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 Latest coverage

March 23
Law's words frame new play

March 2
Wary Catholics return to church

January 25, 2004
Churches report attendance up

January 4, 2004
Dot parish struggles to survive

December 28
Hudson fill-in priest welcomed

December 12
Law prays daily for diocese

November 22
Assignment for Law expected

November 20
Policies on VOTF reconsidered

September 19
Crisis issues in church's future

September 18
Meeting ban at parish is lifted

August 4
O'Malley given warm welcome

August 1
Lawmakers see shades of gray

July 31
An angry protest, and prayers
Voices of protest and support
Three in crowd bound in hope
At BC, optimistic students watch

July 29
Lay group to engage O'Malley

July 24
Many outraged after AG's report

July 21
Law to skip bishop installation

July 18
O'Malley invites Law, victims

July 11
Bishops seek private opinions

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

Catholics' opinions
Results of a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll of 800 Catholics living in the Archdiocese of Boston, conducted Feb. 4-6, 2002, by KRC/Communications Research.

Q.
How often do you attend Mass?


39%
At least once a week
20%
At least once a month
25%
Less than once a month
12%
Never
4%
Don't know*

* or chose not to answer



 Church leaders 

Key
Extremely
favorable
Favorable Don't know/
refused
Neutral Unfavorable Extremely
unfavorable

Q.
Is your opinion of Pope John Paul II ...
20% 50% 3% 12% 13% 3%

Q.
Is your opinion of your parish priest
29% 44% 11% 11% 2
%
1
%

Q.
Is your opinion of Cardinal Bernard Law ...
5% 24% 5% 14% 33% 18%



 Cardinal Law 

Q.
How would you rate Cardinal Law's ...


performance as a spiritual leader? Excellent 
 11%
Good 
 27%
Fair 
 21%
Poor 
 32%
Don't know* 
 10%

advocacy for church teachings in the public arena? Excellent 
 8%
Good 
 28%
Fair 
 23%
Poor 
 24%
Don't know* 
 18%

administration of the Boston archdiocese? Excellent 
 5%
Good 
 25%
Fair 
 25%
Poor 
 33%
Don't know* 
 13%

* or chose not to answer

Q.
How would you rate the job Cardinal Law has done handling instances of sexual abuse of children by priests?


Of respondents who attend Mass weekly Excellent 
 3%
Good 
 16%
Fair 
 19%
Poor 
 51%
Don't know* 
 11%

Of respondents who attend Mass 1 to 3 times each month Excellent 
 2%
Good 
 19%
Fair 
 15%
Poor 
 63%
Don't know* 
 2%

* or chose not to answer


Q.
When asked, 'Do you agree or disagree that Cardinal Law should resign?' 48% of the total sample agreed Law should resign, and 28% disagreed.

Breakdown based on church attendance:


Of respondents who attend Mass weekly
31%
Agree
52%
Disagree
17%
Don't know*

Of respondents who attend Mass 1 to 3 times each month
61%
Agree
29%
Disagree
10%
Don't know*
* or chose not to answer




 Sexual abuse of children 

Q.
Compared with other institutions that work with children like public schools or scouting organizations, do you think the Catholic church does a better job or a worse job when it comes to dealing with cases of sexual abuse of children?

9%
Better
18%
No difference
59%
Worse
14%
Don't know*

* or chose not to answer

Q.
Do you think sexual abuse of children by priests ...

66%
Is a widespread problem that happens
more often than we know
16%
10%
8%
Don't know*
  Is a relatively unusual problem that doesn't happen very often?   Depends on location, circumstance, or situation

* or chose not to answer

Q.
In general, do you think the leaders of the Catholic church care more about protecting priests who have sexually abused children or helping the people who were sexually abused by priests?

64%
Protecting priests
16%
Helping people
11%
Both the same
9%
Don't know*

* or chose not to answer

Q.
Do you agree or disagree that Cardinal Law made a mistake in his handling of cases of sexual abuse of children by priest, but after his sincere apology he should be forgiven?

51%
Agree
32%
Disagree
16%
Don't know*

* or chose not to answer




 New policy 

Q.
As you may have heard, over the last few weeks, Cardinal Law has announced a new policy in which the church will report to public authorities all complaints of sexual abuse, and will train clergy and staff about recognizing sexual abuse and will continue to offer pastoral care to victims and their families. Do you think this policy goes too far or not far enough or is about right?

3%
Too far
35%
Not far enough
56%
About right
6%
Don't know*

* or chose not to answer

Q.
How confident are you that Cardinal Law will be able to implement this policy?

23%
Very confident
39%
Somewhat confident
31%
Not confident
7%
Don't know*

* or chose not to answer




Note: Some totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. Margin of error: +/ 3 percentage points on questions answered by all Catholics. When pollsters offered choices to the respondents, the choices were rotated so that different options were offered first to different respondents.


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