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WASHINGTON, D.C., November 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A report released by the Pew Research Center (PRC) shows that a majority of Catholics surveyed in Western Europe, the Americas, and across the world support either homosexual “marriage” or homosexuality as such — contrary to the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

The comprehensive report, released earlier this month, focuses on Catholics’ view on homosexuality. Compiling the results of studies conducted over the past few years, the figures demonstrate a wide-scale rejection of Catholic teaching on same-sex “marriage” and homosexuality, which the Church describes as “intrinsically disordered” and something that “can in no case be approved of.”

Views regarding same-sex ‘marriage’

The report mentions a 2019 survey, which highlighted that 61 percent of U.S. Catholics were in favor of marriage between two persons of the same sex. Thirty-one percent of Catholics were against the idea.

However, support for same-sex “marriage” among Catholics in the United States is somewhat dwarfed by the figures found in many Western European countries.

The Netherlands topped the table, with 92 percent of Catholics supporting same-sex “marriage,” followed by Belgium and the U.K. with 83 percent and 78 percent, respectively.

The European figures were based on a 2017 report, which also showed that among Christians regularly going to church, 51 percent favored abortion in the Netherlands, while in Belgium and the U.K. that number was 74 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

The 2019 report listed Switzerland, Spain, France, Austria, and Germany as having 70 percent of Catholics or higher who favored same-sex “marriage.”

However, PRC also noted that despite the high approval for same-sex “marriage” among Western European Catholics, acceptance was much weaker in Eastern Europe. In Slovakia, 54 percent of Catholics rejected it, ad the number increased to over 60 percent in Poland, Croatia, and Hungary.

Out of the remaining five countries surveyed, over 80 percent of Catholics rejected same-sex “marriage,” with 90 percent doing so in both Bosnia and Ukraine.

Homosexuality in general

Based on the findings of a 2019 global survey, which assessed Catholics in 22 of 34 countries in the wider survey, PRC was able to state that “even among Christians, Catholics are more likely to accept homosexuality than Protestants and evangelicals in many countries.” Furthermore, the survey concluded that 76 percent of U.S. Catholics held that homosexuality should be accepted in society.

Canadian Catholics were even more opposed to Church teaching in their views, with 87 percent supporting homosexuality. The result remained largely similar in the Americas as a whole, with Brazil, Mexico and Argentina all showing above 70 percent support for homosexuality among Catholics.

Once again, the Netherlands topped the scale, with 95 percent of Catholics supporting homosexuality, with Germany and Spain also having figures above 90 percent. Meanwhile, 86 percent of U.K. Catholics believed homosexuality should be accepted in society.

Out of the 22 countries in the survey, only five had a majority of Catholics who did not support homosexuality, with Polish Catholics evenly split on the question. The three countries most faithful to Catholic teaching were Kenya and Nigeria in Africa, as well as Lebanon in the Middle East.

PRC commented that based on the findings of the global survey, “Catholics within many countries generally are as accepting as their non-Catholic compatriots of homosexuality. This is not true in all countries, though. In Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and the Philippines, Catholics are somewhat more likely than non-Catholics to say that homosexuality should be accepted by society.”

The report did note that “in Poland, Catholics are less likely than non-Catholics to say homosexuality should be accepted by society.”

Role of Pope Francis

The role of Pope Francis in the views of Catholics who were part of the various surveys cannot be ignored. PRC itself mentioned him in the very first line of the report, highlighting the Pope’s recent comments in support of same-sex civil unions. PRC also added that Pope Francis’s words “struck many observers as a shift for the Vatican — which in 2003 came out against any ‘legal recognition of homosexual unions.’”

However, the most recent survey referenced in the report was conducted in 2019, with others being up to five years old. Thus, the Pope’s comments had not been taken into account by participants of the surveys.

Nevertheless, the Pope famously asked already in 2013, “Who am I to judge?” He was responding to a question about credible accusations against Msgr. Battista Ricca, head of the Pope’s residence in the Vatican, of being involved in homosexual acts. The media quickly ran with the phrase, creating the impression that Church teaching on homosexuality was changing. The comment has yet to be clarified by the Vatican.

While the Pope has previously maintained the teaching that marriage is only between one man and one woman, he has also given many conflicting signs about his personal views on homosexuality and same-sex civil unions.

Pope Francis also caused confusion by meeting with various priests known for their pro-homosexual views and public pro-LGBT activism. Pope Francis has now met with pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin, SJ three times, despite Martin being repeatedly publicly criticized for his deviation from Church teaching regarding homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.”

Before to his most recent comments on civil unions, the Pope reportedly told U.S. bishops during their ad limina visit that same-sex civil unions can be accepted.

The 2003 letter “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,” published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirms that “homosexual acts go against the natural moral law,” and cannot be approved.

“The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions,” the document continues. “The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.”