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.)

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The U.N. report documents cases of extrajudicial murders committed by police, illegal house raids and threats and harassment against journalists and social and political activists in Honduras.
Jackie McVicarMarch 20, 2018
An employee wrapped in a blanket talks to a police officer after she was evacuated at a FedEx distribution center where a package exploded on March 20, 2018, in Schertz, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In their joint statement, the Texas bishops echoed Chief Manley’s appeal to the community. “We ask all people in our dioceses to remain vigilant, and to pray and work for peace,” the bishops said.
Paul StinsonMarch 20, 2018
The challenge of finding families for homeless youth and for those in group shelters is creating the latest flashpoint over competing civil rights claims. (iStock/bodnarchuk)
Catholic Social Services refuses to place foster children in homes headed by same-sex couples; the city of Philadelphia says this policy violates a nondiscrimination law.
My approach to the mystery of A.L.S. is a bit different than that of the famed physicist.
Elise ItalianoMarch 20, 2018