November 29, 2019
By Erin Spencer
This week, NBC News in Washington released a large survey of Catholic Church employees. The first-of-its-kind, 26-question survey was distributed via email to 32,616 members listed in the Official Catholic Directory. Of that group, 2,700 surveys were completed, with a majority of respondents identified as women. The survey touched on topics such as social issues facing the Church, women in leadership, gay marriage and the abuse crisis. Across many of these issues, a clear gender divide was evident in responses—particularly apparent between diocesan priests and nuns.
The Role of Women In The Church
There were several questions within the survey related to the role of women in the Church and whether respondents felt there was room for elevating women into the higher ranks. When asked about whether respondents believed the Church should consider ordaining women as priests, 71% of nuns indicated they believed the topic should have further study while only 24% of diocesan priests agreed.