The majority of people in Austria do not trust the Roman Catholic Church due to the abuse scandals involving pedophile priests, a recent opinion poll has shown.
According to a poll conducted by Austrian paper Kurier, 61 percent of Austrians said they do not trust the Roman Catholic Church.
About 35 percent said they trusted the Church while 4 percent said they did not know whether they trusted the Church.
The poll involved 1,000 adult Austrians interviewed by telephone from May 26-28.
The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by a flood of complaints, especially in Europe and the United States, that its clergymen have abused hundreds of children over the past few decades.
The Church covered up the abuse cases by simply reappointing pedophile priests elsewhere instead of punishing them, critics say.
Pope Benedict XV himself has been accused of aiding efforts to protect pedophile priests from prosecution.
Charges against the Pope including crimes against humanity have been initiated at the International Criminal Court.
Two German lawyers, Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel from the Pope’s home state of Bavaria, have submitted a 16,500-word document indicting the Pope for various crimes against humanity.
Pope Benedict is charged with the “establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes.”