Polling Shows Discrepancies between Church Leaders and Congregants Regarding War in Iraq

May 1, 2003

Source: The Baltimore Sun


On May 1, 2003 The Baltimore Sun reported that "as a poll conducted on the eve of the war makes clear, a significant gap exists between the views of many Catholic and mainline Protestant leaders and those of their people in the pews... While the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Churches all have roundly condemned the American military action in Iraq, two out of three parishioners supported President Bush's decision to go to war, according to the poll commissioned by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life... According to the same poll, a mere 7 percent of Protestant pastors and 14 percent of Catholic priests had spoken out against the war, with the vast majority either remaining silent on the issue or addressing the conflict without taking a position on it. It must be equally disconcerting for church leaders that, according to a February Gallup Poll, support for the war was highest among those who are most regular in their church attendance."