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Among Catholic voters, half believe in the Real Presence, poll finds

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Aleteia - published on 07/27/22 - updated on 07/27/22

A new poll conducted by EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research offers startling findings on the sacraments and other aspects of Catholic life.

A new poll conducted by EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research reports that 50% of likely Catholic voters believe the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus, rather than a symbol.

That only half of Catholic voters believe this core teaching of the Church is alarming, but not surprising. Widespread misunderstanding and disbelief in Catholic doctrine about the Eucharist has led the U.S. bishops to launch a three-year revival in an attempt to clarify and preach this central mystery

The poll, conducted June 15-23 by surveying 1,757 likely Catholic voters, even suggests something optimistic when compared to other surveys. Consider that a 2019 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly seven in 10 Catholics, that is 69%, do not believe that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, but rather a symbol. The methodology of the latter poll, however, has come under scrutiny.

Surprises concerning abortion and education

The new EWTN News and RealClear Opinion poll offered surprising insights into how Catholics perceive other issues, however.

With respect to abortion, 82% of likely Catholic voters “favor restrictions on abortion.” Further, the rise in violence committed against Catholic churches and pregnancy care centers are facing has caught Catholic voters’ attention. Eighty-four percent report that they are concerned about vandalism and attacks on Catholic churches and 81% are “concerned about attack [sic] on pro-life clinics across the country.”

Concerning education, the poll found that 90% of likely Catholic voters “believe parents should have more information about their child’s school curriculum.” Sixty-eight percent oppose administrators hiding a student’s new gender identity or name from the student’s parents, a position that now directly conflicts with that of the majority of public school districts in America. Owing to a school’s emphasis on gender identity, 33% report that they have considered alternative options for their child’s education.

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CatholicismPoliticsUnited States
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