(RNS) Young American Catholics largely support their church’s teachings against abortion and euthanasia, while taking a relativistic attitude to religion and morality in general, according to a new poll.
According to a poll released on Thursday (Feb. 11), two thirds (66
percent) of Catholic “millennials” (aged 18-29) say that abortion is morally wrong, while 63 percent say the same of euthanasia. The poll was conducted by Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization.
Some of the survey results indicate a strong sense of religious identity among the respondents. Eighty percent told pollsters that religion is at least “somewhat important” in their lives, and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) described themselves as very or somewhat interested in learning more about their faith.
“The church has a great opportunity to evangelize, and has much to build on with the next generation of Catholics,” observed Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus.
But Anderson said the poll also provides evidence of the “cultural relativism that Pope Benedict XVI has spoken so much about.”
Nearly two in three young Catholics described themselves as more “spiritual” than “religious.”
More than 80 percent said they see morals as “relative,” while 61 percent said it is acceptable for a Catholic to practice more than one religion.
— Francis X. Rocca