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 yesterday, reports The Washington Post.
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.
●30 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 36 percent in the United States agree with the Church ban on female priests, compared with 80 percent in Africa and 76 percent in the Philippines, the country with the largest Catholic population in Asia.
●40 percent of Catholics in the United States oppose gay marriage, compared with 99 percent in Africa.
FULL STORY Poll finds church divided over doctrine (The Washington Post)