The number of Americans who rate the honesty and ethics of clergy as very high or high was down to 50 percent in 2009, the lowest percentage in the 32 years Gallup has measured it.
Nurses continue to be the most highly regarded profession in honesty and ethics with an 83 percent rating.
"In addition to the clergy and bankers, ratings of stockbrokers have hit a new low, and ratings of business executives, members of Congress and lawyers have tied their previous lows," Gallup reported.
Most of the 13 professions measured in both 2008 and 2009 show a decline, with only police officers improving.
Clergy ratings declined the most — six points — followed by lawyers, with a five-point drop. Still, clergy ratings remain high on a relative basis, ranking eighth of the 22 professions tested this year.
For more information on the study, visit the Gallup Web site.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers