I don't think the Catholic Churches are empty becaue of Pedifilia. It has been a scandel for sure, but I contend, some of it is real, and the lawyers have a bandwaggon of many people making many false claims. Juries give huge awards against insurance companies and religions, and so they settle these cases. Other religions, and clergy statistically have an equal amount of these claims, but you never hear about them, and even the scouts and teaching profession has its share of claims. That alone is not the thing that has emptied the churches IMHO.
Some of the old attitudes of the Chruch was to raise and have huge Catholic families in the days of our parents and grandparents. 8-10 kids was very common, and as times grew harder, the church would not bend whatsoever to views of Birth Control. I see that as a far bigger overall issue in the church of the past 50 years. Secondly, the old stance of Divorse in the Catholic Church was that if you were not married in the Catholic Church, or if you were divorsed, you could NEVER recieve Communion again. Thirdly, was the idea of Confession, mortal sins, and missing Mass being considered a Mortal Sin. Again, not being able to recieve Communion again until Confession. They were out of touch with relating to real concerns of people IMHO, so many people changed to more moderate thinking churches. I was shocked to learn anyone in other churches could recieve Communion openly, my background was always the staunch Catholic rules, where you were taught you were not worthy without Confession, and a non-Catholic could never recieve Communion in the Catholic Church.
I think the persona of Catholics was not helped by movies like the Godfather (one of our favorite movies), where people really thought this was the way all Catholics were. I doubt if the Vatican like that movie very much! When I was a kid, the Catholic Church would condemn some movies and books, and you didn't dare see them or read them if they were Condemned. I think people resented that as well as some of the other staunch policies of the church. On the other side of the coin from Hollywood, shows like Blue Bloods, show a Catholic police family very devout Catholics, in a undistorted way, which is much more realistic, as to the Catholic religion.
Most people are appauled by the pedifile stories, but can also not relate to them becasue they are very rare, and most people can not imagine or fathom any Priest doing this. I have never seen anything like a hint of this kind of thing with I was a kid in Caticism. 99,9% of Catholics have the same opinion, they never saw anything like that.
I had a very viament arguement here with a person who made a claim he was abused and his friend also, and that they murdered the priest as a result late in life. I reaseached it all, and he was flat out lying about it. The story was the boys he claimed to know, did murder a priest, but not a word of the real story was pedifilia, they hit the priest over the head with a hammer, while robbing the church for money. The Priest herd them break in, went to see the noise, and was killed, having nothing to do with pedifilia. This was a great example of someone caught trying to claim a tall story of pedifila. All a total lie, and all predicated on his claiming they killed the priest over pedifilia. Its still in our archives.