Clergy honesty ratings tumble to 32-year low

Reason for decline unclear
Americans’ views of the “honesty and ethics” of clergy have hit a 32-year low, with just half rating ministers’ moral caliber as high or very high, according to Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics Ratings of Professions.

The reason for the decline from 56 percent last year to 50 percent in 2009 is “unclear,” according to a Gallup news release, which noted that “now the clergy’s ratings are below where they were earlier this decade” at the height of the Catholic Church’s clergy abuse scandal.

Barbara Dorris, outreach coordinator for the Chicago-based Survivors Net work of those Abused by Priests, attributed the drop to ripple effects from seven years of negative press surrounding predatory priests.

 

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