Confidence in Pope Francis drops sharply: survey
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Confidence in Pope Francis has dropped sharply among U.S. Catholics as the Catholic Church continues to deal with sexual abuse accusations and investigations, according to a new survey.

A Pew Research Center survey published Wednesday found that just three in 10 Catholics adults in the U.S. think that Francis is doing an “excellent” or a “good” job addressing sexual abuse in the church, down 24 points from 2015 and 15 points since Pew asked the same question in January.


Additionally, 60 percent of American Catholics surveyed said they think Francis is doing either a "fair" or "poor" job handling the sexual abuse scandal, according to the survey.

That includes 36 percent who think he is doing a poor job, nearly double the amount of people who said he was doing a poor job at the start of the year.

The Pew survey results mirror a Gallup Poll published last month finding that 53 percent of the Americans polled viewed Francis favorably, down from 66 percent in August. 

In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury report identified more than 300 priests in the Catholic Church in that state accused of committing sexual abuse that was then allegedly covered up by the church. The report detailed more than 1,000 instances of sexual abuse committed by the priests.

Francis has also faced criticism after being accused of knowing about sexual misconduct allegations against former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick before they became public. 

The Catholic Church is likely to face further investigations in the U.S. 

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D) last month subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in that state as part of a probe into the church's handling of sex abuse allegations, and other states have also considered investigations.