WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new research poll shows that self-identified Catholics on the whole favor Biden over Trump for president.
An EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research Poll released on Monday finds that the priorities of Catholics, like the greater population, have been affected by the Wuhan virus pandemic and shutdowns. It also concludes a large disparity between cultural Catholics and faithful Catholics.
RealClearPolitics' Washington bureau chief Carl M. Cannon noted the trend that the more devout the Catholic is, the more he or she is likely to vote for President Trump.
"The most observant Roman Catholics still tend to support Donald Trump and the Republican Party, as do large majorities of white evangelical Protestants — and are among the most highly motivated voters," he said. "But the question for the GOP is whether there are enough of these voters to make up the difference."
The research study generally divided Catholics into three categories — those who hardly ever attend Mass, those who attend Mass weekly, and those who attend Mass more than weekly and pray regularly. The conclusions saw a large disparity between the divisions — i.e., between cultural Catholics, cafeteria Catholics, and the faithful Catholics.
Cannon's question, on whether there are enough faithful Catholic voters to make up the difference in November, is an important one. Especially for the battleground states.
Cultural Catholics, those self-identified Catholics who do not practice their religion in any consistent way, were far more likely to vote Democrat than non-Catholics. Faithful Catholics are of the highest percentage of voters that are voting for the Trump-Pence ticket.
The article explaining the poll, published by the National Catholic Register, noted something that has been gradually manifesting itself for the past 50 years:
"[W]hen it comes to foundational Church teaching, the active or devout Catholics are increasingly at odds with their fellow Catholics, to the point that there are virtually two Catholic communities in the country. This is obvious in the 2020 presidential election."
The issues for which all Catholics displayed concern have been the ones affecting Catholics of all levels of faith.
Anti-Catholic violence is something on which almost all Catholics expressed a deep concern. An overwhelming majority of respondents said the vandalizing of Churches and statues was a real concern, as was the burning of Bibles and threats to destroy all white European-looking statues of Jesus.
Other top issues for Catholic voters across the board were the economy and jobs (91%), Health care (89%), coronavirus (88%), national security (85%), civil unrest (84%), criminal justice (82%), taxes (80%), race relations (77%), immigration (76%) and foreign policy (75%).
With regard to what the U.S. bishops perennially call the pre-eminent moral issue of our time — abortion — Catholics are all over the spectrum, according to priority of their faith practice.
Significantly, 82% of Catholics who go to Mass weekly want substantial restrictions on abortion. Among these weekly Mass-goers, 43% said they were less likely to vote for a candidate that supported prenatal murder while almost a quarter said they were more likely to vote for one. For 22%, it made no difference.
Less than a third of all self-identified Catholics surveyed said they were less likely to support a pro-abortion candidate. Close to a quarter — 22% — said they were more likely to do so. A third said it made no difference to them.
Other issues that concerned over 50% of all Catholics were Supreme Court nominees (68%) and religious liberty (60%).
Even after America has killed 62 million preborn children surgically and around 12 times that amount chemically since Roe v. Wade, 59% of self-proclaimed Catholics who say abortion concerns them place it only 12th on their list of priorities.
Although the Church teaches that abortion is "intrinsically evil" and cannot be supported, many Catholics have been trained by Marxist clergy and bishops espousing "seamless garment" theory to think that social justice issues are equally important, swaying votes toward pro-death Democrats — a phenomenon explained in Church Militant's episode of Mic'd Up — A Catholic Vote for Trump.
The survey confirmed the growing population of Latino-American Catholics and the wide spectrum that exists in belief and practice among Catholics. Over half (52%) of those surveyed were women, and 48% were under the age of 45. Hispanics made up 41% of the respondents. With regard to practice, only 35% of all Catholics were found to attend Mass at least once a week. Among more devout Catholics, 77% say they regularly set time aside to pray, and 62% say they pray the Rosary once a week or more.
More than 60% of the respondents said the Wuhan virus pandemic made them think differently about their faith, and 8 in 10 were led to think differently about politics. Almost 8 in 10 American Catholics said the Wuhan crisis made them feel closer to God.
Some good news coming from the survey. More than half (52%) of all respondents said they are likely to attend Mass "more frequently" after the virus pandemic, while only 13% said they plan to attend Mass "less frequently."
The study was conducted Aug. 27 to Sept 1.