Local Catholics React to New Study and Pope’s Bold Move

- FILE - Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in Sibari, southern Italy, Saturday, June 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new Pew survey found that 57% of Catholics believe it’s a sin to terminate a pregnancy. 66% of Catholics believe it’s ok to use contraception. The survey found Catholics are evenly split on gay marriage at 46% with another 8% undecided. The findings come a day after Pope Francis said priests can forgive women who are sorry they’ve had abortions.

Andrew Walther is with the Knights of Columbus. He said Pope Francis is trying to bring people back to the church. “What Pope Francis is doing is giving people the opportunity to embrace the faith and come back. He’s not changing what the church means by any of this. He is just saying that this is a problem and many people are negatively affected. This is a great opportunity to get healed and get back in touch with God and the church.”

Since becoming Pope in 2013, Pope Francis has been striving to build a more inclusive church taking controversial stances on many social issues including divorce, gay marriage and contraception. Some Catholics agree with what he’s doing. Others do not.

“I feel if he is making those decisions it is because God instructed him to do so,” Catholic Maria Valle said.

“I believe most Roman Catholics who follow Jesus believe in the love of one another and being gracious and kind and caring and most people follow the highest teachings of our church,” Catholic Donna Spigarolo said

“I’ve been raised Catholic, but I don’t like the idea of abortion, but gay marriage I am all for,” Catholic Katherine Seckler said.

“I like that he is putting more of a compassionate face on the church and reflecting what a lot of us already think,” Catholic Barbara Kiernan said,

Pope Francis will be in the United States later in September visiting Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.

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