CARA--the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate-- released a 37 page study of 10 national surveys of Catholic attitudes and practices between January 2001 and October 2005. Their findings?"
- Those Catholics who say they are aware of the church's policies and actions in response to clergy sexual abuse are more likely to give bishops high marks in leadership.
- The study found little to no change from 2001 to 2005 in the percentage of Catholics who give to their parish, in their church attendance patterns or in the proportion of U.S. adults who identify themselves as Catholic.
- Despite the intensity of coverage of sexual abuse allegations in the media, only a minority of Catholics in CARA's polls say they have heard of a priest in their local diocese being accused of sexual abuse.
- CARA found the decline in numbers who say they contribute to the diocese -- from 38 percent in the earliest survey to 29 percent in the latest -- "statistically significant."
- General Catholic satisfaction with church leadership dipped significantly during the sex abuse crisis but gradually climbed back up in 2004-05 to about the same level as before the crisis.