Researchers Say US Catholics’ Support for Female Priests May Be Exaggerated

Polls indicating strong support among American Catholics for opening up the priesthood to women might be overstated, according to researchers.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center released a report indicating that 59 percent of Catholics in America supported female ordination.

However, associate professor Benjamin Knoll of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and Cammie Jo Bolin of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., have said they believe actual support for female ordination is lower.

In an entry posted to the website Religion in Public on Monday, Knoll and Bolin noted that they believe that past polling indicating strong support for female ordination suffers from respondents wanting to give a popular answer rather than what they actually believe.

Knoll and Bolin opted for a “list experiment,” in which they would provide respondents with a list of statements and ask them how many they agree with rather than which specific ones they agreed with.

“Respondents are randomly sorted into two groups and both receive the same list. The second group, however, is given an additional item,” explained the researchers.

The additional item was support for female ordination. Drawing from what they admitted was a small sample space of 83 women and 52 men, researchers found that the average number of agreed statements for the first group was 2.21, while the second group was 2.36.

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Source: Christian Post