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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

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Spotlight Report

Catholics' opinions

Results of a Boston Globe poll of 400 Catholics living in the Archdiocese of Boston, conducted May 4-6 by KRC/Communications Research.

Jump to a section:   Church teachings | Impact on faith | New leader | Cardinal Bernard Law | Bishop Richard Lennon | Addressing legal claims | Lay involvement


 Church teachings 

Q.
Do you agree or disagree with the church's position on ...

 Abortion 
32.1%
Agree
62.6%
Disagree
 
5.3%
 

Don't know / refused

 Birth control 
19.1%
Agree
75.2%
Disagree
 
5.7%
 

Don't know / refused

 Homosexuality 
24.5%
Agree
61.4%
Disagree
 
14%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
Would you support or oppose ...

 ... allowing priests to marry? 
86.3%
Support
10.8%
Oppose
 
2.9%
 

Don't know / refused

 ... the ordination of women as priests? 
79.5%
Support
16.9%
Oppose
 
3.5%
 

Don't know / refused

 ... prohibiting gay men from becoming priests? 
34.6%
Support
58.8%
Oppose
 
6.6%
 

Don't know / refused



 Impact on faith 

Q.
Has what you have learned about sexual abuse of children by priests ...

... caused you to lose confidence in the Catholic Church as an institution  

... caused you to lose faith as a Christian  

... caused you to attend Mass less regularly than before  

... caused you to donate less money to the church than before  

... made you less likely to encourage your children to practice Catholicism (280 respondents with children answered this question)  

Q.
Over the last year, have you or have you not considered joining a non-Catholic church?
 

Q.
As a future step, would you support or oppose an American Catholic Church that is independent of the Vatican?
 



 New leader 

Q.
How important a role would you say the archbishop of Boston plays in your life as a Catholic?

8.7%
Very important
25.6%
Somewhat important
64%
Not important
 
1.6%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
Which of the following would be the most important quality you would like to see in the next archbishop?

Q.
How confident are you that Pope John Paul II will choose an archbishop with the qualities you think are important?

18.2%
Very confident
42.1%
Somewhat confident
37.2%
Not confident
 
2.5%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
Which of the following do you consider to be the most important problem facing the Boston Archdiocese today?

Q.
Which of the following would be most likely to bring you closer to the church personally?




 Cardinal Bernard Law 

Q.
Did you agree or disagree with Cardinal Law's decision to resign?

88.2%
Agree
9.2%
Disagree
 
2.6%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
Do you think Cardinal Law should face criminal prosecution for the way he handled cases of sexual abuse by priests ...

57.4%
Yes, should face prosecution
34.4%
No, should not
 
8.2%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
Would you describe the job Attorney General Tom Reilly has done handling the issue of sexual abuse by priests as being ...

3.4%
Too tough
53.4%
About right
34.8%
Not tough enough
 
8.5%
 

Don't know / refused



 Bishop Richard Lennon 

Q.
Is your opinion of Bishop Richard Lennon ...

4.7%
Extremely Favorable
38.5%
Favorable
17.7%
No opinion / neutral
19.6%
Unfavorable
 
3.3%
 
 
16.3%

Don't know / refused

Extremely unfavorable

Q.
Do you think Bishop Richard Lennon would be a good choice as the permanent successor to Cardinal Law ...

37.3%
Yes
20.3%
No
42.5%
Don't know / refused

Q.
How would you rate the job Bishop Lennon is now doing addressing the problem of clergy sexual abuse ...

3.8%
Excellent
33.5%
Good
32.6%
Only fair
10.7%
Poor
 
19.3%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
How would you rate the job Bishop Lennon is now doing managing the church's finances ...

3.9%
Excellent
35.3%
Good
24.7%
Only fair
4.4%
Poor
31.6%
Don't know / refused

Q.
How would you rate the job Bishop Lennon is now doing providing spiritual leadership ...

9.7%
Excellent
40.3%
Good
25%
Only fair
5.1%
Poor
20%
Don't know / refused



 Addressing legal claims 

Q.
With regard to the 500 legal claims being brought against the church for sexual abuse of children by priests, do you think the church's top priority should be to negotiate settlements or fight in court?

76.4%
Negotiate settlements
16.9%
Fight in court
 
6.6%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
How concerned are you that a broad financial settlement would put the church’s finances in peril?

18.4%
Very
31.4%
Somewhat
49.7%
Not
 

0.5% Don't know / refused

Q.
Which of the following would you consider to be the best way to address the church's financial problems?




 Lay involvement 

Q.
Do you think there is a need for lay people to become more involved in the management of church finances?

74.8%
Yes
22.8%
No
 
2.3%
 

Don't know / refused

Q.
Is your opinion of the organization called Voice of the Faithful ...

Q.
Do you think the archdiocese should accept money donated to the church by Voice of the Faithful?

69%
Yes
16.6%
No
 
14.4%
 

Don't know / refused




Note: Some totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. Margin of error: +/– 5 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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