Pope Francis speaks for a lot more American Catholics than conservatives may wish to think. David Gibson at Religion News Service writes:

The survey, released Friday (Oct. 4), by Quinnipiac University, shows that two in three (68 percent) adult Catholics questioned said they agreed with the pontiff’s observation that the church has become too focused on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception.

Just 23 percent disagreed, and the breakdown was virtually the same across age groups and among both weekly Mass-goers and those who attend church less frequently.

Got that? No significant difference between regular massgoers and irregular ones. More:

The survey also found that Catholic support for same-sex marriage continues to be strong, as other surveys have found, with six-in-10 Catholics approving of gay marriage and 31 percent opposed. That’s slightly above the national 56 percent approval rating.

But the latest research also indicates that support for same-sex marriage only drops slightly among weekly churchgoers, to 53 percent, with 40 percent opposed. That finding could cause consternation among social conservatives who argue that the most devout Catholics tend to support the hierarchy’s position against gay marriage.

These findings really surprise me. A majority of weekly massgoers actually support same-sex marriage. That’s a pretty amazing finding. I would have thought that weekly massgoers were much more supportive of Church teaching than they actually are. The times are changing. It will come as a huge shock to conservative Catholics (and fellow travelers like me) if we discover that JP2 and B16 did not represent the Church’s future, but rather the last gasp of the recoverable unrecoverable past. Thoughts?