The ballot, launched Wednesday, discovered that 37% of American Catholics have questioned their church membership as results of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, a leap of 15 share factors from the church’s final main abuse disaster in 2002. That yr, the Boston Globe uncovered widespread sexual misconduct by clergy and cover-ups by Catholic leaders, a scandal that quickly unfold throughout the nation.
This yr, belief within the church is considerably higher amongst Catholics who attend Mass weekly or month-to-month, Gallup discovered.
Whereas almost half (47%) of self-identified Catholics who seldom or by no means attend Mass say they’ve thought of leaving the church, lower than 1 / 4 of weekly Mass-goers say the identical.
The survey, primarily based on interviews with 581 US Catholics who participated in Gallup polls from January 21-27 and February 12-28, comes as Pope Francis and different church leaders are grappling with the widespread scandal.
Final month, Francis held an unprecedented summit of church leaders to deal with the scandal, however the assembly ended with out concrete actions, which dissatisfied some Catholics.
US Catholics ‘largely assured’ in Pope Francis
The Gallup ballot was launched on March 13, the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis election to the papacy.
Most American Catholics nonetheless place confidence in Francis’ management, in line with the survey, with 40% saying they’ve a substantial amount of confidence in him and 18% saying they’ve “rather a lot.” Catholics stated a lot the identical in regards to the monks of their parish.
“U.S. Catholics are nonetheless largely assured in Pope Francis, however it could possibly be argued that the 58% expressing confidence in him is considerably weak given his position as chief of the Catholic church,” Gallup stated in an evaluation of its survey.
Girls had been extra possible than males (65% to 51%) to say they’ve confidence in Pope Francis, however there have been “no significant variations within the proportions of Catholics questioning their church membership by age or gender,” Gallup stated.
American Catholics have significantly much less religion of their bishops, Gallup discovered. Simply 30% of American Catholics stated they’ve a terrific deal or numerous confidence within the bishops. Greater than 1 / 4 stated they’ve little or no confidence in them.
“Whereas it’s unsure how most of the 37% of U.S. Catholics who say they’re questioning remaining within the church will truly go away in response to the newest intercourse abuse scandal, any lack of adherents is actually not welcome information — particularly when the church is coping with bigger societal tendencies shifting away from formal faith,” Gallup stated.