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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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March 14, 2019

     The percent of U.S. Catholics who say the clergy sex abuse crisis has them questioning whether to leave the faith has jumped 15 points since the last major crisis in the early 2000s, a poll released Wednesday finds.

     Thirty-seven percent of Catholics told Gallup that “recent news about sexual abuse of young people by priests” has them personally questioning whether to remain Catholic, compared with 62 percent who said it had not. Priest misconduct and its handling by clergy all the way to the papacy has exploded as a topic in the U.S. church since last summer, when a series of scandals began to rock the denomination, America’s largest. It’s the broadest such scandal in American Catholicism since the early 2000s, when 22 percent of U.S. Catholics told Gallup that clergy sex abuse news was pushing them to question staying, and 76 percent said it was not.

     The numbers are much higher, as many won't admit to the pollsters their real feelings.

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