I was alerted to the following by a long-time reader.
A poll conducted by CBS and Hell’s Bible (aka the New York Times) finds that, in spite of the efforts of the MSM, the Holy Father’s popularity has actually risen.
AMERICANS, CATHOLICS REACT TO REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE BY PRIESTS
April 28-May 2, 2010
The Vatican receives criticism from Catholics and from Americans overall for its handling of the recent reports of sexual abuse of children by priests; most think it’s done a poor job. But majorities of Catholics and Americans say that has not affected their views of the Catholic Church, and positive views of Pope Benedict XVI among Catholics have risen since March.
Few Catholics say views of their religion generally or their involvement in their church has been affected by the reports of abuse. While four in ten Catholics say the recent abuse reports have caused them to doubt the Vatican’s authority, only about one in ten have questioned their Catholicism, become less involved in their church’s activities, attended Mass less often or donated less money.
There is a good deal more.
Keep in mind that the MSM had some objectives in the recent stirring of controversies. The poll reflects the interests of the NYT as well.
Also note that the poll refers to "the Vatican", which is so vague as to be nearly meaningless.
Here are some excerpts from the findings:
RECENT ABUSE REPORTS CAUSED YOU TO DOUBT VATICAN’S AUTHORITY?
All Weekly Mass
Yes 40% 28%
No 55 69
Despite the pontiff’s leadership role in the Church hierarchy, 77% of Catholics say a person can be a good Catholic yet not accept the Pope’s authority.
Few report any impact on their own faith or involvement in the Catholic Church. Just one in 10 Catholics say that as a result of the recent reports of child abuse, they have questioned whether they would remain in the Catholic Church. Almost all Catholics who attend Mass weekly say they have not questioned whether they would remain in the Catholic Church.
RECENT ABUSE REPORTS’ LED TO QUESTION REMAINING IN CATHOLIC CHURCH?
Similarly, nearly all Catholics say the reports have not affected how comfortable they are around their own parish priest.
RECENT ABUSE REPORTS’ EFFECT ON COMFORT WITH OWN PRIEST?
More comfortable 4%
Less comfortable 6
No effect 88
Fewer than one in ten Catholics report they are less likely to be involved in the Church or attend Mass because of the recent reports of abuse.
RECENT ABUSE REPORTS’ EFFECT ON…?
Involvement in Church activities
More likely 9%
Less likely 11
No effect 77
More likely 4%
Less likely 10
No effect 82
79% of Catholics say they or other family members in their household have given money to a Catholic parish or organization in the past year, and most Catholics say their financial contributions to the Church have stayed the same. 14% say they have given less to the Church because of the recent sexual abuse reports.