Report

Broad Criticism of Pope Benedict's Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal

  • April 07, 2010

Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI's job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted. Only about one-in-ten (12%) say the pope has done an excellent (3%) or good job (9%) in addressing the sex abuse scandal; 71% say he has done a poor (44%) or only fair (27%) job.

The pope's ratings for addressing the continuing scandal have declined sharply since April 2008, shortly after his visit to the United States. At that time, 39% said he had done an excellent or good job in dealing with the abuse scandal, while 48% said he had done only fair or poor.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted April 1-5 among 1,001 adults on landlines and cells phones, finds most Americans (74%) have heard either a lot (29%) or a little (45%) about the pope. Awareness of the pope is nearly as high as it was in April, 2008, just after Pope Benedict XVI's high-profile visit to the U.S., when 84% of the public had heard something about the pope.

Read the full report Broad Criticism of Pope Benedict's Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.