Practicing Catholics unfazed by abuse scandals; Pope’s popularity increasing
May 05, 2010
A new poll conducted by CBS News and The New York Times has found that 77% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly say that “the Vatican’s handling of recent child sex abuse reports” has had no effect on how they “feel about the Catholic Church.” An additional 12% of practicing Catholics say that they have a more positive feeling about the Church as a result of the Vatican’s handling of the scandals.
The survey of 1,079 adults was conducted between April 28 and May 2. Results were released on May 4.
88% of Catholics-- practicing and non-practicing-- report that the scandal has had no effect on their dealings with priests. 82% say it will not affect their Mass attendance, 79% say it will have no effect on donations, and 87% say that it will have no effect on their children’s involvement in Church activities.
52% of the general population says that the Vatican’s handling of the scandal has had no effect on their feelings towards the Church, while 36% have more negative feelings.
The survey also found that Pope Benedict’s popularity among Catholics has increased since March. 43% of Catholics have a favorable view of him (vs. 27% in March), while 17% have an unfavorable view (vs. 11% in March). 38% are unsure or “haven’t heard enough” to make a judgment. Among the general population, 16% have a favorable view of the Pope, 24% have an unfavorable view, and 59% are unsure or “haven’t heard enough.”
62% of practicing Catholics-- vs. 13% of the general population-- have a favorable view of the Church’s leadership, while 13% of practicing Catholics (and 38% of Americans overall) have an unfavorable view.
Among the survey’s other findings:
For all current news, visit our News home page.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: John J Plick -
May. 06, 2010 9:33 AM ET USA
The Church is the Church and God is God. Any man or woman who expects their spouse to be "God" falls into the same trap.
Posted by: -
May. 05, 2010 4:05 PM ET USA
Some statistics are a big frightening, e.g.: 'a smaller majority (54%) “would allow women priests”'. O.K., I know that the Church isn't a democracy, but it's still a worry and a sign that the right message isn't getting through to the pews (not that it's necessarily a topic that should be preached on, but where's the catechesis?).