The Catholic Church has been one of the leading opponents of marriage equality across the country (including fights in California, Maine, New York, and now Minnesota), but a new survey shows that most American Catholics do not identify with the Church leadership’s anti-gay rhetoric. According to the study:
- Only 35 percent of Catholics oppose same-sex marriage.
- Only 16 percent of Catholics say church leaders have “the final say” on homosexuality, down from 32 percent over the past 25 years.
- 57 percent of Catholics say individuals have “the final say” on homosexuality, up from 39 percent over the past 25 years.
- 83 percent of Catholics say the clergy sexual abuse has hurt the bishops’ moral and political credibility.
Given that the Catholic League regularly blames homosexuality for the child abuse committed by Church leaders, it makes sense that Catholics are similarly distrusting of them on LGBT and other social issues. These results suggest that the Catholic Church’s political clout comes not from the authority of its vast membership, but perhaps merely from the large sums of money it wields in their campaigns.