WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Critics are asking why a new Quinnipiac poll is claimimg that the majority of America Catholics suport same-sex “marriage” when suppressed data reveals the numbers are almost exactly reversed for the faithful.

Quinnipiac released a poll on Friday headlined, “American Catholics Support Same-Sex Marriage,” announcing that Catholics back redefining marriage by a margin of 54-38 percent.

But critics quickly questioned the way the data was presented and whether they truly reflect the views of American Catholics.

Fully 39 percent of those surveyed said they do not practice their faith, with 11 percent saying they “never” attend church.

“Leaving aside the not insignificant fact that the sample size of Catholics was a mere 497, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, there is a “more problematic methodological issue.”

Quinnipiac asked Catholic voters 14 questions and organized the results on the basis of church attendance. “The one exception was on same-sex marriage,” he said.

Instead, Quinnipiac broke down that issue by voter registration and ethnicity, finding Democrats (65 percent) and Hispanics (63 percent) were most likely to support redefining marriage.

Quinnipiac released the church attendance numbers after a query from CNSNews.com.

“What they admitted totally alters the outcome,” Donohue said: “55 percent of Catholics who are regular church-goers are opposed to gay marriage, and only 38 percent favor it.”

Quinnipiac Assistant Director Peter Brown told the Catholic News Agency the discrepancy was “certainly not malicious” but a “completely benign decision.” But Donohue is not easily convinced.

“The Quinnipiac Polling Institute has some explaining to do,” he said. “Its credibility as a serious survey house has thus been compromised.”

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The poll found the majority of practicing Catholics were also more likely to adhere to the tenets of their faith on the HHS mandate, contraception, and women's ordination.

Catholic doctrine still requires faithful Catholics to attend Mass at least weekly. Canon 1247 of the Code of Canon Law states, “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”