"........... the idea of relying on opinion polls to set moral standards and hierarchical appointments would make some sense if it weren't for the indisputable fact that American Catholics for the most part are religious illiterates. "
From ............ National Catholic Reporter
February 7, 1997
Of polls and popes
- [Regarding] Robert McClory's article (NCR, Jan. 10), it seems to me that little Andrew Greeley is at it again. It appears to me that what Greeley is trying to accomplish by publishing the results of his poll is that somehow the Holy Father will be persuaded to appoint an archbishop for Chicago who will take a liberal stand on certain issues. Those issues being birth control, ordination of women as priests, expansion of the role of women and expansion of ecumenical cooperation with Protestants and Jews. ....
If Greeley wants to politicize the way the church is run, what better way to do it than the good old American poll gimmick. Maybe Greeley should make reference to Harry Truman's or Tom Dewey's observations as to the efficacy of public opinion polls. Then again, the idea of relying on opinion polls to set moral standards and hierarchical appointments would make some sense if it weren't for the indisputable fact that American Catholics for the most part are religious illiterates.
But wait a minute! Isn't that how we pick presidents? Not everyone who votes is a credentialed political scientist. Yet everyone gets his two cents into the political system of this country by voting, and presidents do get elected. Is that what Greeley is talking about?
Maybe he is talking about a more egalitarian method of selecting an archbishop for Chicago and/or deciding on the moral principles the church should stand for. If we eliminate the less intellectually endowed Catholics from consideration, we're left with the theologians and other such experts, self-appointed or otherwise, to run the church. That doesn't sound too American to me.
ROBERT F. MIRQUE ................. Grand Rapids, Mich.
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