More Catholics Considering Leaving Church Over Sex Abuse Scandals..

A growing number of American Catholics are reconsidering their loyalty to the global church as it continues on a slow path toward reforming how it handles clerical sexual abuse. A Gallup poll published Wednesday found that 37 percent of U.S. Catholics have questioned whether they will remain part of the church this year amid recent news about sexual abuse of young people by priests. This is up from 22 percent who said the same in 2002, the last time Gallup conducted polling on this question. That year, The Boston Globe Spotlight team’s investigation into clerical abuse and the church’s cover-up in the Boston area helped expose the scandal nationwide. Over the past year, the Roman Catholic Church has experienced a renewed reckoning, as lay Catholics questioned whether the church’s secretive, self-protective culture has really changed since 2002, and whether bishops have been held accountable for covering up the issue. The latest allegations have toppled prominent church leaders in the U.S.Australia and Chile. Pope Francis himself has been criticized for reacting poorly to victims’ concerns

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