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False Accusations Against Catholic Priests

The Roman Catholic Church of the United States has been rocked by allegations of child sexual abuse by priests. This poll examines what should be done about false accusations against priests, statutes of limitations on filing charges, and rehabilitation of priests. The author of this poll is not and never was Catholic.
1. Where do you live? Because some of the questions deal with American law, we ask that only people living in the United States particpate in this poll.
United States (please continue with the poll).
Other (please do not answer any more questions).
2. Which best describes your religious preference? All are invited to participate in this poll.
Roman Catholic.
Other.
3. Are you male or female?
Male.
Female.
4. How old are you?
Under 21.
21 to 29.
30 to 39.
40 to 49.
50 to 59.
60 or older.
5. Are you now or have you ever been a Catholic priest?
Currently an active Catholic priest.
Was a Catholic priest; have either retired or resigned.
Currently in seminary preparing to become a priest.
I never was a Catholic priest.
6. Do you have a close relative who is or was a Catholic priest?
A. Son.
B. Brother.
C. Uncle.
D. Cousin.
E. Nephew.
F. Brother-in-law.
G. I have no close relatives who are or were Catholic priests.
7. If a person makes a FALSE ACCUSATION that he or she was abused by a Catholic priest, do you think criminal charges should be filed against the accuser?
Yes, but only if the accuser is 18 or older.
Yes, regardless of the age of the accuser.
No. Criminal charges should never be filed against a person making a false accusation.
8. What should be the criminal punishment against an over 18 person making a false accusation to the police concerning priestly sexual abuse? Assume no prior criminal record by the false accuser.
Probation with no fine or prison time.
A $1,000 fine.
A $10,000 fine.
Thirty days imprisonment.
Six months imprisonment.
There should be no punishment against a person making a false claim of sexual abuse.
9. Do you think that a priest who is the victim of a false accusation should be allowed to sue his accuser in civil court?
Yes.
No.
10. What monetary damages should a priest be allowed to recover from a person making a false accusation?
$50,000.
$250,000.
One million dollars.
Five million dollars.
A priest should not be allowed to sue just because he was the victim of false accusations.
11. Most people under 18 do not have large sums of money. If a person under 18 makes a false accusation against a priest, should the priest be allowed to sue the child's parents in civil court?
Yes.
No.
12. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. Questions twelve to seventeen deal with statute of limitations. If a priest has been found to have committed one act of sexual abuse against a child two years ago and has maintained a clean record since then should he be allowed to remain a priest?
Yes.
No.
13. What if the act was five years ago and the priest has been clean since then. Should he be allowed to remain a priest?
Yes.
No.
14. What if the one act was ten years ago. Should he remain in the priesthood?
Yes.
No.
15. What if the one act was twenty years ago? Should he remain in the priesthood?
Yes.
No.
16. How long after the alleged commission of an act should a young person be allowed to file charges against a priest (either with the Church or with the police)?
One year.
Two years.
Five years.
Ten years.
Twenty years.
There should be no statute of limitations on the filing of charges against priests.
17. If a person makes a false accusation against a priest how long should be the statue of limitations during which a priest can file a civil lawsuit against his accuser?
Two years.
Five years.
Seven years.
Fifteen years.
Lifetime. There should be no statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit.
None of the above. A wrongly accused priest should not be allowed 2 file suit.
18. Do you think a priest who has committed one act of abuse against a young person can be rehabilitated?
Yes.
No.
Uncertain.
19. Because of the recent allegations by young people against priests do you believe some priests are trying to protect themselves by refusing to work with young people in their church?
Yes.
No.
Uncertain.
20. If you answered yes to the previous question do you think it is good or bad for the Church and the young people that some priests are refusing to work with young people?
Bad. This is to the long range detriment of the Church and young people.
It is a good thing. Parents & CCD volunteers should be able 2 provide guidance.
Uncertain.
21. Finally, what percentage of accusations against priests do you believe are false?
Less than ten percent.
10 to 19 percent.
20 to 29 percent.
30 to 39 percent.
40 to 49 percent.
50 to 59 percent.
60 to 69 percent.
70 to 79 percent.
80 to 89 percent.
90 to 100 percent.
This poll was created on 2002-11-23 02:30:29 by JohnP0123