Beliefnet
In your opinion, how much of a problem is the issue of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests - would you say it's a major problem that demands immediate attention, a less immediate problem or not much of a problem at all?

Date Group Major Less immed. Not much No opinion
3/28/02 All 76% 16 6 2
Cath. 71 19 9 1
2/20/02 All 60 26 12 3
Cath. 48 29 21 2


Major Less immed. Not much No problem problem at all opin. 3/28/02 All 76 16 6 2 Cath. 71 19 9 1 2/20/02 All 60 26 12 3 Cath. 48 29 21 2 8. Would you call this issue a crisis for the church, or not a crisis? Yes No No opin. 3/28/02 All 80 19 1 Cath. 71 28 1 9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church has handled the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat? ---------Approve--------- --------Disapprove------- No NET Strongly Somewhat NET Strongly Somewhat opin. 3/28/02 All 19 5 14 67 49 18 14 Cath. 28 12 16 66 45 21 6 10. (CATHOLICS ONLY) Do you approve or disapprove of the way (READ ITEM) handled this issue? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat? 3/28/02 Summary Table: Don't know -----Approve----- ---Disapprove---- priest No NET Strg. Smwt. NET Strg. Smwt. (vol.) opin. a. Your own parish priest/priests 67 45 22 12 6 6 6 14 b. Your bishop 54 29 25 30 16 14 NA 16 c. National leaders of the Catholic Church 41 14 26 52 31 22 NA 7 11. Do you think that sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is something that happens very often, somewhat often, infrequently, or very rarely? --------Often-------- --------Not often------- Never No NET Very Smwht. NET Infreq. Rarely (vol.) opin. 3/28/02 All 50 17 33 43 21 22 * 7 Cath. 38 11 27 57 30 27 1 4 2/20/02 All 38 11 27 55 28 26 * 7 Cath. 30 5 24 65 31 34 0 5 12. Do you feel that the Catholic Church is or is not doing enough to deal with this issue? Doing Not doing No enough enough opin. 3/28/02 All 26 64 11 Cath. 39 57 5 2/20/02 All 22 64 14 Cath. 37 50 13 13. (and 14) Has the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests hurt the overall reputation of the Catholic Church in your eyes, or not? (IF HURT REPUTATION) Has it hurt the church's reputation in your eyes a great deal, or only somewhat? --------Hurt reputation-------- Grt. Some- No Has not hurt No NET deal what opin. reputation op. 3/28/02 All 69 38 31 1 29 2 Cath. 64 35 28 1 35 1 2/20/02 All 59 26 31 1 39 3 Cath. 51 24 27 1 47 2 15. Do you think Catholic priests are more likely than other men to sexually abuse children, less likely, or about the same? More Less Same No opin. 3/28/02 All 15 14 69 2 Cath. 8 19 72 1 2/20/02 All 11 20 66 3 Cath. 4 31 61 4 16. Sometimes when a priest has been accused of sexually abusing a child, the church has responded by transferring that priest to another parish, without telling parishioners about the accusation. Do you approve or disapprove of that practice? Do you approve/disapprove strongly, or somewhat? --------Approve-------- --------Disapprove------- No NET Strongly Somewhat NET Strongly Somewhat op. 3/28/02 All 4 2 2 93 85 9 2 Cath. 7 4 3 92 84 8 1 2/20/02 All 4 2 2 94 85 9 2 Cath. 8 5 3 89 76 13 3 17. For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (IF CONTRIBUTES TO PROBLEM) Do you think it's a major part of the problem or a minor part? 3/28/02 Summary Table: ----Part of Problem---- Not No NET Major Minor part opin. a. The church's policy of not allowing priests to marry All 76 41 35 21 3 Cath. 74 38 36 25 1 b. The church's policy of not allowing women to be priests All 55 18 37 42 3 Cath. 54 19 35 44 2 c. The practice of transferring priests accused of sexual abuse to another parish All 92 80 13 6 2 Cath. 93 77 16 5 2 d. The practice of not calling the police when a priest is accused of sexual abuse All 94 84 10 3 3 Cath. 93 79 14 4 3 e. A reluctance in the Church to dismiss priests because of a shortage of priests All 82 57 25 12 7 Cath. 83 56 27 13 3 f. A lack of Vatican oversight of the Catholic Church in the United States All 70 33 37 20 10 Cath. 72 30 42 21 7 Trend where available: a. The church's policy of not allowing priests to marry ----Part of Problem---- Not No NET Major Minor part opin. 3/28/02 All 76 41 35 21 3 Cath. 74 38 36 25 1 Compare to: As you may know, the Catholic Church does not allow priests to marry. Do you think this policy contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not? (IF CONTRIBUTES TO PROBLEM) Do you think it's a major part of the problem or a minor part? ------------Contributes----------- Does not No NET Major Minor No op. contribute opin. 2/20/02 All 55 36 17 1 41 4 Cath. 40 24 16 1 56 4 b,c,d,e,f. No trend. 18. (and 19) If a parish priest is accused of sexually abusing a child, do you think church officials should or should not inform his parishioners of the charge? (IF SHOULD INFORM) Should the church be required by law to do that, or should it be up to the church to decide? ---------Should inform--------- Should not No NET Law Church No op. inform opin. 3/28/02 All 89 65 22 2 9 2 Cath. 83 60 22 1 13 3 2/20/02 All 89 62 26 1 8 3 Cath. 85 58 26 1 12 3 20. (and 21) If a priest is accused of sexually abusing a child, do you think church officials should or should not report that information to the police? (IF SHOULD REPORT) Should the church be required by law to do that, or should it be up to the church to decide? ---------Should report--------- Should not No NET Law Church No op. report opin. 3/28/02 All 97 81 15 1 2 1 Cath. 97 78 17 2 2 1 2/20/02 All 97 80 15 2 2 1 Cath. 95 75 18 3 3 1 22. (CATHOLICS ONLY) Do you think your diocese should or should not publicly report the amount of money it has paid to settle lawsuits against priests accused of sexually abusing children? Should Should not Has already No report report reported (vol.) opin. 3/28/02 72 25 * 3 23. (CATHOLICS ONLY) Do you think your diocese should or should not publicly release the names of priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children? Should Should not Has already No release release released (vol.) opin. 3/28/02 71 26 1 2 24. In the past, do you think church officials have mainly tried to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests, or mainly tried to cover up the problem? Prevent Cover up Both (vol.) No opin. 3/28/02 All 16 74 3 7 Cath. 23 66 4 7 25. And how about now, do you think church officials now are mainly trying to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests, or mainly trying to cover up the problem? Prevent Cover up Both (vol.) No opin. 3/28/02 All 43 46 5 6 Cath. 60 31 4 4 26. How confident are you that the Catholic church can solve the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests - very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident or not confident at all? -------Confident------- ------Not confident----- No NET Very Somewhat NET Not too At all opin. 3/10/02 All 56 16 40 41 23 19 2 Cath. 72 31 41 26 19 8 2 27. Overall, do you think the recent news coverage of this issue has been fair to the church, or unfair? Fair Unfair No opin. 3/28/02 All 76 17 7 Cath. 66 29 5 28. (CATHOLICS ONLY) Has this issue caused you personally to give less money in donations to the church, to give more money in donations to the church, or has your giving to the church remained about the same? Less More Same No opin. 3/28/02 9 1 88 2 29. Overall, when you think of the way the church has handled the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests, how would you say you feel about it - angry; dissatisfied but not angry; satisfied, but not pleased; or are you pleased with the way the church has handled it? --------Negative------- --------Positive-------- No NET Angry Dissat. NET Satis. Pleased opin. 3/28/02 All 80 38 42 17 13 3 3 Cath. 70 36 34 27 19 9 3 30. (CATHOLICS ONLY) Has this issue of sexual abuse by priests caused you to rethink or re-examine your own personal faith, or not? Yes No No opin. 3/28/02 14 85 1 31. (and 32) (CATHOLICS ONLY) Do you think there is any chance that you will leave the Roman Catholic Church altogether in the next few years? (IF YES) Is that very likely, somewhat likely or not too likely? ------Chance leave church------ Has left ---------Likely----------- Will not already No NET Very Smwt. Not too leave (vol.) opin. 3/28/02 11 5 5 * 85 3 2 8/23/87 6 2 3 1 92 * 1 33. (and 31) (CATHOLICS ONLY) Do you think there is any chance that you will leave the Roman Catholic Church altogether in the next few years? (IF YES) Is the issue of sexual abuse by priests the main reason you might leave the church, a reason but not the main one, or not a reason? ------Chance leave church------ Has left --Sex abuse as reason--- Will not already No NET Main Not main Not leave (vol.) opin. 3/28/02 11 3 6 2 85 3 2 34. (CATHOLICS ONLY) How much do you trust your own parish priest around children - do you trust him completely, a good amount, somewhat, or not much? Don't know ---------Trust--------- ------Don't trust------ priest No NET Comp. Good amt. NET Smwt. Not much (vol.) op. 3/28/02 78 60 19 14 9 5 7 2 2/20/02 74 59 15 13 9 4 10 4 35. Are you aware of any instances in which a Catholic priest in your own community has been accused of sexually abusing children, or not? Yes No No opin. 3/28/02 All 10 89 1 Cath. 13 87 * 36. (CATHOLICS ONLY) As far as you are aware, have any priests in your own parish been accused of sexually abusing children, or not? Don't have Yes No parish (vol.) No opin. 3/28/02 6 91 2 1 37. (NON-CATHOLICS ONLY) As far as you are aware, have any clergy in your own religious congregation been accused of sexually abusing children, or not? Don't have a Yes No congregation (vol.) No opin. 3/28/02 6 94 * * 38. As far as you're aware, do you have any relatives or personal friends who've been sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest, or not? Yes No No opin. 3/28/02 All 3 96 * Cath. 5 95 *

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus