New Pew Poll Shows Catholics Widely Divided On Issues of Sexuality

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

Right in time for the Philly Papal visit, a new Pew poll released today finds that the nation’s Catholics are divided on a number of issues surrounding sexuality, including matters of family life and adoption.

The poll found that 45% of Americans identify as Catholic, and that 90% of those Catholics “say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children.” However, it was discovered that a large number of respondents also believed that “other kinds of families…are OK for raising children, too.” For example, two-thirds of those surveyed found it to be acceptable for same-sex couples to raise children, “including 43% who say a gay or lesbian couple with children is just as a good as any other kind of family.”

There was a clear connection between those who attend Mass regularly and their responses to questions involving LGBT issues. For instance:

“Among Catholics who say they attend Mass weekly, six-in-ten think that a gay or lesbian couple raising children is either unacceptable (36%) or acceptable but not as good as some other arrangements for raising children (25%); just 34% say a same-sex couple raising children is as good as any other family configuration. By comparison, roughly half of Catholics who attend Mass less than once a week (49%) say being raised by a same-sex couple is just as good an arrangement for children as any other, and an additional 22% say this is acceptable even if not as good as some other arrangements. Only about one-in-five Catholics who attend Mass less than once a week (22%) say being raised by a same-sex couple is not an acceptable arrangement for children.”

When it comes to Catholics considering homosexuality “a sin,” the results were a bit more polarizing: 44% surveyed said it is a sin, while 39% said it is not. Interestingly enough, 54% of those polled thought living with a romantic partner “outside of marriage is not a sin,” and 46% believe that the church “should recognize same-sex marriages.” Again, there was a correlation between those who attended Mass more regularly and their beliefs of church teachings: “Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week say homosexual behavior is a sin, and nearly half say cohabitation and remarriage after a divorce without an annulment are sinful.”

You can read and analyze the full poll here.