Diocese of St. Petersburg Survey Results


  1. There was very strong support for the notion that marriage (which I believe they understood as sacramental marriage) is between one man and one woman.

  2. Having said that, it was also clear that the respondents felt that the Church needed to be prepared to better respond to the reality of same-sex marriage and wished that those engaged and involved in such relationships believe the Church to think them bad, sinful, or drum them out-of-the-corps.

  3. The respondents generally tended to suggest that the Church needed to be kinder and gentler to those who identify themselves as gay and lesbian, be less judgmental and more welcoming.

  4. Very clearly stated was the opinion that an adopted child of same-sex parents should be treated in the Church exactly the same as a child born of a traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

  5. The respondents felt very strongly that something needs to be done to reconcile and welcome back the divorced and remarried beyond the present annulment process, about which there seems to be confusion. The mistaken notions that an annulment renders children of the first marriage illegitimate and that simply being divorced excludes one from the sacramental life of the Church indicates that as a local Church we need to do something soon to educate our people better on these two points.

  6. The media takes a hammering in the survey results, largely because it is seen as the force majeure for challenging traditional concepts about marriage and family life. They render alternate lifestyles legitimate in the eyes of our respondents and perhaps are so strong that they will effectively negate anything done to support traditional notions of marriage and family life.

  7. The respondents strongly said that the Church needs “to wake up and smell the coffee” on cohabitation. It is commonplace and there are some reasons for it which can not be summarily dismissed, such as economic realities.

  8. Finally, on the matter of artificial contraception the responses might be characterized by the saying, “that train left the station long ago”. Catholics have made up their minds and the sensus fidelium suggests the rejection of Church teaching on this subject.

It’s about high time the Church came to accept that X many number of Catholics regularly commit (fill in the blank for particular sin) and have no intention of stopping. It’s time we all became more accepting and accommodating of such people. Seriously, sometimes Islam look’s more appealing than what passes for Catholicism in the 21st century.

Well I think the Church does accept the fact that X many number of Catholics regularly contracept, divorce, abort, etc. Who doesn’t know that? Who doesn’t admit that?

But the Church does not and cannot say, “Mmk yall, whatevs!!”

So your line of reason is: people do X so therefore the church must accept it.

Many other things people do. Kill, steal, lie, etc. Should the church accept everything that people do?

Sin is nothing new. The church is well aware of this.

The Catholic proposition is one of a higher standard not a lower one. The payoff is eternity.

I was being ironic.

How awful it is that there is so much violence in the world. We should do what can with prayer, lobbing politicians to have fairer laws and better rehab, etc. There is no reason why the church needs to accept everything that people do, yet I am sure the church possesses the wisdom and creativity to accept sinners who want to be part of the church.

One thing that I have noticed on CAF as opposed to my members in my parish (which is in the St Pete diocese) is that there is a hierarchy of non-violent sins or alleged sins with those at the top having something akin to a morbid fascination and following. I think it was St Thomas who wrote about loving those who you disagree with as much as those that agree with you. Bravo St Pete diocese!

So did anyone go to the survey results linked on the Bishops blog?

It’s interesting that 76% of the responses were from people age 50 and over.

37% reported that that they attend mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation

If, and I only suggest if the upcoming session on the family attempts to govern the Church by survey of modern opinion, we are doomed. The faith must remain constant. If we, as prideful sinners choose to ignore doctrine, that is our decision to answer for. But the teachings of Holy Mother Church cannot change simply to suit the sin de jour of this sad era.
By the way, ithought the survey results were to be kept out of the spotlight until the conference. Apparently some wish to lay a foundation for changes they want made. Much like the German Bishops.

The " sensus fidelium" does not mean Catholics who hardly ever even go to Mass get to change the moral laws of Our Lord Jesus Christ or the Faith once for all handed down to the faithful.

Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Oh. :blush: My apologies. There are practicing Catholics who actually believe what you wrote in jest, and nothing surprises me anymore.

Yes, a survey which is based upon self-selected responses will not accurately represent the views of the population being estimated. The people who take the time to respond will be those who feel strongest about the topic, and who are willing to take the time to complete the survey. That the respondents are older (their children likely are grown, and they may be retired as well) is not surprising. That 78% of the respondents attend Mass weekly, as well as on the Holy Days of Obligation, and possibly weekday Mass, is also not surprising.

The survey has a high number of responses, and those respondents are the most committed members of the Church. They are “the choir,” as the bishop notes. With that in mind, the results may not be representative, but they need to be taken seriously.

The problem with the survey is since when does the Church make decisions about faith and morals based on polls? When did the church become a democracy?

I don’t think this is why they are doing it, but to see what people actually think. I guess that might help when it comes to catechesis.

I did and dispute the accuracy of the results for the following reasons:

  1. While people can do it paper and pen the majority was done online and in my line of work a lot of people 60 and over are very computer challenged.

  2. Doing it online one can do it dishonestly as it can’t distinquish where the person filling out the online survey is located. I could fill it out multiple times to skew the results.

They are doing this to help figure out how to better explain the teachings of the Church. They are not doing a vote.

Remember, often the priests and bishops only receive feedback from devout Catholics. They often do not hear from the non-catechized or non-evangelized.

I’m happily surprised to find any faith at all in poor Terri Schiavo’s diocese…!

I agree. Many people believe that the CC’s has a true and good message but that delivery of it leaves much to be desired. A motivational delivery is needed and the first step is to examine the obstacles then use the obstacles as leverage to reframe the message into one that has an impact and motivats. Awhile back I had a discussion with some friends on observations of how well activist Islam motivates their youth. Of course, Islam is a different culture but the point is that the church has knowledge and wisdom that needs to be directed to the modern day needs and aspirations of its flock.

One effective solution would be to have our Bishops and Priests use the Homily to Cathecize. This used to be how it was done.

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