Poll: Change In The Church

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More than half of America's Catholics are worried about the paucity of priests and nuns serving the Church, and an almost equally high percentage of Catholics would welcome priests from diverse races and ethnicities.

This comes from the latest CBS News poll on "Diversity in The Catholic Church," conducted April 6-9. It shows that 62 percent of Catholics are somewhat concerned about the shortage of clergy and religious sisters in the Church, with one-quarter of respondents saying they are "very worried."

Meanwhile, 56 percent of Catholic respondents think fellow parishoners would be "very accepting" of priests from racial and ethnic backgrounds other than their own; 30 percent think they would be "somewhat accepting." As for being open to Church parishioners from different racial and ethnic groups, 56 percent said they thought the response would be "very accepting," while 32 percent said thought it would be "somewhat" so.

The number of Catholics who would encourage a child to become a nun or priest remains virtually unchanged from four years ago: 70 percent then and now would encourage a child who wanted to serve in religious life. However, the percentage of Catholics who would discourage children from entering the clergy increased by seven percentage points, to 20 percent.
  • Jennifer Hoar


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