Just out from Gallup Polling:
As the Catholic church responds to more allegations of sexual abuse of young people by priests, an increasing percentage of Catholics are re-examining their commitment to the religion. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. Catholics, up from 22% in 2002, say news of the abuse has led them to question whether they would remain in the church.
While the polling was being conducted, Pope Francis met with Catholic leaders from around the world at the Vatican to respond to a new wave of sex abuse allegations in numerous countries. The church dealt with a similar crisis in the U.S. in 2002, the last time Gallup polled about this.
Gallup’s latest findings show that the current scandal is affecting U.S. Catholics more than the one in 2002 did, in terms of their feelings about the church. However, it is unclear whether Catholics who are questioning their church membership will actually decide to leave the church.