The left-wing, progressivist Catholics tend to follow polling data more than the Church’s Magisterium when it comes to certain hot button issues.
I wonder what they do with the latest Rasmussen Poll about the reaction of Catholics the the scandalous decision of Notre Dame to honor pro-abortion President Obama.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans nationwide say the University of Notre Dame should have followed guidelines set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and refrained from awarding an honorary degree to President Obama.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 25% believe the university should issue the degree and 19% are not sure.
In 2004, the bishops issued a statement saying, "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
By a 60% to 25% margin, U.S. Catholics say the university should not award an honorary degree to the president. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Evangelical Christians share that view along with 52% of other Protestants.
However, a plurality (45%) of those who do not have Christian affiliations say the university should give the president the honorary degree.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Catholics say it’s at least somewhat important for graduation speakers to share the university’s views at schools with religious affiliations. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Evangelical Christians hold that view as do 63% of other Protestants. Among non-Christians, 42% agree.
It is interesting to note that the discomfort on the issue is focused on the university decision rather than on the president. Just 30% of voters believe the president should cancel his appearance at Notre Dame. Most (52%) say he should not. Among Catholics, just 34% think Obama should cancel.
It is also worth noting that the response is tied more closely to the violation of the bishops’ guidelines than to the policy issue concerning abortion. [?] Those who describe themselves as pro-choice on abortion are evenly divided as to whether or not the university should award an honorary degree to the president. Pro-life adults strongly believe the university should have followed the bishops’ guidelines.
Regardless of the views, the issue of the president’s commencement address at Notre Dame is not generating a tremendous amount of public interest. Just 15% of American adults say they’ve followed the news story Very Closely while another 23% are following it Somewhat Closely. Among Catholics, 25% are following the story Very Closely, and another 27% are following it Somewhat Closely. [52%]