The report goes on to tell us that Catholics responded in nearly the same way, which is no surprise. However the basic cause for the disconnect between Catholic teaching on families and the average American Catholic's view of families concerns me greatly.
As we know, the Church encourages Catholics to be open to life, to trust God and never to use morally illicit contraceptive methods. However, for nearly 45 years now, Catholics have either ignored or defied that teaching and are contracepting and aborting at the same rate as the general population. Apparently, the "two-child family" rhetoric of the population controllers has had a staggering effect on everyone including Catholics. And of course materialism and moral relativism play a role in this as well.
Yet, the fact is that larger families are not only good in and of themselves, but they are and will be a blessing to our society and its future. Without a love for children and an appreciation of family life, there can be no hope of overcoming the devastating consequences America will face when the impact of more than 40 million abortions hits home … and, believe me, it will.
My recommended solution to this problem, as enunciated in my book Saving Those Damned Catholics is really quite simple: Bishops and priests need to teach the truth of Catholic doctrine from the pulpit, regularly and without apology.
They should make the teaching appealing, explaining the reasons why birth control is a denial of one's trust in God and why natural methods of
spacing children are not only in compliance with Catholic teaching, but healthy for marriage and the family.
It always saddens me to read about cultural attitudes that make no separation between Catholics and the rest of the population. I believe strongly that Catholics are in this world to set an example, not to follow the herd.
When enough people start believing that and acting upon it, perhaps Gallup will report an astounding difference in attitudes to "ideal family size." But until then, you and I have to keep on begging bishops and priests to do their job … feed their sheep.