It's a pretty funny video above with atheist author Penn Jillette explaining Catholicism to Piers Morgan, but it's also a bit sad, from the perspective that many Catholics don't seem to know what it is to be Catholic. The latest New York Times/CBS News Poll finds that American Catholics at Odds With Vatican on Many Teachings:
American Catholics want the next Pope to liberalize the church’s position on issues such as birth control, ordaining women, and allowing priests to marry, a new poll has discovered.
And two out of every three Catholics want Pope Benedict XVI’s successor to be “someone younger, with new ideas,” The New York Times/CBS News poll found.
Three-quarters thought it was a good idea for Benedict, who entered the Vatican in 2005 at the age of 78, to resign rather than remain in office until his death.
The poll indicated that many Catholics feel the bishops and cardinals are out of touch. “I don’t think they are in the trenches with the people,” Therese Spender, 51, a homemaker in Fort Wayne, Ind., told the pollsters. “They go to a lot of meetings, but they are not out in the street.”
More than half — 54 percent — want Benedict’s successor to espouse more liberal teachings; only 19 percent wanted a continuation of his teachings, and just 18 percent preferred someone with more conservative ideas, the poll, conducted shortly after Benedict announced his resignation, found.
The most important area where Catholics want change is on the question of contraception. Ninety-one percent said the next Pope should support the use of condoms to help prevent HIV, and 71 percent thought he should favor artificial methods of birth control.
On the issue of women in the priesthood, 69 percent said it should be allowed. At the same time, 69 percent of those who took part in the poll said priests should be permitted to marry. But 56 percent believe the Pope should continue to oppose abortion. However, they think it’s possible to disagree with the Church on issues such as abortion and birth control and still be a good Catholic.
The poll found that most Catholics break with church teachings on many political and social issues: 62 percent would legalize same-sex marriage, 74 percent would allow abortion, albeit with some conditions, and 61 percent favor the death penalty.
And more than three quarters, 78 percent, of the Catholics surveyed said they are more likely to follow their own conscience rather than the Pope’s teachings on “difficult moral questions.” Not surprisingly, those who attend Mass more frequently also tend to adhere to the Church’s guidance more often.
Going to Mass helps Catholics live their Catholicism and if Catholics aren't going to Mass then they are seriously lost, as the apparently Catholic interviewer and the above poll findings show.
Sine Dominico non Possumus!