Now more than ever, the Pope is Catholic

Yesterday, the Pope made history by announcing that it’s not his place to judge homosexuals. Four days prior to that, the Daily Caller published anĀ opinion piece by Austin Ruse, President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, who said that the United States could learn a thing or two from Russia’s anti-homosexual agenda.

Two prominent Catholics – one admittedly more prominent than the other – offering two different takes on a subject that the Catholic Church doesn’t typically handle well. But when it comes to the average modern Catholic, which one of these men is the outlier?

In his witty and engaging new book, American Savage, author and activist Dan Savage shares a somewhat surprising list of statistics:

“Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as non-Catholic women. Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control – presumably with Catholic men. Ninety-three percent of Catholics support the use of condoms to prevent disease and HIV transmission. Seventy percent of American Catholics think abortion should be legal. Sixty-seven percent of Catholics believe premarital sex is morally acceptable.”

The Catholic Church’s attitudes towards sexual issues are based on the notion that sex is just a means of reproduction. The vast majority of today’s Catholics disagree with that notion. Savage doesn’t provide any statistics on homosexuality, but it seems safe to assume that most Catholics take a more progressive view of it than the Church does.

It’s easy to condemn Catholics as a whole for the bigoted, regressive attitude expressed by people like Ruse, even though most Catholics would disagree with him. And it’s not difficult to view the Pope’s remarks as an acknowledgement that the Church has a lot of relevance to regain.

Posted in Social Action

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