New Pew Survey about Catholics

A new Pew survey documents the decline in American Catholicism. Catholics are now 20% of Americans, down from 24% in 2007. More people have left the Catholic Church than any other religion – 13% of Americans are now former Catholics. The exodus is especially great among traditional white groups.

76% of Catholics surveyed want the Church to allow the use of birth control. This is a surprisingly small number, given that over 90% of Catholics currently use birth control. Apparently some 15% prefer living in sin to changing Church policy. Over 60% want to allow priests to get married, to allow Catholics to divorce and remarry, and to allow cohabitation. 59% want to allow women priests.

While about 85% of Catholics continue to approve of Pope Francis, there is growing discontent with his handling of the child abuse problem. Pew said nothing about the opinions of the 13% who left the Church, or why they left it.


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