WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 2014 ( – A worldwide poll of self-described Catholics shows significant disagreement with Catholic doctrine among many Church members.

In a poll commissioned by the Spanish television station Univision, majorities of 12,038 Catholics in 12 countries expressed beliefs against Catholic doctrine on issues like abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and contraceptive use. The Church opposes all three. 

According to the poll, while Pope Francis received 87 percent approval, 57 percent of Catholics thought abortion should be legal “in some cases,” with nine percent declaring support any time. Seventy-eight percent of respondents support contraception use, 66 percent back same-sex “marriage,” and 51 percent believe women should be priests. 


Thirty-eight percent of respondents believe divorce and remarriage outside of the Church means a person is living in sin, and 47 percent believe priests should be allowed to marry.

The poll was taken in nine languages and on five continents. Univision says the 12 countries in which those polled live “represent 61% of the world’s Catholic population.”

The nations in which poll respondents live are: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Congo, Colombia, Spain, France, Italy, the Philippines, Poland, Uganda, and the United States of America. The African nations and the Philippines were most supportive of Catholic teachings, while the U.S. and European nations were more often in disagreement. 

Catholic blogger Matt Walsh told LifeSiteNews that he “[has] to laugh when modern leftwing Americans criticize the Church for being 'obsolete,' and start giving out advice on how to remain 'relevant.' Invariably, they are part of some institution — media, Hollywood, government — that's been around for a fraction of the time that the Church has existed.”

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“The Church is timeless and has withstood through these 2,000 years precisely because She isn't worried about being 'relevant' to one particular age or one particular philosophical trend,” said Walsh. “The Church outlasts all of them by remaining Right and True.” 

While the Church has at times been accused of being “obsessed” with issues like abortion and same-sex “marriage,” Catholic commentators have frequently blamed poll results like those found by Univision in part on a lack of preaching on grave moral issues in most parishes. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, noted recently to the Boston Herald that “the normal Catholic in the parish might hear a sermon on abortion once a year. They’ll never hear a sermon on homosexuality or gay marriage. They’ll never hear a sermon about contraception.”

O'Malley said it is the mainstream media that “is obsessed” with issues such as abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, noting that “if you look at the New York Times, in the course of a week, there will be 20 articles on those topics.”

Walsh told LifeSiteNews that many of the poll's respondents “aren't Catholic at all. They are in the Religion of Self — they just call themselves Catholic because it lends them credibility when they criticize Catholicism.”

The Univision poll relied on respondents to self-identify as Catholic, and did not differentiate between practicing Catholics and non-practicing or poorly-practicing Catholics.