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

Apr 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.

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