Poll Finds Canada Catholics at Odds with Church Doctrine
Babych, Art, National Catholic Reporter
OTTAWA -- A major religion poll reveals the lack of the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Canada's Catholics, according to Archbishop Marcel Gervais, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"They feel that they no longer have a role to be a light to the world," Gervais said in a recent interview.
The survey of 4,510 adults, conducted between January and March, indicated that 78 percent of Canadian adults still defined themselves as Christians even though fewer than 25 percent attended religious services weekly. Only 30 percent of Catholics said they attended religious services every week.
The poll results -- first published in the April 12 issue of Macleans' magazine -- also revealed that many Catholics are at odds with church doctrine. "If I were a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church, I'd be scared skinny," said Queen's University historian George Rawlyk, who assisted in the poll, conducted by the Angus Reid Group, one of Canada's leading pollsters.
Gervais said the results show that more and more Catholics are "acquiescing to the opinions of society" and "are not listening to the church."
He noted that 91 percent of Catholics approved of the use of contraceptives but said the figure would be lower if the church's teaching -- that every act of intercourse should be loving and life-giving -- were presented better. The teaching "has tremendous potential but has never really been developed properly," he said.
For Gervais, the biggest disappointment in the religion poll was in the figure revealing that 80 percent of Catholics would allow divorced people to remarry in the church. …