April 04, 2005

Poll Finds Most Americans, U.S. Catholics Want Women Priests


POSTED: 9:24 am MDT April 4, 2005
UPDATED: 10:04 am MDT April 4, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Most Americans want the next pope to work for changes in Roman Catholic Church policies to allow priests to marry and women to join the priesthood. And they want more done to combat sexual abuse by priests, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

Do you want Pope John Paul II's successor to try to change church policy to allow priests to marry and to let women become priests?
Yes, priests should be allowed to marry and women should be priests.
Women should be allowed to be priests, but priests should not marry.
Priests should be allowed to marry, but women should not be priests.
No, the church should stick to strict doctrine.

A solid majority of Americans, and Catholics in the country, are calling for the changes even while saying they widely admire Pope John Paul II, who supported traditional policies against priest marriage and against allowing women into the priesthood.

"He crossed so many boundaries, opened doors to many governments," said Joseph Riess, a Catholic businessman from Vienna, Va. "But I think it's time for changes."

Just over half of Americans, 51 percent, and almost three-fourths of Catholics say John Paul, who died Saturday, will be remembered as one of the greatest popes, according to the poll conducted for The Associated Press by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

Posted by kshaw at April 4, 2005 11:49 AM