Saturday, November 9, 2002

From the NYTimes, a Gallup poll claims that one out of five Catholics have decided to stop giving to their diocese as a result of the sexual abuse scandal

In the survey, about one in nine of the regular Mass-goers said they had been putting less money in their parish collection plate in the months since the abuse scandal began in January. About 3 percent of Catholics — mostly more affluent and conservative parishioners — reported increasing their parish giving.

The nation's 194 dioceses have been harder hit: 19 percent of those surveyed said they stopped supporting their diocese, with some saying they were diverting those donations to other Catholic causes. Charles E. Zech, a Villanova University economics professor who prepared the questionnaire and analyzed the survey results, said in an interview that he was surprised at the consensus among the most faithful Catholics that bishops should be required to make a full report on how much they have spent to respond to sexual abuse allegations. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed called for such a report.

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