U.S. Catholics Happy with Selection of Pope Francis
In a new Pew Research Center poll, nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics say they are happy with the selection of Pope Francis. But they are divided over how big a change he represents for the church.
‘Strong’ Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low in U.S.
The percentage of U.S. Catholics with a strong identification with the Catholic Church was as low in 2012 as it has ever been in General Social Surveys. During the same period, the percentage of Protestants who consider themselves strong members of their faith has been rising.
Resources on Catholicism and the Pope
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has a variety of resources on Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI, including public opinion polls, research studies, event transcripts and interviews.
U.S. Catholics See Sex Abuse as the Church’s Most Important Problem, Charity as Its Most Important Contribution
U.S. Catholics see the scandal over sex abuse by clergy as the most important problem facing the church today and charitable efforts to aid the poor, feed the hungry and heal the sick as the church’s most important contribution.
During Benedict’s Papacy, Religious Observance Among Catholics in Europe Remained Low but Stable
When Benedict XVI was elected pope in 2005, religious observance among Europeans had been in decline for decades, and he set out to stem the tide of secularization. How successful was he? Pew Research polls indicate that during his papacy, religious observance among Catholics in France, Germany, Spain and Italy remained low but fairly stable.
Obama Administration Weighs In on Gay Marriage Case
The Obama administration has submitted a “friend-of-the-court” brief on the legal challenge to California’s gay marriage ban, which will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26.
U.S. Catholics Divided On Church’s Direction Under New Pope
As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, three-quarters of American Catholics express a favorable view of the pontiff. Meanwhile, most U.S. Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten say it would be good if the next pope hails from a developing region like South America, Asia or Africa.
Illinois Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bill
The Global Catholic Population
Over the past century, the number of Catholics worldwide has more than tripled. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly from 1910 to 2010. As a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on Earth, though their geographic distribution has changed substantially.
The Contraception Mandate and Religious Liberty
On Feb. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new rules for how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate applies to religious nonprofits, including houses of worship, schools and hospitals. Church-state law scholars Ira C. Lupu and Robert Tuttle explain the new rules and the legal arguments that religious groups might make.