Amid turmoil in the Roman Catholic Church in the ongoing fallout from priest sex abuse scandals, a record-low 31% of U.S. Catholics rate the honesty and ethical standards of the clergy as “very high” or “high.” This marks an 18-percentage-point drop between 2017 and 2018, when more sexual abuse allegations against priests surfaced and questions arose about the Vatican’s response.
In response to this crisis in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will convene a meeting of Catholic bishops from around the world in February to address the issue. This is the first meeting of its kind, and the pope has said it is “a further step in the Church’s efforts to shed full light on the facts.” The outcome of that meeting may very well be a deciding factor for many Catholics who are questioning the future of their church.
Still, despite the turmoil, the percentage of Americans who self-identify as Catholic has been stable and a slim majority of Catholics still consider religion to be very important in their lives. That only one-third of Catholics who consider religion very important to them rate the clergy’s ethical standards highly seems to show that they are able to separate the institution from their own personal faith.
Read full article: https://news.gallup.com/poll/245858/catholics-faith-clergy-shaken.aspx