Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new poll released by a pro-abortion group claiming to be Catholic contends Catholic voters are unconcerned with the pro-life teachings of the Church. The Catholics for Choice survey also claims Catholic voters say the pro-life views of Catholic leaders are unimportant to their voting decisions.
The poll says Catholic voters are currently splitting their vote for president between pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama and John McCain, who opposes abortion.
That's not surprising, but other findings from the abortion advocacy group's survey are more startling for pro-life leaders.
About 70 percent of those polled say that the views of Catholic bishops are unimportant to them in deciding for whom to vote and a similarly large proportion, 73 percent, say they believe Catholic politicians are under no religious obligation to vote on issues the way the bishops recommend.
Another 69 percent in the poll say they don't feel obligated to vote against candidates who support abortion.
"Catholic voters show little interest in so-called values issues to help them decide who should be the next president," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, claims.
"Catholics are listening carefully to what the candidates have to say, but very few are following the dictates of the Catholic bishops when it comes to politics," he warned.
But Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, talked with LifeNews.com and said the poll doesn't distinguish between practicing Catholics and Catholics in name only.
"Previous research into Catholic voting patterns, such as that done by Deal Hudson and others, shows a predictably significant difference when one surveys those who actually practice their faith and attend Mass," Pavone said. "Such voters tend to vote pro-life, increasingly vote Republican, and do want the moral guidance that is offered by the bishops in such documents as Living the Gospel of Life."
Pavone disagreed with the pro-abortion group's notion that pro-life Catholic leaders and Church officials are looking for a "Catholic voting bloc."
Instead, he said the Catholic Church teaches "principles, not policies," and voters can make their own decisions.
However, on life and death decisions like abortion, Father Pavone said the Catholic pro-life teachings are absolute.
“But on matters that violate fundamental human rights (like abortion and terrorism), there can be no wiggle room, whether one is Catholic or not," he explains.
He concludes: "Common sense tells us to elect public servants who know the difference between serving the public and killing the public.
Related web sites: Priests for Life - https://www.PriestsforLife.org
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