As many as one out of every ten Americans is an “ex-Catholic,” and a study by two professors has found that one of the biggest reasons could be the church’s stance on gay issues.
The study looked at non-churchgoing Catholics in Trenton, New Jersey to find out why they had left the church. The first most common reason was the sex abuse crisis in the church; the second was the church’s stance on homosexuality.
As recently as March 9, Pope Benedict XVI denounced what he categorized as the “powerful” gay marriage lobby in the United States. In the same speech he noted these views would be seen as “countercultural” to young people, but told bishops to not back down to “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage.”
When those surveyed were asked if there were any religious beliefs in the Catholic Church that troubled them, a number cited views on same-sex marriage. “The church’s view on gays, same-sex marriage, women as priests and priests not marrying, to name a few,” said one respondent, explaining her departure from the church.
“Hypocrisy,” said one person. “History of discrimination against women, anti-gay stance, unwelcoming attitude.”
This is fascinating to me. What do you think?