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Respect for clergy drops; pollsters attribute to sex abuse comment (1)

January 9, 2014


WASHINGTON — Clergy used to rank near the top in polls asking Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of people in various professions. In 2013, for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1977, fewer than half of those polled said clergy have “high” or “very high” moral standards.

Overall 47 percent of respondents to the survey gave clergy “high” or “very high” ratings, a sharp drop in confidence from the 67 percent of Americans who viewed them this way in 1985.

In 2013, clergy took a back seat to nurses, pharmacists, schoolteachers, medical doctors, military and police officers.

The overall trend for clergy has sloped downward since 2001, with Gallup pollsters attributing the slide to sexual abuse scandals.

Though clergy seem to be dropping in the nation’s esteem, they are far from the bottom of the list. Reading from the bottom up, the poll ranks lobbyists, members of Congress, car sales people, state office holders and advertising practitioners as the least ethical.

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Comment (1)

    Judy Jones 1/20/2014 8:48 PM

    Not surprising. Church officials have been able to cover up and get away with enabling child predators to sexually abuse more kids.
    They use their power of being holy and godly to get to their prey, "innocent children"..

    The statute of limitations needs to be removed for sex crimes against kids, whether they are past or present. This is the only way for victims to have their day in court and for those who cover up these crimes to be held accountable. Only then is there any chance of getting this abuse stopped.
    It is because brave victims are not staying silent about these horrendous child sex crimes. They are to be commended for their courage in speaking up and taking action to expose the truth so that no other kid gets sexually abused within these or any institutional environment.

    Silence is not an option anymore. It only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com
    "SNAP" the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

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