Pope Benedict XVI has not done enough to punish priests who abuse children, and the Catholic Church has not shown enough remorse for the crimes, British people said overwhelmingly in a ComRes poll for CNN released as the Pope arrived in the United Kingdom on Thursday 16 September 2010.
British Catholics are nearly as critical of the Pope and the church as the population as a whole, the poll found. Three out of four British adults say the Pope hasn't done enough to punish the guilty. Among British Catholics, two out of three agree.
Fewer than one in 20 British people thinks he has done enough but only one in four think Benedict XVI should resign over the child-abuse allegations sweeping across the Catholic Church in Europe and North America. Half said he should not, and the other quarter did not know.
Catholics were more supportive of the Pope than the population as a whole, with three out of four saying he should not resign. But 14 per cent of British Catholics said he should quit, and 12 per cent were not sure.
British adults split equally on whether or not it was appropriate for Britain to host the Pope on a state visit, with 36 per cent saying it was appropriate and 37 per cent saying it was not. The other 26 per cent said they did not know. More than two out of three British Catholics thought it was appropriate, with only 14 per cent saying it was not. The other 18 per cent did not know.
ComRes polled a representative sample of 2,028 British adults online on 16-18 September 2010 for CNN. The sample included 194 Catholics, or roughly 9.5 per cent of the total. The United Kingdom is just under nine per cent Catholic, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk