Hundreds of Catholic Americans had their say on the future of the Church.
A new poll released by Quinnipiac University this week reveals the majority of Catholic American voters support gay marriage, and hope the next pope will lead the Church in a new direction.
According to Quinnipiac University’s poll results, 54% of Catholic Americans support gay marriage, and 62% say that the next pope should allow priests to marry.
The majority of Catholic voters also hope the Church will change its views on planned parenting. According to poll results, 64% of voters say the pope should relax the church ban on contraception.
In reference to the recent sex abuse scandals that have shocked the world and rocked the Vatican, 81% of Catholics said under the next pope, the Church should do more to combat sexual abuse of young people by priests.
The poll also showed significant results amongst different race and age groups.
Younger voters were shown to have a stronger support for gay marriage than older voters. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said: ‘Among all voters, there is almost no gender gap, but a big age gap.’
The poll revealed that 62% of voters under age 34 support gay marriage, while half of voters over age 55 are opposed.
The poll also showed that Hispanics, Catholic or otherwise, lead the support for same-sex marriage compared to blacks or whites. 63% of Hispanics, compared to 32% of blacks and 48% of whites, were in favor of gay marriage.
Military voters, along with voters between the ages of 34 and 54, were found to be at an even split between support for gay marriage.
Overall, American voters showed a shift in their thinking toward same-sex marriage.
Brown added: ‘Catholic voters are leading American voters toward support for same-sex marriage’. This year 47% of Americans voters showed support for same-sex marriage, compared with 55% who were opposed in a July 2008 survey.