Despite the slew of abuse allegations and cases surfacing within the Catholic Church, most U.S. adults actually do not think that sexual abuse of children is more common among Catholic priests and leadership than it is among any other adult groups.
The abuse crisis also has caused some Catholics to attend Mass less often and decrease donations to the Church, although some personally supported their local parish priest.
The Pew Research Centre released a report on June 11 revealing statistics about what Americans, and particularly American Catholics, believe about abuse in the Catholic Church.
According to the Pew survey, 57% of U.S. adults believe that sexual abuse of children is equally as common among Catholic clergy as it is among other adults who work with children. How-ever, when surveying only non-Catholics, Pew found that only 44% believe that sexual abuse is equally as common among Catholic Leaders as other adults working with children.
Further, among Catholics, 68% believe this is not a uniquely Catholic problem.
Of all U.S. adults, 92% have heard about the scandal and 79% believe it reflects an ongoing problem, while only 12% believe that it is in issue of the past.