US Catholics Clash With Vatican Over These 5 'Sins'

Divorce, non-traditional families among them
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2015 10:31 AM CDT
US Catholics Clash With Vatican Over These 5 'Sins'
Pope Francis touches his ear as he leaves after his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

American Catholics may be fans of Pope Francis—but not necessarily the ideas he represents as head of the Catholic Church. A new Pew Research Center poll of 5,122 adults shows Americans who identify as Catholic are much more accepting and have a very different view on what constitutes a sin compared to the Vatican. A few takeaways, via USA Today and NBC News:

  • Cohabitation: About 86% are willing to accept a man and a woman living together without being married. In fact, 44% of Catholics say they were guilty of the practice at some point. When it comes to gay couples, 70% support cohabitation.
  • Non-traditional families: While 44% of Catholics say homosexual behavior is a sin, almost as many, 39%, say it isn't. Some 66% say they are accepting of gay couples who raise children, 87% accept single parents, and 83% support unmarried parents who live together.

  • Birth control: Some 66% of US Catholics say using contraception is A-OK, compared to just 63% of the overall US population. About 75% of Catholics say the Church should allow birth control.
  • Abortion: Though 57% of Catholics oppose abortion, a third say they support the termination of a pregnancy—a "sin" Pope Francis says can be forgiven.
  • Divorce: A quarter of Catholics have been divorced themselves and 70% say there's nothing sinful about it. Some 49% say getting remarried isn't a sin, either, compared to 35% who believe it is. About 9% of US Catholics have been divorced and remarried.
Click for more from the survey. (Read more Catholic Church stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.