Measurement Wizard


Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal, View of

What is respondent's view of the Catholic sexual abuse scandals?


Below are 58 questions from surveys in the ARDA that attempt to measure this concept. The ARDA staff further categorized these questions into 8 types:

Approve of Response?Coverup?DamageFrequencyImportanceKnowledgePunishment/ReactionWhat Caused?

Approve of Response?Does the respondent approve or disapprove of the manner in which the Catholic Church is handling the scandal?

  • HANDLECH from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church has handled the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? (HANDLECH) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HELPABUS from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you feel that the Catholic Church is or is not doing enough to deal with this issue [of sexual abuse of children by priests]? (HELPABUS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • CONFID from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • How confident are you that the Catholic Church can solve the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests - very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident or not confident at all? (CONFID) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • FEELINGS from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Overall, when you think of the way the church has handled the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests, how would you say you feel about it - angry; dissatisfied but not angry; satisfied, but not pleased; or are you pleased with the way the church has handled it? (FEELINGS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HNDLSA from ABC News Vatican Meeting - Expectations Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • On another subject, do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church has handled the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? Do you approve/disapprove STRONGLY or SOMEWHAT? (HNDLSA) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • VATICAN from ABC News Vatican Meeting - Expectations Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • American cardinals will be meeting with church officials at the Vatican to discuss how the church handles the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests. Do you think this meeting will or will not produce meaningful improvements in the way the church handles the issue? (VATICAN) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HNDLSA from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church is handling the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? INTERVIEWER NOTE: Get answer and then ask: Do you approve/disapprove STRONGLY or SOMEWHAT? (HNDLSA) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • BISHMEET from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • American bishops will be meeting in the next week to set new policies on how the Church handles the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests. Do you think this meeting will or will not produce meaningful improvements in the way the Church handles the issue? (BISHMEET) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HNDLSA from ABC News Church Scandal Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church is handling the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? [INTERVIEWER NOTE: Get answer and then ask: Do you approve/disapprove STRONGLY or SOMEWHAT?] (HNDLSA) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRIESTS from ABC News Church Abuse, 2004LEARN MORE
    • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church is handling the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? [INTERVIEWER: Get answer and then ask: Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?] (PRIESTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRABUS from ABC News the Pope & the Church, 2003LEARN MORE
    • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Catholic Church is handling the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests? [INTERVIEWER NOTE: Get answer and then ask: Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?] (PRABUS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRABUS3 from ABC News the Pope & the Church, 2003LEARN MORE
    • Do you think the pope has done enough to address the problem of sexual abuse of children and teenagers by priests, or should he have done more? (PRABUS3) EXPAND/COLLAPSE

Coverup?Does the respondent believe that the Catholic Church has covered up the abuse of children by priests?

  • COVERUP from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • In the past, do you think church officials have mainly tried to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests, or mainly tried to cover up the problem? (COVERUP) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COVERNOW from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • And how about now, do you think church officials now are mainly trying to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests, or mainly trying to cover up the problem? (COVERNOW) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • SEXHANDL from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002LEARN MORE
    • (ASKED ONLY OF RESPONDENTS WHO ANSWERED THAT THEY HAD HEARD A LOT OR A LITTLE ABOUT RECENT TRIALS INVOLVING CATHOLIC PRIESTS WHO HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE) Based on what you have heard, how would you evaluate the Catholic Churchs handling of these cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests? (SEXHANDL) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COVERUP from ABC News Church Abuse, 2004LEARN MORE
    • Do you think church officials are mainly trying to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests, or mainly trying to cover up the problem? (COVERUP) EXPAND/COLLAPSE

DamageThis question type asks the respondent if the reputation of the church has been harmed by the crisis, or if it played a factor in him/her leaving the church.

  • PRSTABUS from Gallup Poll of Catholics, 1993LEARN MORE
    • I will read five items and, after each, please tell me if it has strengthened your commitment to the Catholic Church, weakened your commitment to the Catholic Church, or had no effect one way or the other. If you dont know, tell me that. -- Reports indicating that a number of priests have abused children sexually. (PRSTABUS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HURTREP from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Has the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests hurt the overall reputation of the Catholic Church in your eyes, or not? (HURTREP) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PERFAITH from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • [Asked of Catholics only], Has this issue of sexual abuse by priests caused you to rethink or re-examine your own personal faith, or not? (PERFAITH) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HURTREP from ABC News Priests and Pedophilia Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Has the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests hurt the overall reputation of the Catholic Church in your eyes, or not? (HURTREP) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • INFABUS1 from Survey of Chicago Catholics, 2007LEARN MORE
    • How much of an influence were the following factors in your decision to leave the Catholic Church? The sex abuse scandal (INFABUS1) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • INFABUS2 from Survey of Chicago Catholics, 2007LEARN MORE
    • If you should leave the Catholic Church whatever might the reasons be—which of the following might influence such a decision—a lot, some, not much, or none? The sex abuse scandal (INFABUS2) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • Q4H from Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.LEARN MORE
    • IF CONVERT RAISED CATHOLIC: The clergy sexual-abuse scandal. Is this an important reason you are no longer (FRMREL), or not? (Q4H) EXPAND/COLLAPSE

FrequencyHow common is the sexual abuse of children by priests?

  • FREQABUS from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • [Asked of Catholics only], Do you think that sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is something that happens very often, somewhat often, infrequently, or very rarely? (FREQABUS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRIESTSA from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you think Catholic priests are more likely than other men to sexually abuse children, less likely, or about the same? (PRIESTSA) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • ABUSFREQ from ABC News Priests and Pedophilia Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you think that sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is something that happens very often, somewhat often, infrequently, or very rarely? (ABUSFREQ) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRSTMORE from ABC News Priests and Pedophilia Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Do you think Catholic priests are more likely than other men to sexually abuse children, less likely, or about the same? (PRSTMORE) EXPAND/COLLAPSE

ImportanceThis question type asks the respondent the level of crisis the Church is facing.

  • ABUSEPR from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • In your opinion, how much of a problem is the issue of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests - would you say its a major problem that demands immediate attention, a less immediate problem or not much of a problem at all? (ABUSEPR) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • ABUSECR from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Would you call this issue [of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests] a crisis for the church, or not a crisis? (ABUSECR) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • ABUSPRST from ABC News Priests and Pedophilia Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • In your opinion, how much of a problem is the issue of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests - would you say its a major problem that demands immediate attention, a less -immediate problem or not much of a problem at all? (ABUSPRST) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • C_PBSEXA from ABC News/Washington Post Poll: the New Pope, 2005LEARN MORE
    • For each item I name, please tell me how high a priority it should be for Pope Benedict the highest priority, a high priority but not the highest, or a lower priority than that. How about addressing the issue of sexual abuse?--How high a priority should addressing the issue of sexual abuse by priests be for Pope Benedict? (Note: asked of Catholics only.) (C_PBSEXA) EXPAND/COLLAPSE

KnowledgeThis question type asks the respondent about his/her level of awareness about the Catholic sex abuse scandal.

  • SEXABUSE from Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002LEARN MORE
    • How much, if anything, have you heard about recent criminal trials involving Catholic priests who have been accused of child sexual abuse - a lot, a little, or nothing at all? (SEXABUSE) EXPAND/COLLAPSE

Punishment/ReactionThis question type asks the respondent what should happen to priests found to have abused children, or to church leaders who did not manage accused priests properly.


What Caused?This question type asks the respondent if a particular factor contributed to the sex abuse problem in the Catholic Church.

  • PRNOMAR from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me if you think the churchs policy of not allowing priests to marry contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (PRNOMAR) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRNOWOM from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me if you think the churchs policy of not allowing women to be priests contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (PRNOWOM) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRTRANS from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me if you think the practice of transferring priests accused of sexual abuse to another parish contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (PRTRANS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRNOPOL from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me if you think the practice of not calling the police when a priest is accused of sexual abuse contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (PRNOPOL) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRSHORT from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me if you think a reluctance in the Church to dismiss priests because of a shortage of priests contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (PRSHORT) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRVATIC from ABC News Church in Crisis Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me if you think a lack of Vatican oversight of the Catholic Church in the United States contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not. (PRVATIC) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • OR1PRNOM from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. The first is ... . [Note: Interviewers were asked to scramble these items. For this question each item was asked first.] (OR1PRNOM) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • OR2PRNOP from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. The second is ... . [Note: Interviewers were asked to scramble these items. For this question each item was asked second.] (OR2PRNOP) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • OR3PRPRH from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. The third is ... . [Note: Interviewers were asked to scramble these items. For this question each item was asked third.] (OR3PRPRH) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • OR4PRSCR from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. The fourth is ... . [Note: Interviewers were asked to scramble these items. For this question each item was asked fourth]. (OR4PRSCR) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRNOMAR from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. - The Churchs policy of not allowing priests to marry. Do you think its been a major part of the problem, or a minor part? (PRNOMAR) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRNOPOL from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. - The practice of not calling the police when a priest has been accused of sexual abuse. Do you think its been a major part of the problem, or a minor part? (PRNOPOL) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRPRHOMO from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. - The number of priests who are homosexuals. Do you think its been a major part of the problem, or a minor part? (PRPRHOMO) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRSCREEN from ABC News Bishops Meeting Expectations Poll, June 2002LEARN MORE
    • For each of the following items I mention, please tell me if you think it has or has not contributed to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests. - Inadequate screening and preparation of priest candidates in the seminaries. Do you think its been a major part of the problem, or a minor part? (PRSCREEN) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRTMARRY from ABC News Priests and Pedophilia Poll, 2002LEARN MORE
    • As you may know, the Catholic Church does not allow priests to marry. Do you think this policy contributes to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, or not? (PRTMARRY) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
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