CATHOLICISM IN SHARP DECLINE
TOLL OF PRIESTLY PEDOPHILIA
Pope Benedict’s favorable rating has dropped sharply in the United States over his handling of clergy sex abuse cases in Europe, a poll suggested.
The pope’s favorable rating dropped from 63 percent in a Gallup poll taken two years ago to 40 percent in a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
The pontiff’s rating deteriorated about equally among Roman Catholics and non-Roman Catholics interviewed for the poll, Gallup said.
Pope Benedict XVI’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, also saw his U.S. favorable ratings drop in 2002 over his handling of clergy sex abuse allegations.
But Pope John Paul’s favorable rating never dropped below 63 percent and improved to a favorable rating of 78 percent before his death in April 2005, Gallup said.
The poll was based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,033 U.S. adults conducted March 26-28, 2010. The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Gallup also reported that attendance at Catholic services has also experienced a precipitious decline. 75% of the Catholics in America attended Mass at least once a week in 1960. Fifty years later that number has fallen to 40%.
To compensate for the decline, many parishes are now offering “quickie Masses” which only last for 15 minutes.
These Masses, which represent the Roman Catholic adaptation of the McDonald’s syndrome, became popular in Ireland and have taken root in parishes throughout the US.