New York City, N.Y., May 6, 2010 / 06:43 am
Most churchgoing Catholics say their feelings about the Church are unaffected by the Vatican’s handling of recent child sex abuse reports. Among all Catholics, more have a favorable opinion of Pope Benedict XVI now than they did in March. They tend to believe the media reports are blown out of proportion and harder on the Church than others.
The CBS News / New York Times poll split respondents among weekly Mass attendees, all Catholics, and all Americans. Answers from all respondents are thus weighted by differences in Catholic responses.
Weekly massgoers are about evenly split in their opinion of the Vatican’s handling of child sex abuse by priests, with 45 percent saying it is doing a good job. About 58 percent of all Catholics and 66 percent of all American respondents said it is not.
About 77 percent of weekly churchgoers said the Vatican’s handing of recent child sex abuse report has had no effect on their feelings about the Catholic Church, while 69 percent of all Catholics and 52 percent of total respondents said the same. About 20 percent of all Catholics and 36 percent of all respondents said it has made them feel more negative.