Sunday, October 17, 2010

Faith shaken

Poll shows faith shaken by abuse scandal

Share 0 comments 13 Sep 2010

More than half of Catholics surveyed ahead of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit on Thursday said the sex abuse scandal had shaken their faith in the Church’s leadership

The BBC commissioned poll of 500 British Catholics also revealed that almost six in 10 think their faith is not “generally valued” in British society.

But the survey found that 70% believe the Pope’s visit will help the Catholic Church in the UK.

The poll, conducted by ComRes, surveyed a random sample of 500 Roman Catholics across the UK. The results also suggest that a large number of Catholics think that the Pope should drop his insistence on clerical celibacy.

Just under a half of those polled said the celibacy rule should be relaxed. And 62% of those questioned say women should have more authority and status in the Catholic Church.

The survey comes ahead of the first visit to the UK by a pontiff in 28 years.

The BBC will dispense up to 300 staff to cover the Scottish leg of the event. The public body has been criticised in the past for the amount of staff it uses to cover events. A total of 292 people were sent to South Africa to cover the World Cup this summer and 274 people were sent to cover the Glastonbury festival.

The BBC’s coverage of the papal visit will take in five ceremonies and will amount to 12.5 hours of programming on BBC One, BBC Two, Radio 4 and separate broadcasts on the BBC News channel, Radio 5 and on BBC online.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Numbers of BBC staff working on covering the Pope’s visit are still to be finalised but will be of an appropriate scale given the complicated logistics and the quality and breadth of programming expected by audiences in order to reflect the historic significance of the event.”

“This is the first ever State visit by a Pope and is an important and historic event for millions of people in the UK.

“The BBC is the only broadcaster filming Pope Benedict’s XVI’s five major ceremonies and is doing so both on behalf of ourselves and other broadcasters.

“This pooling arrangement of footage is normal practice and the most cost-effective solution for everyone.”

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