Catholics' faiths are under considerable pressure with the continues stream of sex scandals in the Church coming to light. A new poll reveals that due to the recent news about child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, 37% of Catholics interviewed have questioned whether they would remain in the Catholic Church or not. This is a significant leap from 22%, a statistic gathered in 2002 when a similar crisis occurred in the Church.
581 U.S. Catholics participated in this poll from January 21-27 and February 12-28. During the period the poll was administered, Pope Francis met with fellow Catholic leaders from across the globe to address the flood of sex abuse claims over the world. However, while they met to try and discuss the issue, the scandals continued to mount. The conviction of Cardinal George Bell, defrocking of Cardinal Theodore Mccarrick, and the release of credibly accused priests in New Jersey did little to sway the public’s attitude to have sympathy towards the Church.
The 2019 poll does not indicate whether or not the Catholics interviewed will follow through in leaving the church. But how Pope Francis and fellow Catholic leaders decide to resolve and reform for these scandals may determine their final decision.
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