In recent years, Catholics have become more critical of traditional teachings, such as the doctrine of creationism, the separation of church and state and the Catholic Church’s role in the legalization of abortion.
And some in the Church have tried to change that with more openness to the LGBTQ community and an embrace of diversity.
But a new survey from the National Catholic Register finds that many Catholics are skeptical of the Church’s commitment to LGBTQ rights.
This year, the Register asked a representative sample of 2,000 Catholics nationwide about the issues they see as the most pressing in their lives.
The survey found that 53 percent of Catholics surveyed said they felt a strong sense of religious duty, a number that has not changed since last year.
But that sentiment fell by a wide margin from a year ago, when 57 percent of the Catholics surveyed felt a religious obligation.
A total of 55 percent of Catholic respondents said they believe homosexuality should be accepted as a natural human condition, and just 39 percent of them said they feel that way about heterosexual marriage.
In contrast, 59 percent of Americans said they do not feel that the Church has a religious duty to accept LGBT people as full members of the family.
The survey also found that Catholics are split on the issue of the death penalty.
About half of those surveyed said that the death sentence should not be used in cases where the victim was not a child of God or was mentally ill, and about the same percentage said that death should be imposed in such cases.
More than half of the Catholic respondents (54 percent) said that Catholic teachings on the death Penalty should not include the possibility of mercy and forgiveness for the person who is convicted, while just 29 percent said they should.
Among Catholics who believe the death penalties should be used only in cases of rape or incest, only 32 percent of those who are more likely to support the death sentences say that the Catholic teaching should include mercy and pardon for the accused.
In fact, just 36 percent of respondents who identify as Catholic believe that mercy and compassion should be included in Catholic teachings.
Catholic social teaching matters for two reasons: 1) It’s the Church that teaches Catholics that homosexuality should not lead to a life sentence for a rape victim, and 2) it’s the Catholic social teachings that make it possible for the Church to teach that LGBT people are worthy of love and inclusion.
There is, of course, a strong moral case for capital punishment for rapists and murderers.
But the Church itself teaches that it is wrong to put an innocent person to death.
For example, the Catechism of the Christian Church states that “it is not appropriate for one to commit a grave sin against another” and that “the death penalty is contrary to the dignity of persons.”
It’s not just about justice, either.
Catholic social justice and human rights are also at the core of the faith.
In a recent letter to the bishops of the world, Pope Francis wrote that he “deeply deplores the widespread and pernicious violence against all those who do not share the same cultural and racial identity as the European population,” and that he urges “the Church to affirm the human dignity of all people.”
And in his letter to Congress, the Pope called on the federal government to “reconsider its policies that support and support the rights of minorities,” including those who have experienced violence.
But there is a big divide between Catholics and Americans on how to move forward on these issues.
When asked what the Catholic Social Doctrine is and why it matters, the survey found support for Catholic social policies, such the abolition of the Death Penalty and the legalization, of abortion, on both sides of the aisle.
But among Catholics, support for abolition fell off sharply last year, from 55 percent in 2015 to 37 percent in 2016.
And the number of Catholics who supported legalization dropped from 37 percent to 24 percent.
And support for the legalization dropped by nearly three-quarters among Catholics who identify with the Church as a whole, from 69 percent in 2017 to 63 percent in 2018.
And while support for abortion rights has fallen among Catholics as a share of the U.S. population, it still exceeds the support for legalization among Catholics overall.
The survey found a clear split between Catholics who say abortion should be illegal and those who say it should be legal.
Roughly a third of Catholics (34 percent) support the legalization or decriminalization of abortion as long as it’s done by a doctor who is trained in medical abortion, and a third (32 percent) say it shouldn’t be legal at all.
A majority (54%) of Catholics also believe that it’s wrong for a Catholic to kill someone for “morally” the crime of being gay or lesbian.
And a majority (55%) of Americans (51 percent) also support the criminalization of homosexuality.
But Catholics who are less liberal on these moral issues (such as those who identify themselves as evangelical or Protestant) are more