Monday, March 13, 2006

The AP poll on abortion

The new AP poll on abortion attitudes is out, and it's being trumpeted by my local paper (the San Jose Murky News) because it purports to show that the majority of Americans support most abortions for most reasons. Never mind that this result contradicts several other recent polls from CBS, Gallup, and Wirthlin (and that the all-important texts of the questions asked to respondents were "unavailable at press time". But I digress.

The real shocker for me was this:

Looking at other results from the new AP poll, two-thirds of white evangelicals said abortion should be illegal all or most of the time while 54 percent of Protestants agreed. Catholics were evenly split.
That is, the only church with an official worldwide policy against abortion can barely manage to influence the opinion of half its American membership. And who is responsible for seeing to it that the official policy is clearly and frequently explained to rank-and-file Catholics, to counter the daily drumbeat of pro-abortion propaganda they hear from news outlets? American bishops and priests.

Of course, not all are equally guilty. Some, like Vasa in Oregon and Chaput in Denver, are doing great work. Unfortunately, however, some of the worst, like Cardinals Mahony of Los Angeles and McCarrick of DC, are also in control of the largest and most influential dioceses. And too many parish priests, overworked and discouraged, would rather preach another homily on "God is love" than on the greatest social evil of our time.