Most Americans Completely Oblivious to Pope’s Philly Visit

Poll also suggests most American Catholics do favor same-sex marriage.

Gabriel Sozzi/Wikimedia Commons

Gabriel Sozzi/Wikimedia Commons

Yes, the city of Philadelphia has been a wee bit stressed lately about the impending visit of Pope Francis. It may not surprise you to find out the rest of the country isn’t so worked up — hey, they’re not hosting — but it is interesting to note that most Americans simply have no idea that he’s coming. At all.

A survey released today by the Public Religion Research Institute indicates that 52 percent of Americans — a majority! — “have heard nothing about the pope’s upcoming visit to the U.S.” About a third of Catholics had no idea. (Henceforth, they will be referred to as: “Bad Catholics.”)

The survey touched on other issues affecting the church, including some that might have some resonance locally. Some highlights:

• “Catholics also do not differ markedly from the American public on the issue of same-sex marriage. A majority (55%) of Americans and six in 10 (60%) Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Notably, roughly equal numbers of white Catholics (59%) and non-white Catholics (61%) support same-sex marriage.”

• “On the issue of abortion, Catholic attitudes generally mirror Americans overall. A majority (53%) of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 43% say it should be illegal. Among Catholics, a slim majority (51%) says abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 45% who say it should be illegal.”

• Like the rest of America, Catholics seem polarized by politics. “More than two-thirds (68%) of Democratic Catholics say the Church should focus more on social justice issues than on right to life issues. By contrast, a majority (53%) of Republican Catholics say the Church should place more emphasis on abortion issues than on social justice issues. ”

Catholics total about one in every five American adults, the survey said. [Politico]

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