BALTIMORE – As the U.S. Catholic bishops meet this week in an effort to turn the tide on the clergy abuse crisis, a new study reveals that a majority of Americans believe abuse at the hands of priests and bishops to be an “ongoing problem” – with one-quarter of Catholics scaling back Mass attendance as a consequence.
Yet despite the ongoing nature of the problem, new findings released on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center show that most Americans do not believe that the abuse of minors is more likely to occur in a religious setting than in a nonreligious one. On a local level, 49 percent of Catholics give their bishop a favorable approval. On the whole, however, only 36 percent said the same thing about the U.S. bishops as a collective body.
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