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DC Catholics Are Mostly Not Outraged By Same Sex Marriage

A call to action by the Washington D.C. Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic church has revealed what may be a substantial split within the American Catholic church, between church leadership and church members. Archbishop Donald Wuerl sent out an appeal to Catholics in the Washington D.C. area, and in the USA as a whole, to flood the offices of of D.C. City Council members with telephone calls in opposition to legislation that would recognize the equal legal status of same-sex marriages in the nation’s capital.

What happened next was… not much. D.C. Council members report that their offices have not been flooded with telephone calls from angry Catholics. It seems that, on the same-sex marriage issue, although the priestly Catholic leadership is dead-set against equality, members of the Catholic church don’t oppose marriage equality enough to do much about it.

Is this a gap of enthusiasm, or opinion? That is, do lay Catholics merely not care enough about maintaining marriage inequality to take action, even when church leaders demand it, or do rank-and-file Catholics increasingly regard same-sex marriage as something they don’t have any objection to?

It’s worth noting that Spain has legalized same-sex marriage, though 80 percent of that nation’s residents identify themselves as Catholic. But then, despite the Catholic church’s claims to represent universal Christianity, what’s Catholic in Europe is not the same as what’s Catholic in the United States.

A recent poll conducted by the Washington Post indicated that 46 of “White Catholics” support legalization of same sex marriage – but what about the other non-White Catholics? What makes a Catholic non-White, and do these non-Whites have a different opinion? Reports on the problematic poll didn’t cover those issues.

A somewhat better poll by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press uses the category of “White Non-Hispanic Catholics”, but also reports on the “Total Catholic” opinion. The results indicate little difference of opinion on same-sex marriage between Catholics of different ethnicity. In the “Total Catholic” category, 45 percent support same-sex marriage, and 40 percent oppose it. In the “White Non-Hispanic” subcategory of Catholics, 44 percent support same-sex marriage, and 44 percent oppose it. The same poll, however, suggests that most Catholics just don’t care much about same-sex marriage. Only 25 percent of Catholics indicated that they think that the issue of same-sex marriage is “very important” in terms of how they vote.

It appears that both disagreement and apathy are likely to be behind the failure of Archbishop Wuerl’s telephone campaign against equality. The D.C. Council, and other governmental bodies considering marriage equality, ought to consider that lobbying pressure from Catholic priests does not represent the political values of many Catholics.

The D.C. City Council is scheduled to vote on recognizing the equal status of same-sex marriage tomorrow.

16 comments to DC Catholics Are Mostly Not Outraged By Same Sex Marriage

  • I talked about this on my radio show. It is crazy. Catholics are crazy

  • le pelerin

    Your aricle may be fun research but in the end, the Catholic faith doesn’t change because of polls and trends. Go to other denominations for that.

    “What’s Catholic in Europe is not what’s Catholic in America” Again, you have limited understanding of what the Church teachings are. They are the same whether in Spain, England, Peru, Nigeria or China. We all have the same authoritative teaching book: The Cathecism of the Catholic Church.

    Church members sometimes dissent, but the faith remains the same, to be preached “in season and out of season.”

    • Ralph

      Yup.

      Catholic teachings do not change.

      They are the same as they were when the Catholic church persecuted Galileo for his heliocentric heresy.

      They are the same as they were during the Spanish Inquisition.

      Fortunately, these outdated brutal teachings are not what most Catholics explicitly believe. Catholics believe all kinds of things from Voodoo and Santeria to post-medieval astronomy. There is almost no correlation between official Catholic doctrine and what Catholics actually think.

      • le pelerin

        You continue with misunderstanding of history and the repeating of urban legends. Spread a lie often enough and people will believe it.

    • LP, if the Catholic Church has the sanction of God and the power of being right, how come its priests can’t even get most people who attend Catholic Church to agree with its doctrines?

      • le pelerin

        You and I have free will to believe anything. The Church respects people’s free will, does not force anyone to believe anything, but proposes the truth to whoever wants to listen.

        • Yes, but the question is why the Catholic Church, which is supposed to have the divine power of the ruler of the universe at its back, is so inept even at convincing its own members that its doctrines make any sense. You’re not answering that, LP. Why?

        • Jacob

          “The Church respects people‚Äôs free will, does not force anyone to believe anything, but proposes the truth to whoever wants to listen”

          Is that why the Catholic Church has a very long history of killing Christians who disagree with the teachings of the Pope?

          • le pelerin

            Because Americans do bad things in Iraq, do you blame Barack Obama or George Bush?

            • Jacob

              The killings were ordered by the catholic Church. You have individuals that were murdered by direct order from the governing councils. These are the same councils that agree and put into practice doctrine. These are the same councils that pick the Pope. They are the ones that ordered killing. they also did crazy stuff like dig up the bones of dead heretivcs and burn them. then you have the same councils ordering the killing of entire groups of people including children. All denominations do bad things but the claims of the catholic church do not fit the actions of the Catholic Church

              • le pelerin

                You’re dreaming Jacob. Hello! Wake up! None of your claims are factual.

              • Jacob

                What history books are you reading. Have you not studied your Catholic Councils? Did you not study what happened to figures such as Huss or Wycliff. Did you not look at wahat was done to the Waldensians. There is a little book out there called the trail of blood. Its not the greatest book ever written and catholic gurus such as Steven Ray try to debunk it but the historical facts stand. the Catholic church has sanctioned some major persecutions against what they deemed to eb heretics. it wasnt catholic people doing stupid stuff. Read, Read, Read, its all out there. Its just not prevelent around the Catholic Church because your clergy likes to kick dirt oveer it to cover it up

              • le pelerin

                You’re reading too much Jack Chick.

            • Well, yes, LP, Bush and Obama are responsible to some extent. How would you argue that they are not? It’s no secret that wars lead people to do very terrible things. How could someone start or continue a war without realizing that it would lead to terrible things happening?

  • Ralph

    Exactly what did I say that was a lie, pelerin?

    You keep saying people are “ignorant,” or “lying,” but you never bother to say exactly what they said that wasn’t factual.

    It’s a cheap way to argue.

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