News

Francis' emphasis on social justice ‘could alienate’

28 April 2014 | by Michael Sean Winters

The recent alliance between conservative Catholics and white evangelical Protestants might be undermined by the innovations of Pope Francis, according to new research.

Robert P. Jones, President of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), writing in The Atlantic, stated that “The Pope’s call for economic justice complicates the relationship, because it calls both Catholics and evangelicals to cooperation beyond a narrow band of cultural politics”.

“Today, on a range of prominent cultural issues and in Republican primary politics, we often see an ironic result—there is more support for official Roman Catholic Church positions among white evangelical Protestants than among Catholics,” Jones wrote. “For example, 69 per cent of white evangelical Protestants oppose same-sex marriage, compared to only 37 per cent of rank-and-file Catholics. Moreover, 78 per cent of white evangelical Protestants believe sex between two adults of the same gender is sinful, compared to 49 per cent of lay Catholics.”

Jones found the same pattern even on an issue like abortion. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of white evangelical Protestants say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, compared to 47 per cent of Catholics.

Jones reports that in the 2012 Republican primaries, Catholic candidate Senator Rick Santorum consistently out-polled eventual nominee Mitt Romney among white evangelicals, while Romney, a Mormon, did better among Catholics.

“What remains to be seen is how this evangelical flock will respond to Pope Francis’ pivot to economic justice and social solidarity - a move that strikes a natural chord among Catholics but may seem dissonant to many evangelicals who intertwine Protestant individualism and free-market capitalism,” Jones wrote.

In March, Pope Francis sent a video message to a meeting of evangelicals organised by Revd Kenneth Copeland, encouraging them in their work and praying for the unity of all Christians.



Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Consecration of renegade Anglican bishop not intended to splinter CofE but necessary to preserve its true 'heritage and mission' says breakaway church17 May 2017 by Rose Gamble

Medjugorje report's conclusions could be a 'first' for the church, says Vatican commission member 18 May 2017 by Catholic News Service

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Consecration of renegade Anglican bishop not intended to splinter CofE but necessary to preserve its true 'heritage and mission' says breakaway church17 May 2017 by Rose Gamble

Medjugorje report's conclusions could be a 'first' for the church, says Vatican commission member 18 May 2017 by Catholic News Service

Official teaching has changed throughout the whole history of the ChurchPremium18 May 2017 by Sara Maitland

Time to get real: both believers and unbelievers are crucial in winning the battle against 'post truth'Premium18 May 2017 by Matthew d'Ancona

The Tablet Interview - Once a Catholic... screenwriter and renowned TV producer Jimmy Mc­Govern talks to Peter StanfordPremium18 May 2017 by Peter Stanford

Official teaching has changed throughout the whole history of the ChurchPremium18 May 2017 by Sara Maitland

Time to get real: both believers and unbelievers are crucial in winning the battle against 'post truth'Premium18 May 2017 by Matthew d'Ancona

The Tablet Interview - Once a Catholic... screenwriter and renowned TV producer Jimmy Mc­Govern talks to Peter StanfordPremium18 May 2017 by Peter Stanford

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top