May 18, 2006

Study says Catholics standing by church after abuse scandal

Chicago Tribune

By Laurie Goodstein
New York Times News Service
Published May 18, 2006

A new study has found that the scandal over sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has not caused American Catholics to leave the church, or to stop attending mass and donating to their parishes.

The study shows that Catholic participation in church life and satisfaction with church leadership dropped noticeably at the height of the scandal in 2002, but has now largely rebounded to prescandal levels.

The only significant decline is in the percentage of Catholics who contributed to their diocesan financial appeals--annual campaigns that are usually run by bishops. While the percentage of Catholics who contributed to their local parishes remained steady, those who gave to their diocesan appeals dropped to 29 percent in 2005 from 38 percent in April 2002.

"There's been an expectation that there would be more Catholics exiting the faith, and clearly the polls show that there wasn't any evidence of that," said Mark Gray, research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, which conducted the study.

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2006 05:29 AM