CHICAGO (CBS) – Despite scandals and setbacks in the Church, the faith of Roman Catholics in Chicago appears to be unwavering.

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An unprecedented study of Chicago Catholics reveals dedication to the Church has not eroded, despite the priest sex abuse scandal, and the issue of abortion.

Like most American Catholics, Chicago parishioners gave a higher approval rating to their parish priest to Pope Benedict XVI and Francis Cardinal George, who received an approval rating of 86 percent in the study, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The study also found that Catholics in their 20s and 30s are more devout than other generations, and about 40 percent of lapsed Catholics are open to the possibility of returning.

The study surveyed more than 500 Catholics in Cook and Lake counties. The data were collected in 2007 at the University of Chicago Survey Lab, the Tribune reported.

Chicago Catholics and the Struggles within Their Church will be released officially later Wednesday. It was made possible by the Rev. Andrew Greeley – a priest, sociologist, author and columnist who suffered a severe brain injury in an accident two years ago, the Tribune reported.

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