U.S. Catholics Grow Critical of Vatican

A new Pew survey shows that while U.S. Catholics are still more positive than other Americans about Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of the abuse scandal, they have grown more critical of his response. Only 12 percent of all Americans said the pope has done an excellent or good job in handling the abuse scandal, and 71 percent said he had done only a fair or poor job. Out of all the Catholics in the survey group, 32 percent said the pope has done an excellent or good job, but 59 percent rated his handling of the scandal as fair or poor. Of Catholics who said they attend Mass weekly, 44 percent gave the pope a rating of excellent or good, while 49 percent said he was doing a fair or poor job. In recent months scandals about sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy in Europe have made headlines worldwide. A series of reports by The New York Times and other media outlets in late March and early April criticized the pope for alleged inaction on such cases.

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