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Full Poll Results

Screening Question:

What is your affiliation with the Catholic Church, if any?

1,475 adults in Cook and Lake Counties responded

Never been Catholic 47.0%
Currently Catholic 34.8%
Raised Catholic, but currently another religion 9.5%
Raised Catholic, but not currently any religion 4.5%
Don’t know/Refused 4.2%
 

Demographics of the 601 current and former Catholics interviewed

Residence Catholics Ex-Catholics
Chicago 47% 45%
Suburban Cook County 42% 40%
Lake County 12% 15%
Gender Catholics Ex-Catholics
Male 50% 45%
Female 50% 55%
Age Catholics Ex-Catholics
18 to 24 4% 7%
25 to 34 8% 11%
35 to 49 17% 22%
50 to 64 36% 30%
65 and over 33% 28%
Refused 2% 2%
Race Catholics Ex-Catholics
Hispanic 46% 35%
White 46% 48%
African American 4% 13%
Asian 3%
Other 3% 1%
Don’t know/Refused
Marital Status Catholics Ex-Catholics
Single, never married 13% 19%
Single, divorced 5% 8%
Married, divorced previously 7% 13%
Married, never divorced 59% 47%
Widowed 10% 9%
Don’t know/Refused 5% 4%
Education level Catholics Ex-Catholics
High school grad or less 30% 17%
Technical school grad or some college 24% 27%
College grad 20% 21%
Postgrad work or degree 20% 31%
Don’t know/Refused 7% 4%
2014 family income Catholics Ex-Catholics
Under $15,000 11% 7%
$15,000 to $30,000 13% 8%
$30,000 to $50,000 12% 16%
$50,000 to $75,000 16% 14%
$75,000 to $100,000 10% 12%
Over $100,000 12% 19%
Don’t know/Refused 27% 24%
 

Their opinions on eight hot-button issues (the church’s position is highlighted):

Do you support or oppose the use of contraceptives? Catholics Ex-Catholics

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Support 70% 84%
Oppose 18% 11%
Don’t know/Refused 12% 6%

Do you support or oppose letting employers choose whether their health insurance plans cover birth control, based on the employers’ religious beliefs?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Support 40% 32%
Oppose 47% 64%
Don’t know/Refused 13% 5%

Do you support or oppose legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Support 45% 55%
Oppose 44% 37%
Don’t know/Refused 12% 8%

Do you agree that people who have divorced and remarried outside the church are living in sin and should not receive Communion?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Agree 20% 13%
Disagree 69% 79%
Don’t know/Refused 10% 8%

Should doctors be allowed by law to end the life of a patient by some painless means if the patient has an incurable disease and the patient requests it?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Yes 52% 64%
No 35% 28%
Don’t know/Refused 13% 8%

Should women be allowed to be ordained as priests?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Yes 52% 69%
No 40% 23%
Don’t know/Refused 9% 8%

Should priests be allowed to marry?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Yes 59% 81%
No 33% 12%
Don’t know/Refused 8% 7%

Abortion should be:

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Legal in all cases 15% 23%
Legal in most cases 27% 35%
Ilegal in most cases 26% 20%
Illegal in all cases 26% 17%
Don’t know/Refused 6% 4%
 

Their opinions on people and trends:

In general, are things in the Catholic Church getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Getting better 44% 40%
Staying about the same 42% 26%
Getting worse 10% 21%
Don’t know/Refused 4% 13%

Is your current or most recent parish priest in touch with the needs of Catholics today?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
In touch 69% 29%
Out of touch 13% 26%
Don’t know/Refused 17% 45%

Are nuns in your area in touch with the needs of Catholics today?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
In touch 36% 22%
Out of touch 18% 21%
Don’t know/Refused 46% 58%

Is Pope Francis in touch with the needs of Catholics today?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
In touch 82% 66%
Out of touch 9% 20%
Don’t know/Refused 9% 15%

How would you rate Pope Francis’s job performance?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Excellent 52% 28%
Good 32% 42%
Fair 11% 15%
Poor 2% 9%
Don’t know 2% 7%

How would you rate Cardinal Francis George’s job performance?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Excellent 30% 12%
Good 35% 29%
Fair 18% 28%
Poor 5% 11%
Don’t know 11% 20%

What are your feelings toward incoming archbishop Blase Cupich?

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Very positive 28% 10%
Somewhat positive 37% 41%
Somewhat negative 2% 8%
Very negative 4%
Do not recognize name 15 18%
Don’t know/Refused 17% 19%

What is the most important issue or problem that you would like to see Cupich and church leaders address? [This question was open-ended.]

  Catholics Ex-Catholics
Priest sexual abuse of children 15% 15%
Bringing people back to church 8% 6%
Gay rights, gay marriage 6% 14%
Social justice, poverty, immigration 5% 6%
Catholic education 5% 2%
Practicing what you preach 4% 7%
Abuse of authority, lack of transparency 4% 6%
Church doctrine, Catholic beliefs 4% 4%
Marriage for priests 3% 5%
Church finances, church spending 3% 3%
Quality and quantity of priests 3% 2%
Women’s rights, women’s ordination 2% 4%
Birth control, abortion 2% 4%
Marriage, divorce, adultery, sex 2% 4%
Other 8% 7%
No opinion 26% 17%
Don’t know/Refused 5% 8%
 

Finally, four questions for Catholics only:

How often do you attend Mass?

More than once a week 16%
Once a week 39%
Once or twice a month 20%
Less than once a month 6%
Only during major Catholic holidays 10%
Never 4%
Don’t know/Refused 4%

In the past five years, have you become a more or less committed Catholic?

More committed 30%
Stayed about the same 55%
Less committed 12%
Don’t know/Refused 3%

In the past five years, has the amount of money you contribute to the Catholic Church changed?

Increased 28%
Stayed about the same 55%
Decreased 12%
Don’t know/Refused 5%

If it decreased, why?

Personal financial circumstances 53%
Dissatisfaction with the church 26%
Other 17%
Don’t know 4%
The data on these pages come from an exclusive poll commissioned by Chicago and conducted by Fako Research & Strategies of Lemont, Illinois. From November 6 to 11, professional interviewers spoke to a random sampling of adult residents of Cook and Lake Counties by telephone (both mobile and landline). After 1,475 people answered a screening question to determine religious affiliation, the interviews continued with current or former Catholics only. Interviews were conducted in the respondent’s choice of English or Spanish. In total, 601 people completed the poll; the overall margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. NOTE: Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
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