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One-third of American Catholics consider leaving Church, Gallup reports

March 13, 2019

More than one-third of American Catholics have considered leaving the Church in the wake of the latest abuse scandals, according to a new Gallup poll.

The Gallup poll found that 37% of Catholics were questioning their commitment—a substantial increase over the 22% who were questioning their faith in 2002, when the sex-abuse scandal first erupted nationwide.

Not surprisingly, the numbers of those who said that they might leave the Church were highest among Catholics who did not attend Mass regularly. But even among those who attended Mass every week, 22% reported that they were questioning their faith. (In 2002 that figure was 12%.)

When questioned about their confidence in American Church leaders, only 30% of those surveyed said that they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence, while 26% said they had “very little” or “none.” Last year another Gallup poll had found that the percentage of American Catholics who rate the ethics of the clergy highly has plummeted from 63% in 2008 to 31% today.

The Gallup poll noted that the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Catholics has slipped significantly since 2000, from 25% to 22%.

 


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