Catholics in the US hold their parish priests and religious women in high esteem, and don’t feel too badly about the Pope andUS bishops, either, according to a newly released poll by the Pew Forum.
Embattled religious sisters can take heart that 83% of US Catholics are satisfied with their leadership, followed closely by parish priests who earn the trust of 82% of their flock. The Pope checks in at 74%, and bishops bring up the rear at 70%. That’s quite an improvement from 2002, where only 50% of Catholics were confident in the leadership of US bishops.
The whole study is worth reading, including information about the 2012 presidential election, religious liberty, and Catholic voters. In short, many Catholics who know about the bishops’ complaints against the Obama administration tend to agree that religious liberty is perhaps being threatened. But this issue does not appear to be enough to sway large swaths of Catholic voters to the Romney camp; Obama holds a small lead over Romney with Catholic voters, and a wide lead when asked specifically about which candidate is more closely aligned on social issues.
Read the full study here.
Michael J. O’Loughlin