Irish people are often reported in the popular media to be “socially conservative,” the deep roots of Catholicism on that island nation often cited as the reason. Like most generalizations, such characterizations are not only overly simplistic, they’re often wrong. New findings from research conducted by Amárach Research for Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests paints a very different, though not surprising, picture of the state of Irish Catholicism as seen from the perspective of the ones who really matter — Irish Catholics themselves.
Take homosexuality, for instance. When asked specifically, “To what extent do you agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching that any sexual expression of love between gay couples is immoral?” only 18% agreed. A full 61% disagreed!
The report covers a wide range of issues affecting Irish Catholicism today and is worth a look. See the full report here (pdf).