, our worlds might have been quite simpler.  Dang them Jesuits.  Teaching us to think AND care at the same time.


The latest from america

This year’s W.Y.D takes place less than three months after the conclusion of the Synod for Young People that was held in the Vatican last October.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2019
On Jan. 18, a teenager wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, center left, stands in front of an elderly Native American singing and playing a drum in Washington. (Survival Media Agency via AP)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- An exchange between Catholic high school students and a Native American tribal leader in Washington Jan.

Like most public writers, I was used to getting notes that were crude, crazy or even mildly threatening. Normally, I would say a quick prayer for these obviously troubled people and get on with my day. This time it felt different, precisely because the author wasn’t insulting or obviously deranged.
Rachel LuJanuary 21, 2019
In cities across the country, local activists marched in support of a progressive agenda centered on economic justice, racial justice and immigrant rights.
Brandon SanchezJanuary 20, 2019