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Majority of Catholics Oppose Denying Communion to Pro-Choice Politicians

Two recent surveys found that the vast majority of Catholics believe that bishops should not use the sacraments as a political tool. The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute found that 80 percent of Catholics disapprove of some bishops’ intentions to deny communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians. Additionally, the poll found that 87 percent of Catholics say that their vote will not be influenced by bishops’ positions. A full two-thirds of respondents felt that a politician’s religious beliefs shouldn’t be a matter of public debate, prompting Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, to say that Catholic voters are sending the message to bishops that, “Thou shalt not pressure the politicians.” A similar poll by Belden Russonello and Stewart found that 83 percent of Catholics don’t think that Catholic politicians have any obligation to follow the recommendations of bishops when voting, and that three-quarters believe that Catholics should not feel obligated to vote against pro-choice candidates, reports Catholics for a Free Choice. A task force of US Catholic bishops met this week to decide church policy whether and how to penalize Catholic politicians whose beliefs or voting records are not fully in line with Church positions. The full set of guidelines developed at the meeting may not be made publicly available until after the November elections, reports Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report. JOIN the Feminist Majority

Sources:

The Charlotte Observer 6/12/04; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 6/17/04; Reuters 6/16/04; Catholics for a Free Choice press release 6/17/04; Quinnipiac University Polling Institute 5/27/04

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