Polls are all that really matter:
Catholics’ confidence in Pope Francis has plummeted. According to a Pew study released on Tuesday, just three in 10 American Catholics say they approve of Francis’s handling of the Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis, following a summer of abuse revelations that have rocked the Catholic Church.
In 2015, 54 percent of Catholics reported having a generally favorable view of Francis’s handling of clerical sex abuse, telling Pew they thought he was doing either an “excellent” or “good” job on the issue. In January of this year, shortly after Francis came under fire for dismissing accusations of a clerical cover-up of child sex abuse in Chile as mere “calumny,” that number dropped to 45 percent.
But for many Catholics, it may be too late for Francis to restore trust in the church.