Just three-in-ten American Catholics now say the pontiff is doing a good or excellent job of addressing the sex abuse scandal.
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics say they are happy with the selection of Pope Francis. But they are divided over how big a change he represents for the church.
U.S. Catholics see sex abuse as the church’s most important problem and charity as its most important contribution.
Three-quarters of American Catholics have a favorable view of Pope Benedict XVI, but many also express a desire for change.
American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?
Though still small in volume, mainstream media coverage of religion in 2010 doubled over the preceding year. Events and controversies related to Islam -- especially a proposed Islamic center in New York City -- dominated coverage, bumping the Catholic Church from the top spot.
Newspaper coverage of the Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal grew more intense this spring than at any time since 2002, and European newspapers devoted even more ink to the story than American papers did, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI's job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted.