Catholics share bishops’ concerns about religious liberty

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2 2012 2:17 p.m. MDT

Our take: The latest Pew Research Center survey on religion and politics has found most Catholics agree with their bishops concerns about restrictions on religious liberty. White non-Hispanic Catholics who attend Mass frequently are far more supportive of the bishops protests than those who attend less often.

Nearly two-thirds of Catholics (64%) have heard at least a little about the bishops protests against a number of government policies, including Obama administration policies requiring religious institutions such as universities and hospitals to provide contraceptive services to their employees. But just 22% of Catholics say they have heard a lot about them. Moreover, only about a third of Catholic churchgoers (32%) say their priest has spoken out on this issue at Mass.

The percentage of Catholics saying they are satisfied with the leadership of American bishops has increased sharply since 2002, during the height of the churchs child sex abuse scandal. In June 2002, 51% of Catholics said they were satisfied with the leadership of American bishops; today 70% do so. More Catholics also are satisfied with the leadership of their own bishop than was the case a decade ago (65% in 2002, 74% today).

Read more about Catholics and religious liberty on The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

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