Catholic World News (CWN) reports: “US Catholics tilt left, Pew survey finds.” The recent Pew Forum study under discussion “shows that many self-described American Catholics ignore Church teachings on both theological and social issues.”
In its follow-up report, comparing the beliefs and practices of America’s major religious groups, the Pew Forum found that 48% of Catholic respondents favor legal abortion (16% in all cases, 32% in most cases), while only 18% agree that abortion should always be illegal. A substantial majority of the Catholics polled — 58% — said that society should accept homosexuality.
On theological issues, only 16% of American Catholics believe that the Church is the one true means of salvation , the Pew Forum found. (By comparison, 36% of the Evangelical respondents chose that answer.) An overwhelming 79% of the Catholics said that many different faiths could lead to eternal life.
Reading that should alarm us. No matter how one slices and dices Church teaching, even the most tendentious reading of “no salvation outside the Church” cannot make it mean that “many different faiths could lead to eternal life” or that “the Church is [not] the one true means of salvation.” In other words, honesty, logic, and Faith forbid anyone to take the “no” out of “no salvation outside the Church.” Yet that is what 84% of “American Catholics” do .
Which leaves 16% who have not bowed their knees to the Baal of indifferentism. I am well familiar with the old quip about statistics — “There are lies, [darned] lies, and statistics” — and many polls seem carefully crafted to tell people what to think rather than to discover what they actually think. However, does the common experience of anybody really allow us to question these statistics, unless it be to challenge their optimism ?
As a friend commented, “It’s just another bit of evidence showing why the Saint Benedict [Center] Crusade is more important than ever.” It certainly makes us feel that we have our work cut out for us. Ultimately though, it will be the Holy See, specifically the Holy Father, who champions the cause. His work is cut out for him, and now he needs our prayers and support perhaps more than ever.
“I don’t know how it happened, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him. ” — Blessed Jacinta of Fatima