Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Half of UK Catholics think celibacy rule should be relaxed

...The poll, conducted for BBC News by ComRes - a member of the British Polling Council - surveyed a random sample of 500 Roman Catholics across the UK between 6 and 9 September 2010...The poll results also suggest that a large number of Catholics think that the Pope should drop his insistence on clerical celibacy. Just under a half of those polled, 49%, said the celibacy rule should be relaxed, compared to 35%. A further 17% were uncommitted. And 62% of those questioned say women should have more authority and status in the Catholic Church...

Writing for The Guardian, John Hooper puts this figure in perspective: "For a start, you have a substantial number of British Catholics who are not progressive at all. Just look at the BBC's recent poll in which "Nearly half thought he should drop his insistence on clerical celibacy". Well, nearly half is a very low percentage when compared to other countries. Fourteen long years ago, an American poll found that in every developed country it surveyed (it left out Britain), a majority of the Catholic population favoured having married priests. The only country with a percentage lower than the 49 per cent of today's British Catholics was in the Philippines."

John Deery, director of "The Conspiracy of Silence", also scheduled a screening of his film and a public debate on optional celibacy earlier this week in anticipation of the Pope's visit to the UK.

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