Polling Opposites

Pilgrims climb to touch statue of Black Nazarene during procession in Manila. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)

A poll by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision shows Catholics in Asia and Africa, where the church is growing fastest, expressing strong support for church teachings, but divergence among Europeans and Americans. The poll of Catholics in 12 countries showed high approval of Pope Francis but split on subjects like abortion, priests being able to marry, the ordination of women and same-sex marriage. Majorities in Europe, Latin America and the United States, for example, disagreed with divorce rules denying Communion to those who remarry outside the church, while two African nations were 75 percent in agreement. Seventy percent in Africa and 76 percent in the Philippines opposed priests marrying, while 70 percent in Europe and 61 percent in the United States expressed the opposite opinion. The split underscores what is perhaps one of Pope Francis’ most pressing challenges. He must attend to fast-growing congregations in less affluent areas like Africa while renewing the enthusiasm of Catholics in Europe and the Americas.

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