Yeah, yeah, I know! Cheesy title, but I couldn’t resist, plus I’ve spent hours in the car with my kids this long weekend, so it kind of goes to my state of mind.
Over at Pew Forum (not to be confused with PewSitter.com – I like them!), they’re crunching numbers as usual. They haven’t always crunched the Catholic numbers well (http://nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-island-of-misfit-polls.html), and I’m sure they’ll continue in that fashion. Why? I’m not entirely sure.
They’ve posted their latest lengthy report on Catholics (http://www.donotlink.com/gks1), over which I’m sure the usual news outlets will be drooling, along with NcR (National catholic Reporter, for those who are new). NcR has probably already written 10 articles just on the title alone telling us why the Pope should abandon doctrine based on Pew’s “findings.” What do Pew’s findings, the media and NcR have to do with the Catholic Church? Not a whole heck of a lot.
They did have quite an interesting “admission” near the beginning of their report, though:
As with attitudes about family arrangements, Catholics who report attending Mass regularly are more likely than other Catholics to accept church teachings about the sinfulness of certain sexual behaviors and living arrangements. For example, most Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week say homosexual behavior is a sin, and nearly half say cohabitation and remarriage after a divorce without an annulment are sinful. Among Catholics who attend Mass less often, fewer view these behaviors and living arrangements as sinful. Regular Mass-attending Catholics are also more likely than other Catholics to say the church should not allow cohabiting Catholics or divorced Catholics who have remarried without obtaining an annulment to receive Communion.
You have got to be kidding me! You mean to tell me that Catholics who follow the teachings of the Church actually believe in the teachings of the Church??? And those who don’t follow the teachings of the Church do not believe in the teachings of the Church??? No way! That would just be too weird! Seriously, see where my questioning of the point of such exercises comes from? Thousands of hours of research, and they come that conclusion? However, I do give kudos to Pew here for not slaughtering the actual Church teaching by saying “homosexual behavior” rather than “homosexuality.” FINALLY, someone gets it right! Was it really that hard? (I’m talking to you, NcR!)
I’d bet Pew just wants to stay relevant, just as I’m sure NcR and the rest of the media want the Church to be a democracy. Hate to break it to you people, but it’s not. You’d think they’d have learned this after Humane Vitae (http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html). How long have we heard, “Most Catholics think this, or most Catholics want that,” yet the Church’s teachings on life and contraception remained the same? Oh, yeah, forever! An individual Catholic’s views on the faith are totally irrelevant to the TRUTH, which, of course, is what the doctrines are.
It matters not how many think this sin is really a sin or that sin is not. A sin is a sin because it is, not because so many people think it may be. Divorce and re-marriage is not peachy, no matter how many people practice it. Women priests can’t ever be a reality, no matter what the “Nuns on the Bus” say. Etc., etc., etc.
Time and again, the faithful ask the question: “Why do people want to be associated with the Church, put their kids in Catholic school, etc., if they don’t like the teachings of the Church?” The short answer is, Satan! Satan doesn’t just try to destroy the Church from the outside, he also tries to subvert it from within. Sadly, many Catholics are all too willing to help. Will he be successful? We’ve read the end of the book, and no, he won’t. This isn’t to say he won’t pick people off, but he won’t win in the end, and he knows it. This Pew Forum report reminded me of this:
“In the face of so much evil at work in the world, the differences separating Catholics from each other and even Catholics from other Christians and other faiths shouldn’t occupy as much energy as they do. We have a common enemy, and it’s trying to destroy faith and destroy families, since it knows it can’t destroy the Church is itself. Convincing the world he didn’t exist was Satan’s most powerful act, but shattering Christian unity and fomenting discord runs a close second. We can’t fight him and each other at the same time.”