A poll shows that American Catholics' views on the environment are divided based on their partisan leanings, even with Pope Francis preparing an encyclical on climate change and the Catholic Church's continued focus on the environment.
The study by the Pew Research Center found that while 47 percent of U.S. Catholics attribute global warming to human activity, 6 in 10 Catholic Democrats believe that global warming is man-made while only roughly a quarter of Catholic Republicans agree.
The study was based on telephone interviews with 5,122 adults between May 5 and June 7 with a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points. For Catholics, the unweighted sample size had 1,016 people and a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
The percentage of Catholic Democrats who believe climate change is a very serious problem has increased from 44 percent in 2013 to 64 percent today. There has also an increase among Catholic Republicans, from 14 percent in 2013 to 24 percent today.
This largely falls in line with the U.S. public, where 64 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of Republicans believe climate change is caused by human activity.
Concern about climate change also appears to fall along ethnic lines, with 82 percent of Hispanic Catholics saying the earth is getting warmer, compared with 64 percent of white Catholics. Sixty percent of Hispanic Catholics believe climate change is being caused by human activity, versus 39 percent of white Catholics.