Poll: Catholics Say Bishops Don’t Want to End Sex Abuse

by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 8, 2018   

More than 80 percent think bishops are part of the problem

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Many Catholics don't believe that the U.S. bishops actually want to fix the problem of sex abuse within the ranks of the clergy.

In Church Militant's recent survey, nearly 84 percent of respondents claimed that America's prelates do not want to fix "the McCarrick problem" and that the bishops "are part of the problem and they can't be trusted to solve it."

Only about 16 percent of the nearly 6,000 respondents said they believe the U.S. bishops "genuinely want to address and fix the problems behind" the clerical sex abuse scandal.


This comes amidst ongoing disputes over how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) should respond to the latest scandal.

In the wake of numerous sex abuse allegations against former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick, there have been calls for the USCCB to initiate reform, policy changes and even mass resignations.

Many have called for the creation of an independent lay board that can hold the bishops accountable on sex abuse allegations. Currently, sex abuse allegations against priests often go through an independent board of mostly laity. No such independent review process is in place for allegations against bishops.

While some laity are advocating for an independent lay committee to investigate the bishops, only two U.S. bishops, according to The Catholic Herald, have joined the call for a laity-led outside investigation: Bp. Edward Scharfenberger of Albany and Bp. Timothy Doherty of Lafayette.

In contrast, Cdl. Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. has said that he thinks the U.S. bishops should establish their own committee and self-regulate — instead of being accountable to an external board beyond any bishop's control.


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