A growing number of American Catholics say they have questioned whether to remain in the church, according to a new Gallup poll.
The poll, released on Wednesday, found that 37% of Catholics in the US are re-examining their commitment to the Church as more allegations of child sexual abuse by priests are being revealed.
Looks like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was right when he predicted that the Catholic church would not survive for much longer because of the scandals involving its pedophile clergymen.
Press TV reports: Gallup said the figure was 22 percent in 2002, when the church was dealing with a similar crisis in the US.
The last time Gallup polled about this was 2002 after The Boston Glob enewspaper reported on widespread abuse by Catholic priests in the Boston area and church leaders’ efforts to prevent the abuse from becoming public knowledge.
Gallup’s latest findings show that the current scandal is affecting US Catholics more than the one in 2002 did.
A significant number of both practicing and nonpracticing Catholics say they are considering leaving the church but those less committed to their religion are more likely to be questioning it, the survey found.
Whereas 46 percent of Catholics who seldom or never attend church say they have questioned whether they would remain in the faith, 37 percent of those who attend church on a monthly basis and 22 percent who attend weekly say the same.
Amid the latest scandal, about one in four US Catholics say they have very little or no confidence in US bishops and other Catholic leaders.
Only 40 percent of US Catholics say they have a “great deal” of confidence in Pope Francis.
Since the first high-profile abuse allegations against Catholic priests emerged in 2002 in Boston, many similar cases have rocked the Church, and 2018 brought another wave of such charges.
The credibility of the Catholic Church hierarchy sank last year after new reports of old sexual abuse and cover-up were uncovered in the US, Chile and elsewhere and implicated Pope Francis himself.
Mathew Schmalz, an expert on the Church and a professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, says the Church may never regain its lost credibility.