Pope Francis faces church divided over doctrine, global poll of Catholics finds


Most Catholics worldwide disagree with church teachings on divorce, abortion and contraception and are split on whether women and married men should become priests, according to a large new poll released Sunday and commissioned by the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision. On the topic of gay marriage, two-thirds of Catholics polled agree with church leaders.

Overall, however, the poll of more than 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries reveals a church dramatically divided: Between the developing world in Africa and Asia, which hews closely to doctrine on these issues, and Western countries in Europe, North America and parts of Latin America, which strongly support practices that the church teaches are immoral.

The widespread disagreement with Catholic doctrine on abortion and contraception and the hemispheric chasm lay bare the challenge for Pope Francis’s year-old papacy and the unity it has engendered.

Among the findings:

●19 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 30 percent in the Latin American countries surveyed agree with church teaching that divorcees who remarry outside the church should not receive Communion, compared with 75 percent in the most Catholic African countries.


Written By: Michelle Boorstein and Peyton M. Craighill
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com


  1. Too bad the survey didn’t ask Catholics about their attitudes towards child rape by Catholic clergy. Or the covering up of such crimes. I think the UN had a word or to to say about that a few days ago ?

    Certainly in Northern Europe, it would seem the faithful are voting with their feet instead of their knees.

  2. Oh look there is a child with the pope, I spy another marketing ploy. This wretched church will always have differences of doctrine between the religious hard liners and the so called enlightened Catholics.

  3. I think it’s interesting to see how the divisions of agreement with church doctrine fall neatly along the lines of how developed the democracies are that the catholics are living in. It seems to suggest that the ‘believers’ are getting their moral compasses directed by governmental institutions rather than by the church.
    So how long will it take the church to catch up to the moral progress modernity has brought? How proud is the church that the less developed (impoverished, violent, high infant mortality….) a country is, the better it is at producing devout catholics? How certain is the church that what these people really need is catholicism instead of more robust democratic institutions?

  4. In reply to The Article:

    19 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 30 percent in the Latin American countries surveyed agree with church teaching that divorcees who remarry outside the church should not receive Communion.

    What? No crackers and booze? Waaaaaaaaah! It isn’t fair!

  5. before the protestant movement, excommunication was possibly the most feared judgement in the western world. things have changed a lot. the catholic church can officially push any barbaric docterine it likes, catholics can pick and choose which bits they believe in and everyone’s happy.

    the church wouldn’t dare enforce its beliefs on its congregation, the only power it has left is this meaningless number based on the number of people alive who were baptised (less maybe those like Tyler who went to the trouble of unbaptising themselves). the only time you see a true split is when you shine a light on the situation, otherwise there’s an uneasy conspiracy of silence. churchgoers avoid admitting they disagree with the pope in confessions, the pope pretends he doesn’t know that catholics wear condoms or get divorced.

    it’s no longer an exclusive club, they’ll take anyone now because if they clamped down on the dissidents they’d be left with nothing but a few old men with no one standing between them and the authorities

  6. And the babe, but a suckling, inquired: “wha’ d’you keep under your ‘at Mr man?” And the Pontiff laughed; nervously.

  7. Marrying or remarrying outside the church is a most heinous crime against god. Goebbels was excommunicated for marrying a protestant. The only leading Nazi to have ever been excommunicated. Just goes to show how tough the church is on wayward catholics.

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