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Americans Rate the Clergy Positively: Seventh Among the Most Ethical and Honest Professions

Gallup, the American analytics and advisory company based in Washington, D.C.,  first measured the honesty and ethics of professions in 1976 and has updated the data annually since 1990.

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(ZENIT News / Washington D.C., 12.01.2023).- Gallop opinion polls classify the clergy in the United States as one of the most valued professions in regard to ethical standards and honesty

Nurses, followed by doctors, pharmacists, secondary school teachers and police officers are rated as “very high” or “high.”

The clergy is in the middle of the table of ratings. As the Report points out, “the members of the clergy were measured for the first time by Gallup in 1977, and they were often among the best rated professions until 2002, when the sexual abuse scandal broke in the Roman Catholic Church. Although the rating of high or very high ethics recovered to a certain extent in the ensuing years, it fell by 50% in 2009, and has declined since 2012 to the degree that American’s religious identification and church attendance has also declined. The last reading of 34% for members of the clergy is the lowest by two points.”

Despite the decline in its rating, the clergy is adequately rated and even more so than other professions, such as congressmen and journalists. In fact, the Report highlights the positive average rating of the clergy. Specifically, the list rates the professions as “very high” or “high” in ethics and honesty as follows: 

Nurses: 79

Doctors: 62

Pharmacists: 58

High School Teachers: 53

Police Officers: 50

Judges: 39

Clergy: 34

Journalists: 23

Members of Congress: 8

Gallup measured the honesty and ethics of the professions for the first time in 1976 and it has updated the data annually since 1990. A small number of professions has been on the list every year, whereas others are included periodically. 

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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