Poll: Catholics less likely to attend church following Cardinal O’Brien scandal

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A fifth of Catholics say they are less likely to attend church following the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

He resigned as leader of the Scottish Catholic Church in late February, following a string of sexual misconduct allegations made by several Catholic priests.

The 75-year-old, who contested the first set of allegations, admitted in March that his “sexual conduct” had been “below the standards expected” of him.

In a Panelbase poll of more than 1,000 people commissioned by the Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland, 40% said the church should be more accepting of same-sex relationships.

54% of those surveyed felt that priests should be allowed to marry.

The poll also shows the proportion of people in Scotland who see themselves as Christian has fallen to 55% – in 2001 it was around two thirds.

Panelbase Managing Director Ivor Knox said: “That less than a third of Scots have been to church in the last year speaks volumes.

“There is a clear desire for religious leaders to move with the times, with only 10% of Scots feeling that the new pope should maintain traditional positions and three quarters of Roman Catholics wanting to see change.”