When Pope Benedict travels to his homeland this coming September, he will encounter fellow Catholics who, by large margins, desire church reforms. Unrest has been on the increase in the German Catholic Church ever since the Pope has struggled to deal with the sexual abuse crisis that broke out there in January 2010 and spread to other European countries. 180,000 German Catholics left the Church in 2010, a 40% increase over the previous year.
In a recent poll commissioned by ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) for its program “sonntags,” 73% of the general population said the Catholic Church should implement reforms such as optional celibacy and women’s ordination. The desire for reform among Catholics is higher – 80%. Even among those who attend Mass weekly, 61% favor such reforms, contradicting claims that those most active in the church are in agreement with its official policies.
See the table here.
Those who think optional celibacy is the highest priority among all needed reforms is 75% of all Catholics, 67% of regular church-goers.
At the same time, 46% of regular church-goers wish the Catholic Church would orient itself stronger on tradition, with 22% opposed to this. It is the reverse among occasional church-goers – 25% and 43% respectively.
81% of the general population and 70% of the Catholics believe that the Catholic Church has done too little to deal with the abuse scandal.
PT summary from sonntags.