Research shows plurality believe papal visit didn't do enough to address clerical abuse

Research shows plurality believe papal visit didn't do enough to address clerical abuse

Research by Queen’s University Belfast has found a plurality of Irish people believe that Pope Francis did not do enough to address clerical abuse during his recent papal visit to Ireland.

Pope Francis made his first papal visit to Ireland in August 2018 for the World Meeting of Families.

Just 30% of Irish people believe that the Pope did enough to address clerical abuse.

Practising Catholics, defined as those who attend religious services at least once a month, differed from the rest of the population with 50% that they believed Pope Francis had gone far enough to address abuse.

The research was conducted in the form of a survey designed by Dr Gladys Ganiel, Research Fellow from the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s.

There were 840 respondents to the survey, which was carried out as part of market research agency Amárach’s monthly omnibus survey in the Republic in mid-to-late September 2018.

64% of respondents in the survey identified themselves as Catholic.

Additional key findings included:

  • 31% agreed the visit had been “a healing time for victims and survivors of clerical sex abuse”. 36% disagreed and 24% said neither/nor or no opinion
  • 23% agreed the visit had been “a healing time for LGBTQI people and their families”. 40% disagreed and 37% said neither/nor or no opinion
  • 66% said their opinion of the Catholic Church has not changed since Francis became pope in 2013, with 22% saying their opinion had become more favourable
  • 50% of respondents agree that Pope Francis’ visit was good for the Catholic Church in Ireland and Ireland as a nation. 75% of practising Catholics agreed with this statement.

Furthermore 80% of the respondents did not attend any of the events surrounding the papal visit, for a number of different reasons.

Of those, 51% said they did not attend because they were simply not interested and 30% said they disagreed with how the Catholic Church has handled abuse.

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