November 5, 2012

A large U.S. study on faith and political views released Oct. 23 highlighted Catholics’ interest in having social justice take a bigger role in the Church’s policy priorities.

The American Values Survey by Public Religion Research Institute zeroed in on the opinions of Catholics on topics including contraceptive coverage in insurance and the pending presidential election.

A majority of Catholics told pollsters they would prefer it if the Church would focus its public policy statements “more on social justice and the obligation to help the poor, even if it means focusing less on issues like abortion and the right to life.”

Sixty per cent of Catholics concurred with that statement or with another version in which the phrasing was reversed.

Among Catholics who attend church at least weekly, 51 per cent chose the social justice emphasis, while 65 per cent of those who attend monthly or less often made that choice.