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New Poll Shows U.S. Catholics Less Likely Than Protestants to Express Confidence in Advice from Clergy

Most U.S. adults who attend religious services express confidence in their clergy’s advice on a range of questions, at least to some degree. But a recent Pew Research Center survey finds that Catholics have considerably less confidence than Protestants – and are less likely to claim a close relationship with their clergy.

Among U.S. adults who attend religious services at least a few times a year, Catholics are less likely than Protestants to say they have a “very” or “somewhat” close relationship with their clergy. Six-in-ten Catholics (61%) say this, compared with about eight-in-ten Protestants (78%). Just 8% of Catholics say they are very close with their clergy, compared with a quarter of Protestants. And while only 22% of Protestants say they are not close with the clergy at their church, the share among Catholics is nearly twice as high (39%).

Among specific Protestant groups, those in the evangelical (80%) and historically black traditions (81%) are more likely than mainline Protestants (71%) to say their relationship with their clergy is at least somewhat close. All three Protestant groups, however, say they have a closer relationship with their clergy than Catholics do.

Read more at Pew Research