A poll conducted in the wake of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August found the Irish people holding a very different concept of family from the one promoted by the hierarchy and a desire for a very different kind of church. In a country where more than 60 percent voted to open marriage to gay couples just three years ago, 77 percent want the Church to accept same-sex marriage. Ninety percent say priests should be able to marry. And 86 percent want women priests.
The IPSOS MRBI poll, which sampled 750 adults, found these numbers for the Irish population similar for Catholics both practicing and lapsed. Two-thirds of those polled describe themselves as Catholics, lower than the 2016 census where 78 percent said they were. Of Catholics, 36 percent go to Mass weekly or more, 29 percent less often, and 36 percent only for weddings and funerals.
While the Irish voted for a referendum this year to allow the government to allow abortion in some circumstances, 53 percent said abortion should be permitted widely. Seventy-seven percent said the Church should welcome those who do not follow all official teachings.