President Barack Obama is winning the Catholic vote in the race to the White House by a country mile.
Obama may be taking flak from Catholic prelates but his popularity is growing with their flock.
New opinion polls commissioned by the Pew Research Center point to a 15 point lead for Obama over Mitt Romney.
Reports say the Pew poll left the 44th president with a 54-39 percent lead over Romney among American Catholics.
Analysts say Obama is running even with Romney among white Catholics but has overwhelming support with Latino Catholics.
The new poll is a major boost for Obama who led by only two points, 49-47 percent, among Catholic voters in June.
Catholic support for Obama is growing despite Romney’s decision to run Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as his vice presidential nominee.
Obama’s popularity is also growing amongst Catholics despite the move taken by America’s bishops earlier this year when they went to court against a mandate that requires church-affiliated universities and hospitals to offer contraception coverage in health care plans for their employees.
The bishops also promoted a ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ campaign leading up to July 4th with demonstrations against alleged threats to religious liberty.
But reports say their actions were overshadowed by ‘Nuns on the Bus’, a 14-state tour by a group of Catholic nuns in protest at cuts in federal social services contained in a proposed budget of which Rep. Ryan is the prime sponsor.
Bishop John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, entered the Presidential debate this week when he accused Democrats of explicitly endorsing intrinsic evils like same-sex marriage and abortion rights.
The bishop claimed: “A vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil is gravelly sinful and makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your soul in serious jeopardy.”