**Survey Finds Young People ‘Agree to Disagree’ on Some Church Teaching **
BALTIMORE — While a failure to understand doctrine is present in many segments of the Catholic population, many young adults are exhibiting an alarmingly casual attitude towards accepting Church teaching, a study commissioned by the U.S. bishops has found.
“They feel completely Catholic even while disagreeing with the Church. We often heard, ‘The Pope is entitled to his opinion,’” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami stated, summarizing responses given by young people to a survey conducted on behalf of the bishops at the annual fall assembly of the U.S. Bishops Conference in Baltimore on Nov. 11
But while all of the groups surveyed had their own motivations and challenges associated with being Catholic, young adults stood out for their insistence on being part of the Church while exhibiting a causal disregard for parts of its teaching.
“Young singles engage the Church with a remarkable amount of pride and ambivalence,” Archbishop Wenski said.
For instance, while other groups said that they had trouble understanding the Church’s “goofy” rules, many young adults surveyed “simply identified the rules as ‘to be nice to everyone, the Golden Rule,’” stated Archbishop Wenski.
If any Church teachings conflict with their own perceptions, young people often simply “tune out” the teachings.
“They agree to disagree with the Church,” the archbishop said.
Furthermore, young Catholics are sensitive to language that could imply judgment. “For them, language like ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ means ‘hate the sinner,’” Archbishop Wenski said
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