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Priests score high marks in Chilean opinion poll

A national Poll organised by the Catholic University of Santiago has revealed that Catholic priests have the highest credibility rating of any group mentioned, while journalists are at the bottom of the credibility scale.

The poll was conducted by the University at the request of the Chilean bishops' conference in order to evaluate the religious and moral attitudes and habits of Chilean people. The results showed that 74.4% of the population claims to be Catholic, while 13.9% belongs to various Protestant denominations.

The results show a drop of 3.5% in the number of Catholics since the last such poll, which was taken 10 years ago. However, the poll also shows that most of those who no longer identify themselves as Catholics are not joining the Evangelical churches, but adding to the large number of Chileans who claim no religious affiliation.

In one result that surprised and encouraged the bishops, when they were given a list of professions and asked to name the one with greatest credibility, most Chileans (69%) chose the Catholic priesthood. Journalists, by contrast, were cited as "most credible" by only 15.3%.

Arquidiócesis de Santiago
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile


17 May 2002