A new Economist/YouGov poll shows that 54 percent of the public now has an unfavorable view of the Catholic Church. Even 28 percent of Catholics now have a negative opinion of the Church.
In a series of questions, the poll identified the key elements of the scandal for the Church:
- 33% of those raised Catholic no longer view themselves Catholic (in this survey 25% of public were raised Catholic, 18% call themselves Catholic)
- 44% believe “many priests abused children and teenagers”; 30% of Catholics agree
- 30% believe many priests are abusing children now, 15% of Catholics agree
- 44% say “most or all” bishops were aware of serial abuse, 43% of Catholics agree
- 28% believe Church is now mostly trying to cover up serial abuse by priests rather than protecting children, 18% Catholics
Nationally and locally, procedures in seminaries are being stepped up to ensure healthy priests and policies are enacted to ensure accountability and transparency in misconduct of cardinals, bishops and priests.
The archdiocese has been highlighting their response in a series of high-profile articles in the Denver Catholic (the old Register). The September 22-October 12 Denver Catholic described Pope Francis’ effort to deal with the scandal with a worldwide session of bishops next February. In a Q&A, Scott Browning, an attorney for the Archdioceses of Denver, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and St. Louis, provides a factual background on the history of cases in Denver and the current efforts to protect children and detect abuse. It’s worth reading.
The Buzz: Francis – Clean house
Pew: Confidence in Pope Francis down sharply in U.S.