Trump trails among Catholic voters. His campaign’s new C.E.O. may make things worse.

More than half of all U.S. Catholics (52 percent) would cast a vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton if the election were held today, compared to just 32 percent for Republican Donald J. Trump.

But when broken down by ethnicity, the numbers diverge. More than three in four (76 percent) non-white and Hispanic Catholics would pick Clinton, with 13 percent choosing Trump.

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Among white non-Hispanic Catholics, Clinton holds a much smaller lead, 44 percent to 41 percent.

RELATED: A Trump win depends on white Catholics.

White Protestants constitute Trump’s most supportive segment of religious voters, a group he credits with helping him defeat more than a dozen G.O.P. rivals earlier this year.

Six in 10 (62 percent) white evangelicals say they would vote for Trump today, while 47 percent of white mainline Protestants pick Trump.

That comes from a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, whose findings mirror a similar poll conducted earlier this summer by the Pew Research Center.

RELATED: Trump Makes a Place for Faith and The Private Faith Life of Hillary Clinton

Trump’s trouble with Catholic voters was foreshadowed during the primary season, when a group of reliably conservative Catholics urged their fellow believers in the Republican Party to resist Trump, even after he had all but sewn up the nomination.

Those concerns were renewed this week when The Hill reported on comments made by the newly tapped C.E.O of the Trump campaign, Stephen Bannon. The former head of the conservative website Breitbart News had accused the Catholic Church of supporting immigration reform only to boost its own membership.

“I understand why Catholics want as many Hispanics in this country as possible, because the church is dying in this country, right? If it was not for the Hispanics,” he said in March during a radio interview with Princeton University Professor Robert George, a member of the Catholic “Never Trump” movement.

RELATED: With G.O.P. Ticket Set, Catholic 'Never-Trump' Camp Remains Defiant

During that interview, Bannon also lashed out at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a practicing Catholic, accusing him of “rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second.”

Some Catholic leaders have lamented that the 2016 presidential election fails to offer good choices for Catholic voters.

“American Catholics, however they end up deciding to vote, have good reason to be frustrated with the choices they face in both major parties,” wrote Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia in a column earlier this month.

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe echoed those comments.

“As Catholics we uphold dignity of all, most especially the poorest and most vulnerable in our world,” he wrote in a letter. “We must grapple with the fact that no one party or candidate represents all my thinking or the Church’s thinking.”

The P.R.R.I. poll released Aug. 25 also found growing support among Catholics for same-sex marriage, which, officially, the church vigorously opposes.

Nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) of U.S. Catholics say they support same-sex marriage, up from just 35 percent in 2003. At the same time, Catholics are about split when asked if support for same-sex marriage goes against their religious beliefs (45 percent say that it does).

About six in 10 Catholics (63 percent) say businesses should not be allowed to refuse services to gays and lesbians based on religious objections.

When it comes to how friendly religious institutions are to L.G.B.T. people, Catholics think better of their church than the American public does. Almost half of all Americans consider the Catholic Church to be “somewhat or very unfriendly” to L.G.B.T. people, with 35 percent seeing the Catholic Church as friendly.

The numbers are switched for Catholics, with 49 percent saying the church is friendly and 45 percent who say it is not.

While U.S. bishops have made fighting same-sex marriage a priority for several years, just 37 percent of Catholics report hearing the issue discussed by their priest in the past few months.

Michael O’Loughlin is the national correspondent for America. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

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William Rydberg
1 year 2 months ago
One finds it "precious" that "...just 37% of Catholic's report hearing the issue (same-sex marriage) discussed by their priest.." The likely reason is because these studies are heavily skewed to "self identified Catholic's". Since the methodology doesn't change, statistically there isn't much statistical standard deviation. One wonders why they don't ask the Pastors if they broached the subject... Would be interesting... I'd love for one of these studies to change its reporting principles through statistical sampling on Site- at Parishes nationwide. This would adjust for Catholic's who actually go to Mass on Sunday's... But that's unlikely to happen so long as prominent Catholic publications like America Magazine continue to accept the status quo without reflection upon the consequences... Just my opinion, in Christ,
ed gleason
1 year 2 months ago
If my parish pastor sermonized against same-sex marriage about three-quarters would walk out. Other quarter wouldn't be paying attention anyway.
William Rydberg
1 year 2 months ago
One hears this all purpose ,,"if this happen ended....walk out.." line dropped. In truth there has never been such a thing, that wasn't subject to exogenous influences and pre-planning. 3/4th instantaneous walkout in my opinion is fantasy. You must be in some way counting the "self declared catholics" on the golf course for both Saturday Vigil and Sunday mornings ;) ...
ed gleason
1 year 2 months ago
William R. Look at a video of my parish and then change your mind. http://thegubbioproject.org/video
William Rydberg
1 year 2 months ago
The exception which proves the rule... ;)
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
Staged walk out, perhaps, poor upbringing, very likely, mostly Millennials and democrats, yes.
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
The parish pastor is doing what he is supposed to do. That IS the teaching of the church after all. You were not attending a democratic fundraising. Let me guess, your church is located in Boston or New York? In my church, we offer our pastor the courtesy of respect whether we disagree, which we agree by the way or not. It just shows bad manners and how little respect and the kind of upbringing of those who get up in the middle of the mass. Just a thought Ed Gleason. May peace be with you.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 3 months ago
This poll is really not about the election but about LGBT items (majority of questions), such as same-sex marriage and the bathroom issue. Every question is skewed to get a liberal secular response. And once again, the way a Catholic (n-418) is identified is solely by self-identification, not by knowledge or belief, attendance or practice. So, 50% of Self-Identified Catholics (SICs) in this poll do not even know there is a conflict between the secular promotion of Same-Sex Marriage and the teaching of the Catholic Church! And only 37% of SICs say their clergy ever talk about homosexuality. Well, that could be because they rarely if ever attend Church. Even questions about Church attendance were not asked of Catholics (n=418), only of Protestants (http://www.prri.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PRRI-August-2016-LGBT-Survey-Topline-1.pdf) On the bathroom issue, the question is asked to generate the politically liberal and anti-Catholic answer “Do you favor or oppose laws that require transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth rather than their current gender identity?” The question that was conveniently not asked is “Should men or people who look like men be allowed to go into women’s bathrooms?” or, “Do you agree that a man or a woman is known by their biology or by their stated preference?” Or, "Do you agree that one cannot tell the difference between a man and a woman by their appearance." Similarly, the anti-religious questions are similarly biased in favor of liberal anti-Catholic results. The question that should have been asked is “Should a person be forced by law to participate or support a ceremony or event that goes against their religious beliefs?”
Martin Meehan
1 year 2 months ago
As a Catholic who attends mass weekly and engages in local parish social ministry, I fully support gay marriage. And the majority of my devout Catholic friends do also. It’s time that we stop looking for excuses in polls that Catholics support gay marriage. It’s time that we avoid labels and blame that it’s only liberals and progressives who support LGBT rights. It’s fathers, mothers, relatives and friends, who may be both politically and religiously conservative, who see that the Church must be more supportive of gays and lesbians. Are polls that only ask questions that reflect a bias against gays and lesbians to be considered ‘fair”? Should only polls that support one’s view ‘count’? This sentence from the report speaks volumes: “By a roughly two to one margin, Americans oppose rather than favor allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so violates their religious beliefs (63% vs. 30%, respectively).”
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Martin - I'm not sure what you mean when you say you and your 'devout" friends "fully support" gay marriage. Does it mean that you believe, 1) like the 50% in the survey, that there is no conflict between Church teaching and gay marriage (see the Catechism or below), or 2) the Church is wrong in its teaching on gay marriage or 3) the Church may be right but one can depart from this teaching of the Church and still be a devout Catholic? The most recent, Pope Francis approved, re-statement of Church teaching was from the final report from the Synod on the Family (Oct-2015, paragraph 76): "The Church’s attitude is like that of her Master, who offers his boundless love to every person without exception (cf. MV, 12). To families with homosexual members, the Church reiterates that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his/her dignity and received with respect, while carefully avoiding “every sign of unjust discrimination.” Specific attention is given to guiding families with homosexual members. "Regarding proposals to place unions of homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.” "In every way, the Synod maintains as completely unacceptable that local Churches be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies link financial aid to poor countries to the introduction of laws to establish “marriage” between people of the same sex."
Jerome Colburn
1 year 2 months ago
Yes, that sentence speaks volumes. I don't know how that margin compares to the margin by which Romans opposed rather than favored allowing a subject of the Empire to refuse to offer incense to the emperor if doing so violated their religious beliefs.
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
You are a typical American Catholic. You choose and pick which of teaching you are willing to follow and disregard the rest. All over the world American Catholics are known as buffet Catholics. It is the opinion of the traditional, old schooled Catholics that it not up to the individual Catholics what part of the Cathecism or the Catholic teachings what they would like to follow, is it? Can you imagine telling the IRS this is only the part of the the income tax I'm willing to pay, I'm not going to pay for FICA because I'm tired of paying for welfare. Because in essence that's what you just said about the church.
Douglas Fang
1 year 2 months ago
My personal viewpoint is that secular marriage has lost all its sacred meaning. It is now just a legal and social contract. Otherwise, why do people have “prenup”? Why do people feel so normal to have a series and divorces and marriages, i.e. Donald Trump? Consequently, I believe that the majority of Catholics have that kind of marriage in mind when they are asked about gay marriage. I myself can support this kind of marriage. Families that are formed based on secular marriages, either straight or gay, can have a lasting, stable, and happy relationship. In the other hand, I strongly believe that sacred marriage, i.e. sacramental marriage as understood by Catholic teaching, can never be applied to gay marriage and I also suspect that the majority of Catholics also have the same understanding.
Jerome Colburn
1 year 2 months ago
Legal marriage in the United States has never been Catholic marriage, because the English began to settle in America only after Henry VIII. For the idea that the Church gets to rule on who is married and who isn't, Henry substituted the idea that the king did; independence from the crown replaced that idea with the idea that the state government can make people married or not married, an absurd notion when measured against our Lord's words on the subject. Moreover, today legal marriage is about many things, but it no longer is about sex. In most jurisdictions fornication and adultery are not crimes, but rape of one's spouse is. Therefore, two people married to each other no longer have, under the law, any sexual rights or claims toward each other that they wouldn't have if they were not married—or than each still has toward any third party. Following Levada, I can definitely see replacing legal marriage with the concept of a household, consisting of one or more adults, between whom there is no requirement or presupposition of a sexual relationship, and zero or more minors for whom the adults are responsible. Things like which adults are responsible for which minors, who owns which property, among whom is which income to be considered as distributed for tax purposes, who gets notified and who gets what property when such-and-such person dies, who gets admitted to visit whom in a hospital—these are things that government is competent to monitor and adjudicate. What is "wuv" and what is "mawwage," not so much. Government involvement in sexual behavior within a household, as outside it, would consist only of enforcing the right not to be subjected to another's sexuality without consent (or without the possibility of consent, as with a minor). Implementing this would be difficult because it would require cooperation at multiple levels of jurisdiction (e.g., the statuses of "single" and "married" for tax purposes at both the state and federal levels). But it seems to me the most liberty-maximizing approach.
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
Sure Jerome, let's do that. Let's divide America 330 million ways. Let's adjudicate the laws 330 million ways to satisfy Americans individually. That will be the only way to satisfy Americans individually. Do you think that will satisfy everybody if the government reassigned the law to fit everybody's individual's needs? Do you think your neighbor will not say " their law is better than mine, it's because they are upper income. They are treated better." To go even further, let's have a new bible for 1,500 billion Catholics, no wait, only for American Catholics because the rest of world seems to be pretty happy with the Catholic Church. Just in America they have all this demands. Do you think that will work? I'm pretty happy with my faith until I now?
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
As the cliche goes "only in America."
J Cosgrove
1 year 2 months ago
Maybe one interpretation of these polls is that people who identify as Catholic don't believe in Catholicism. It seems like a lot of people don't like what they believe Catholicism is and what to change it to be consistent with what they want. We had this trend before in the early to mid 1500's. Essentially it has continued to today. So nothing new here. This may describe a lot of the commenters here as well as many of the authors. One thing I can guarantee is if they succeed in protesting the old Catholicism what will happen is that there will be many variations of the new Catholicism and soon each one will not recognize the other.
Douglas Fang
1 year 2 months ago
“ …there will be many variations of the new Catholicism and soon each one will not recognize the other…” It has already happened. With the advance of information and communication technology, this trend will accelerate and irreversible. If old Catholicism is something as described by the Tridentine Catholic: http://www.tridentinecatholic.com Then this Catholicism seems very alien and is not recognizable by most Catholics today.
Martin Meehan
1 year 2 months ago
I have been happy married for over 40 yrs and I have no problem with Church precepts on the definition of a religious marriage. I support a gay or lesbian who wishes to have a civil marriage. When they become married they should have the same legal rights as those in a heterosexual civil marriage. in the 1950’s one smeared an opponent’s position by calling them a communist. Currently, one who supports civil marriage for gays should not be smeared by dismissing them as liberals or progressives, as if those were necessarily bad words. Regardless of their political or religious views, they are simply supporting their family.
ed gleason
1 year 2 months ago
Martin, M . My wife and I are married 61 years and we agree with you 100 percent. When as parents, we discovered that the bishops thought pedophilia was a sin that ought to be covered up like all sin ;When they thought that it was not a crime, we recognized their moral compass was broken. We first suspected it was broken when too many hierarchs supported Sen. Joe Mc Carthy in the fifties. The millions of civil marriages performed every year do not conform to Catholic canon law and we and the Catholic laity say "SO WHAT". As they say in NYC 'it's none of your business'.
Michael Barberi
1 year 2 months ago
Like so many Catholics on this blog who are faithful, attend weekly Mass and serve in various ministries, I also support a permanent, faithful and loving civil same-sex marriage and a non-Catholic Christian same-sex Church marriage. As long as married same-sex couples agree to follow the same responsibilities and obligations that heterosexual married couples follow, and are sincere in loving God and neighbor, then they should not suffer any discrimination or derogatory language that tend to disenfranchise them from the Catholic Church. We are already seeing a reform of certain teachings that for centuries were believed to be non-reformable. A case in point is Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. Many bishops interpret Amoris Laetitia (AM) very differently compared to other bishops. For example, some bishops believe that some divorced and remarried Catholics who meet certain conditions can receive Holy Communion without the need for an annulment or the requirement for the couple to live as brother and sister. Of course, this involves a process of discernment and the internal forum or informed conscience under the guidance of a priest. On the other hand, other bishops interpret AM differently and will not allow Holy Communion unless an annulment is granted or divorced and remarried couple refrain from sex. Time will tell how AM is implemented, but is clear to many Catholics that we will see a significant division among worldwide bishops on it's implementation. While a same-sex Catholic sacramental marriage is not allowed at the present time, a same-sex civil marriage or non-Catholic Christian Church marriage may not carry the stigma of 'evil' or the subjective guilt of mortal sin in the future. One of my priestly confessors did not believe in a Catholic sacrament same-sex marriage, but also did not believe that a same-sex marriage was necessarily 'evil'.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Michael and Martin - I interpret your comments as a hope or expectation that the Church will discover sometime in the future that it was completely wrong on insisting for over two thousand years in its teaching that homosexual sex is incompatible with a moral Christian life and that homosexual unions, civil or otherwise, are in no way consistent with marriage as taught by Jesus, the Holy Scriptures and the Church. For, it is illogical to think it can bless homosexual unions and not homosexual sexual activity. However, to be honest with your hope, you should also recognize that, to date, there is absolutely no indication from the Magisterium that such a thing will ever happen. Therefore, to act as if these unions are blessed is to directly contradict the real Church, as it is now in our lifetime. Now, I realize that many people live their lives today (and throughout history) directly contradicting the Church on many spiritual-life-threatening issues (on abortion, divorce, and a host of other issues) and many still say they are devout Catholics. But that would seem to make a mockery out of the idea of a teaching Church preserved by the Holy Spirit. Don't you think it is more honest and moral to say the Catholic Church is a false Church, because it makes false claims in its teaching, than to think one can be loyal to an imaginary future teaching directly opposite its present teaching? I for one would have to conclude that if she reversed her teaching so radically, either before or after they made that switch, they were teaching false doctrine - and not on a small item, but on a core moral teaching - the central relationship in our human societies. Since the dominant culture (politicians, military, business, academia, etc) all strongly support homosexual unions, there is surely no courage needed to take that stance. It is the default position of the dominant culture. Homosexual parents are now thought superior to religious ones (many states have turned away Catholic adoption agencies), and religious freedom is forever being narrowed in its application (see the fights to abandon poor students at Catholic colleges, or the attempts to withhold grant money from Catholic charities and hospitals). As to your willingness to assume anyone who accepts the Church's teaching on this issue is to be labeled a bigot, a discriminator or a social outcast, think of where spiritual courage is needed today - to live with the Church or with its opponents.
Martin Meehan
1 year 2 months ago
Dear Tim, You do assume too much. I am talking about civil marriage today. No one is asking that civil unions be blessed. You get carried away with with extreme and erroneous extrapolations of my views and those who support civil marriage for gays. How in the world have you assumed that I label you or anyone with opposing views to my own as a bigot, a discriminator or a social outcast.? You're playing the victim card and you shouldn't be a victim. You are simply a person who has a different view on this subject that my own. I am proud of my own spiritual courage to be Catholic and a supporter of gay rights. Peace be with you.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Martin - I accept your statement that homosexual unions are not to be blessed (approved and considered good), but why support something you accept is bad for the souls involved? It would seem to me that a devout Catholic would want salvation for all their neighbors, including those with sexual predispositions contrary to the moral life. So, if a devout Catholic accepts the Church's teaching that homosexual activity is bad for that person's soul, and still wants to encourage that sin (even proudly support it), how is that loving one's neighbor? Peace be with you, too.
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
Tim: you are focusing on this issue of the bible and the church because it is very personal to you. It has become a personal crusade to you disregarding what rift is causing the church as a whole. It is very offensive when you call the Catholic Church the false church. I guess I don't understand why you do this. The church welcomes you, it cannot marry you but it does not restricts from leaving the church as well. So why stay if you resent what our faith represent? If you are so angry, just leave and join another congregation that just change with the seasons or like the politicians that will say or do anything to get your vote? Will that not give you peace?
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Lena - you are (for a second time) completely misinterpreting my comment, to the point of hilariousness. I am of course not calling the Church false. It is the One True Church and I would rather die than leave it. And I am happily married in the Church, and not angry at all. So, try to read a little more carefully. My wife and children would be upset with you. To be exact, the fullness of truth resides in the Catholic Church and following the Church's teaching faithfully is the surest way to happiness, now and in eternity.
Michael Barberi
1 year 2 months ago
Tim, I am afraid that you have misinterpreted what I said. It seems you have either intentionally or inadvertently conflated my comments with negative characterizations. As you know I don't want to debate your style of argument. To be clear, I am not imagining a future where same-sex marriage will be completely reformed. I do hope and believe that some aspects of same-sex marriage will be reformed based on my philosophical and theological education and reasoned arguments which many moral theologians also agree with. Therefore, I believe it might be possible that under certain conditions those who enter into a same-sex marriage and express their love sexually might not be subjectively culpable for any objective sin that the Church say they have committed. As Cardinal Schonborn said about Amoris Laetitia (AM), we need to rethink many definitions of sin and culpability. To wit, notice that Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried may be possible as AM is implemented. Tim, you have to be careful how you characterize opinions that are not your own. I am not making a 'mockery out of the idea that a teaching of the Church is preserved by the Holy Spirit'. Such a comment is both derogatory and irresponsible. We continue to disagree about what Jesus said. It is the 'Church' inclusive of the general laity, theologians, clergy, bishops and popes that are preserved from error. A pope or a Council is not preserved from error and the history of the Church demonstrates that Popes and Councils have inadvertently erred on many teachings taught for centuries as truth but were eventually changed. Any person who disagrees with a moral teaching of the magisterium for legitimate philosophical and theological reasons, as I do, also does not make a mockery of the magisterium. My opinion is also not based on the current secular culture and it's individualism, relativism, consumerism or liberalism, nor do I believe the Catholic Church is a false Church. However, our Church is human and has made inadvertent mistakes as I have already mentioned. Lastly, my devotion to God and our Catholic Church and the way I live my life in not in contradiction to the articles of our faith. My disagreements about some moral teachings are based on my informed conscience which I take seriously and is formed and informed properly. I am always educating myself, open to priestly and moral theological counsel and daily prayer. My opinion is not closed to the opinions of others, inclusive of traditionalist and revisionist arguments, especially those who have a different viewpoint than mine. The poll findings of many Catholics who disagree with some moral teachings of the magisterium are not all dissenters or are they all denigrating the Holy Spirit and His guidance. As Pope Benedict XVI said, as well as Aquinas and other theologians, one must never go against their informed conscience and not every informed conscience that disagrees with a teaching of the magisterium is wrong, false and evil. I think we have to leave our discussions about these issues for another time. I don't want to go down the same road as we always seem to go and repeat what you already know are my reasoned arguments that you disagree with.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Michael – I don’t believe I am misinterpreting you, but maybe you are. To quote you from what you just wrote: Para 2: “I do hope and believe that some aspects of same-sex marriage will be reformed” but you do not imagine it “will be completely reformed.” Now, to reform is to repair or to improve. And complete reform is better than partial reform. So, by your own words, you want partial reform but can’t imagine the Catholic Church reforming completely. Only a more perfect Church could reform completely? Para 2: You might accept the Church’s teaching that homosexual sex is objectively sinful but hope it “might not be subjectively culpable.” I hope so too, and that it is accompanied by reform of the person and a greater awareness of the truth. But, even if the individual is rescued by God’s infinite mercy, one should care that evil/wrong/sin is not done. An errant conscience only covers the subject’s punishment. It does nothing to the actual evil, which still occurs and no Christian should want that, since Christ suffered for every evil done. Para 3: “It is the 'Church' inclusive of the general laity, theologians, clergy, bishops and popes that are preserved from error. A pope or a Council is not preserved from error and the history of the Church demonstrates that Popes and Councils have inadvertently erred on many teachings taught for centuries as truth but were eventually changed.” People can compare this statement with the promise of Jesus (Mt 16:18 and Mt 18:18) and the Catechism (CCC 890: "it is the magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error") and VCII (DV No. 10 "The task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether in its written form or in that of tradition, has been entrusted only to those charged with the Church's living magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ"). Maybe mockery is too strong a word, but your characterization has such a massive escape clause in it that one could not be sure of any doctrine – definitely not the intent of Jesus. Para 7: I think we have to leave our discussions about these issues for another time. I don't want to go down the same road as we always seem to go and repeat what you already know are my reasoned arguments" - OK.
Kevin Sharpe
1 year 2 months ago
Tim, I do appreciate your precision. But wouldn't you agree, we must be on guard against legalism and missing the spirit of the Law while staying too intently focused on the letter of the Law?
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Kevin - I agree that the Spirit of the Law is important. In fact, it is more important than the Letter, if by the Letter one means the initial or superficial meaning, and by the Spirit one means a deeper meaning. But, faithful Catholics encounter the Spirit of the Law from the same fount that we get the Letter, from the teaching Magisterium. For example, when Jesus says it is better to cut off one's sinning hand rather than go to Hell fully armed, or tells the rich man to give up all his wealth, or the eye of the needle analogy, or the phrase "call no one father" etc., etc., the Magisterium assists us with understanding what the Spirit of that saying means. It isn't as if there is a second Magisterium for the Spirit. Also, it is easier to mislead ourselves about the Spirit than the Letter, to make excuses for our pet sin or favorite doctrinal change, as it is harder to see when we contradict the Spirit in some teaching than the literal letter. In my view, all of this points to following the Magiserium with an open and willing heart on any doctrinal teaching, and always being merciful to our neighbor, who we think is departing from the teaching, even as we hold firmly to the teaching.
Kevin Sharpe
1 year 2 months ago
Bravo, Michael! Well said.
Michael Barberi
1 year 2 months ago
Thanks Kevin for your kind words. Incidentally, your other comment about focusing of the "spirit of the law" and not the letter of the law, is what many of Jesus's sayings and parables were all about. Far too many bishops and recent popes (e.g., JP II and Benedict XVI) believed that a good Catholic were the one's who follow every letter of the moral law, especially every papal moral teachings (e.g., encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, etc. We should respect the teachings of the magisterium and every pope but there is room for disagreement for legitimate philosophical and theological reasons while not undermining scripture and tradition. Not every word of moral teachings in tradition is the absolute moral truth and exempted from reform or change. We all should respect every Catholic who agrees with every teaching and those would disagree with some moral teachings based on their properly informed consciences..
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
Tim OLeary: my Catholic faith is not affiliated with the government who's politicians get voted in and out by the people who they lied to or get bought by they entitlements they get. Or the military men who fight for the country they believe in. I thank them for their patriotism, their sacrifices. Homosexual parents are superior parents based on what research are you basing your comments? We have no research on children who grew up on families of homosexuals or lesbians families? I doubt, based on the country's political correctness atmosphere, if any will be conducted. Catholics missionaries have been in the jungles and poor countries helping educate the poor and rescue trafficked young girls and boys around the world regardless of their religious affiliation and you call the Catholics the false religion? When were you last in the jungle or in India helping the Hindus out of the street into a clean bed and feeding them when even their own people didn't want anything to do with them?
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Lena - you misinterpreted my comment. I of course do not think children are better served by homosexual parents. The point I was making is that Catholic adoption agencies have been removed from government-approved adoption services (e.g. in Chicago) and several homosexual groups promote the idea: see this article: http://www.livescience.com/17913-advantages-gay-parents.html and this quote re "Gay parents "tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents," said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts." I of course do not agree with this, as a close reading of my comment indicates.
Kevin Murphy
1 year 2 months ago
As Augustine pointed out: "If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." Polls of "Catholics" who invent their own faith mean nothing except that a schism may be on the horizon.
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
I know I will get scolded for this but AMEN.
Carlos Orozco
1 year 2 months ago
At the end of the day, America might actually thank God for Wikileaks. Assange has been promising a bomb shell for some time now. He has a reputation to keep.
Martin Meehan
1 year 2 months ago
Who am I to judge non-Catholics who enter into heterosexual or homosexual civil marriage? Who am I to judge Catholics who enter into civll marriage and discuss their situation in the confessional? Who am I to judge individuals who lead good, charitable lives and who live in a committed gay relationship? Does one shun such a neighbor or relative, or does lone look at the goodness in that individual? I pray that’s “God’s will be done” in helping gays and all people to lead good lives. I do not pray that my views, or my interpretations of God’s will, be done. Wouldn’t this be a nice Prayer of the Faithful: “Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, should be respected in his/her dignity and received with respect, while carefully avoiding “every sign of unjust discrimination.” We pray to the Lord. Lord, Hear Our Prayer. I believe that at this point more of my time should be spent helping the less fortunate at our parish soup kitchen than in online comments. Prayers to all.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Here's another possible Prayer for the Faithful "Let us pray that all people encounter the Lord Jesus and see the beauty in living a fully Christian life. And, let us pray that no one is unfairly discriminated against or shunned, especially those for following their faith, as they see it."
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
In America this has become the expectations, the church has to bend to will of the American people political correctness as in everything else. At one time the bible is THE one steady thing in one persons life that has not and should not change in one persons life. It should withstand the test of time as it has for centuries. The bible has given people solace and directions in their lives, at one time. Revelation.
Michael Barberi
1 year 2 months ago
Every Catholic who disagree with certain moral teachings and attends weekly Mass, prays daily, educates themselves, confesses often and strives to love God and neighbor is not condoning evil and sin. Those who disagree for good reasons based on their properly formed and informed consciences also do not believe that every action that the magisterium defines as a sin, is a sin. For example most, if not all, married couples who practice contraception and do not have an anti-life attitude believes that contraception is a sin, regardless of the fact that the magisterium says so. To be clear about what I am saying: Not every disagreement and hope in a change in a moral teaching is an exception that undermines God's Will, unravels the articles of our faith or undermines the sanctity of our Church. There is room for disagreement and the Holy Spirit guides us to the truth in both agreement and 'disagreement'. It was disagreement that led to changes in many teachings of the magisterium that were taught as truth for centuries. Even today, we are witnessing another change, namely, that it may be possible that many bishops will allow Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried Catholics as Amoris Laetitia is implemented. Before Pope Francis, no one in the hierarchy believed this was ever possible. We should all pray for enlightenment. However, enlightenment does not automatically mean that every disagreement is wrong, evil and false, nor does disagreement mean we are unfaithful and misguided Catholics. We should also pray that those born with a same-sex orientation and who enter into a permanent, faithful and loving relationship will not experience discrimination of any kind, and that some aspects of the teaching on same-sex marriage is changed so that they will love God and neighbor and not feel disenfranchised from the Church.
Kevin Murphy
1 year 2 months ago
Pope Francis has no authority to permit communion for divorced/remarried. He will not even come out and plainly say that he ihas done it. He buried it in a footnote and let others carry the ball. Not even a Pope can change a direct teaching from Jesus.
Michael Barberi
1 year 2 months ago
Kevin, I have been following this issue for a number of years now, and I often communicate with my moral theologian friends both in the U.S.and in Europe. Pope Francis had to follow a center path between those bishops who were opposed to Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried "under any circumstances" save for an annulment or living as brother and sister, and those bishops who were for Holy Communion under specific conditions. He deliberately left the decision up to each Bishop, not any Conference of Bishops, which in theological circles is very significant. As a result, notice that in the U.S. we have two bishops who interpret and have chosen to implement Amoris Laetitia (AM) very differently. Bishop Chaput of Philadelphia refuses to give Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics except if they are granted an annulment or if they live as brothers and sisters. On the other hand, Bishop McElroy of San Diego has called for a diocesan Synod of priests, theologians and lay people this October to discuss AM and how to implement it. Bishop McElroy was appointed by Pope Francis and it is most likely he will grant Holy Communion under the guidance of a priest and the discernment process called the internal forum. I live in San Diego and I am familiar with Bishop McElroy and many of his parish priests. Additionally, Bishop Chaput of Chicago and Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna are of similar mind as Pope Francis. Cardinal Schonborn was appointed by Pope Francis as the "Church's expert and interpreter of AM" and hs thoughts on AM point to Holy Communion allowance through the discernment and internal forum process as well. You can easily google Cardinal Schonborn's comments about AM and read them yourself. It is too early to tell how many bishops will allow Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, but so far it appears very likely that there will be a significant divide over AM's interpretation and implementation. Incidentally, as for what Jesus said about divorce and remarriage, there is much dispute over the 'exception clause' of Matthew and the interpretation of the word "pornea". Most theologians believe it means sexual immoralIty and its use in Matthew is commonly interpreted as adultery or fornication. Very few scholars agree with the Church's definition which is an illegal or immoral marriage as when a person marries someone too close in relationship. We will have to agree to disagree on this Kevin. All the best.
Lena Dalvi
1 year 2 months ago
Of course here in America, where there are the least number of practicing Catholics, the demands of Catholics to change the practice of the church is overwhelming. It is at times borderline arrogant. Just my humble opinion of course.
Michael Barberi
1 year 2 months ago
Lena, The percentage of Catholics who attend weekly Mass in the U.S. is about 24%. Weekly Mass attendance is lower in many other countries such as Argentina (21%), France (12%), Spain (19%) and Germany (21%). Weekly Mass attendance is about the same as the U.S. in Australia (24%), Chile (25%) and Ireland (30%). As to what percent of all Catholics want change, the Univision Survey of Worldwide Catholics by Country report demonstrate that most Catholics want some type of change. The percent of Catholics who want change does varies by country. However, below is a sample of what all worldwide Catholics say. 65% of all Catholics say abortion should be allowed in some or all cases. 78% of all Catholics support the use of contraception 30% of all Catholics support same-sex marriage 58% disagree with the Church teaching that divorced and remarried Catholic should be denied Holy Communion Surveys or poll statistics are not considered by the magisterium in the formation of doctrine, but collective human experience is one of the many factors considered in the discussion of changes in teachings. The other factors are scripture, tradition and reason (science, et al). I don't know what you meant by "It is at times borderline arrogant". Wanting change is not immoral as long as the change is based on legitimate philosophical and theological principles and is not in contradiction with scripture. Of course, our understanding of scripture does sometimes change as we grow in wisdom and scholarship. For example, Usury was written in scripture as Divine Law and many popes and councils taught it as truth and forbid it for centuries, until disagreement cause a change in this teaching. There is also disagreement over what Jesus said in Matthew about divorce and remarriage and the meaning of the word "pornea". Other legitimate disagreements concern the interpretation of some of the writings of St. Paul and the context in which scripture was written. All of these disagreement do not prevent Catholics from attending weekly Mass or their relationship with Christ. Nor are all disagreements wrong, false or evil. Disagreements also do not disrespect those who follow every teaching of the magisterium. I do not want to debate you on these issues. I only wanted to understand your comments which were different from my own and offer you some things for reflection. I also assumed your comments were a reply to what I wrote. If I am mistaken, I apology.
Kevin Sharpe
1 year 2 months ago
Tim...thank you for such a spacious prayer...it leaves room for ALL -- homosexuals and heterosexuals -- and it asks that NO ONE be marginalized or discriminated against for practicing their faith (which has happened for far too long to our homosexual brothers and sisters), "as they see it". That's beautiful. I'd add, "as they feel called by our Lord Jesus Christ in their own hearts."
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
Kevin - thanks for your kind words. Sometimes, it is assumed that the Catholic defense of marriage and sexual morality is ipso facto an attack on everyone who doesn't accept the Catholic truth, whereas it is a defense of love for everyone and a desire for the good for all. Humanae Vitae is a message for the good of everyone, wherever they are at in their lives, even if not everyone sees it that way. The thing about conscience is it works in every direction. So, those who follow their consciences in opposition to some Church teaching should, in all fairness, also accept faithful Catholics, who are equally compelled to follow their conscience in proclaiming & witnessing the fullness of the faith. This is why religious freedom is often called the first freedom, as it is the foundation for all the others.
Vincent Gaglione
1 year 2 months ago
There are so many items in this story upon which to comment, I don’t know where to start. On the Trump portion of it, the Church in the USA must come to grips with the fact that a significant number of its white constituents are racists. And Trump does appeal to racists by any standard of measurement. That fact is the product of the isolationism in which the Church found itself for so many years in the USA – imposed by Protestant bigots when Catholic immigrants first arrived and self-imposed by institutional Church practices to protect the flock even after the bigotry dissipated in large measure. Among African-Americans and Native Americans the Church in the USA continues to treat them as “others.” I am always galled by the annual USCCB collection for the “Black and Indian Missions.” What mission to Christianization is there to a people who have church members gunned down during worship and still proclaim forgiveness to the criminal? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that out of a Catholic congregation! The evangelization of African-Americans was undermined by the possession of slaves by some Church members and orders and by the failure of the USA Church to condemn slavery long after even a Pope had condemned it. As for Native Americans the USA Church allowed itself to become a vehicle of colonialism. It is the rare individual who subscribes to a belief system that treats one like an object and not a human being. It might be worthwhile for the Bishops to take a long hard look in one of their conferences to figure out how to address the racists that the Church has helped to create among us. As for gay marriage, maybe the majority of Catholics has figured out something that the bishops fail to emphasize. Marriage is a contract between two individuals, not a state of being created by the Church. It existed long before the Church did. It exists around the world without the Church. What the Church did was to make it a sacrament. No civil wedding between any partners - opposite or same sex - is a sacrament. If the civil government wants to allow same sex individuals to contract with each other, so be it. And truth be told, there are many same sex relationships with children that are better than those of some married in Church! The extremity of language and rhetoric that some Church leaders use undermines their own positions in the minds of thoughtful members. The Trump campaign manager Bannon’s comments that Paul Ryan is pushing some Catholic social teaching proves how bigoted and stupid Bannon really is. He is obviously an anti-Catholic bigot for the comment alone about Catholic social teaching. That he thinks Paul Ryan’s proposals in any way mirror Catholic social teaching, to me, is probably the most absurd understanding of Catholic social teaching that I’ve ever heard. The social safety net is not something to be tinkered with, nor is there anything that is taught that creates a divide between the deserving and undeserving poor, a favorite position of the bigots and Paul Ryan! Finally, bishops like Chaput and Wester betray their own bias with comments that no candidate aligns completely with Catholic teaching. We live in a secular society. We have never had, nor ever will, a candidate who aligns completely with Catholic teaching. They have advocated for the Republican Party for years now on the sole issue of abortion. They have played into the hands of the rightists, the bigots, the ignorant, and the anti-immigrants who got what they wanted…the candidate of their rhetoric and their dreams, Donald Trump who somehow got religion and became anti-abortion for a Presidential campaign. Let me NOT be politically correct and use my version of Trump’s favorite language and rhetoric, if I depended on the Catholic Bishops for guidance on civic choices for office, we’d have been back in a theocracy of the Middle Ages here in USA.
J Cosgrove
1 year 2 months ago
They have advocated for the Republican Party for years now on the sole issue of abortion.
I believe Republicans are the more moral and responsible party on a number of issues, of which abortion is one. For example, what has Democratic policies done to the Black community in the United States. I am anything but a fan of Donald Trump because he is essentially a liberal Democrat who managed to get the Republican nomination based on fears the country was changing dramatically before their eyes. But on the Democrats and race policies he is exactly right. Here is his speech from a couple weeks ago. http://bit.ly/2bvciiT Some comments on this speech
Trump points out that African-Americans have sacrificed greatly for this country, fighting and dying in every war we fought. They provided the conscience for the country during the Civil Rights era. Despite these sacrifices they have suffered and about 40% live in poverty and few young Blacks are working. This has to change. The African American voter deserves a better future but the Democratic Party has not and will not provide it. Democratic policies produce poverty, unemployment, poor schooling and failed homes. We should hold these politicians accountable for the harm they have done. A good example is Detroit. Forty percent of Detroit resident live in poverty and half do not work. It is one of the most dangerous cities in the country and Democrats have run this city for generations. The same policies embraced by Hillary Clinton have caused this devastation. Hillary is proposing policies that take jobs from African American workers, opposed schools choice and advocates open borders. On top of that she will drive out business because of high taxes. She has a track record of giving jobs to other countries. So it is Hillary Clinton that is the bigot who only wants the votes of Blacks, not a good future for them. There is no lost in changing from these policies and trying something new. Donald Trump August 2016 - See actual speech for Trump’s own language
For a synopsis of what caused the problems in the Black community this video provides most of the answers http://bit.ly/29FGdBN So I find the name calling very ironic since it uses the term racist while the deterioration of the Black community over the last 50 years can be attributed to Democratic policies. They run every major city in the United States and have done so for generations. An aside: my excerpts of Donald Trump's speech were taken down by someone at America on another post so I paraphrased them above after learning why.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year 2 months ago
“… Republicans are the more moral and responsible party on a number of issues, of which abortion is one.” Since 1980, the abortion rate has declined 11% with the Pro Life party in the white house and declined 30% when the Pro Life party was not in the white house.

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