LOPEZ: Is an evangelical Catholicism realistic when “the Catholic vote” and so much of what we see from Catholics today has very little to do with the surrender to revealed faith you suggest the world needs?
WEIGEL: Well, let’s begin by noting for the umpteenth time that there isn’t any such thing as “the Catholic vote.” There are voters who self-identify as Catholics, but their degree of Catholic commitment and practice varies widely, and their voting patterns tend to mirror their commitments. Regular, weekly-Mass-attending Catholics skew heavily Republican; once-a-year Catholics skew heavily Democratic; and the scale slides in between — the once-a-month Catholic is more likely to vote Republican than the once-a-quarter Catholic. So it really makes no sense to talk about a “Catholic vote,” any more than it makes sense to talk about a “gender-gap” in our electoral politics. The “gap” in the latter is between married women and single women; the “gap” among Catholics is between practicing Catholics and occasional Catholics.
This has been a pet peeve of mine for years. Whenever the MSM polls Catholics, they include in the definition people who simply aren't Catholics in any meaningful way. They don't believe in the authority of the Pope. They don't believe in the Church's position on life or sexuality or marriage. They don't attend Mass. They don't pray. They don't send their children to Catholic schools. They don't agree with the Church's position on gay marriage or homosexuality. They don't believe in the Church's position on priests and nuns being celibate. They are what we like to call "Chreasters"... people who go to a Catholic Church on Christmas and Easter with their families out of some vague sense of obligation, but who actually don't believe in Christ or His Church.
So when the MSM makes a statement like 45% of American Catholics are pro-choice, my response is always... no, 0% of actual believing, practicing Catholics are pro-choice, because, if they were actual believing, practicing Catholics, they would be pro-Life, period.