April 26, 2005

Most U.S. Catholics Support Choice of Pope

Washington Post

By Richard Morin and Claudia Deane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 26, 2005; 12:00 AM

An overwhelming majority of American Catholics approve of the selection of Pope Benedict XVI and predict that he will defend the traditional policies and beliefs of a church that many members say is out of touch with their views, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found that more than eight in 10 Roman Catholics broadly supported the selection of German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to replace Pope John Paul II.

Nearly as many, 73 percent, said they were "enthusiastic" about the new pontiff, though only one in four said they were strongly enthusiastic about the choice. ...

American Catholics say the new pope's top priority should be to deal with sexual abuse by priests, followed closely by the need to encourage human rights. These priorities were shared by a majority of more active and less active Catholics.

Four in 10 also said the pontiff should follow in his predecessor's footsteps by paying special attention to the needs of younger churchgoers. Only three in 10 said Benedict's highest priority should be making it attractive for men to serve as priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 26, 2005 07:39 AM