by Steven Ertelt
April 4, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by the Gallup Organization finds that American Catholics agreed with Pope John Paul II on abortion and don’t want the church to changes its pro-life stance. The pope passed away last week and Catholic cardinals are expected to vote on a new church leader in the next two weeks.
The Gallup poll, conducted for CNN and USA Today, found that a majority of Catholics in the United States want the next pope to have a similar outlook on key social issues as John Paul II.
The pope took strong pro-life stands opposing abortion as well as euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.
More than half of those polled, 59 percent, said they want someone with the same views on political issues while just one-third wanted a more liberal pope. Some 4 percent of the 254 Catholics polled want a pope who is more conservative.
A strong majority of American Catholics believe the Catholic Church should retain its view against abortion.
Approximately 59 percent of those polled favor the church’s pro-life stance while just 37 percent of respondents opposed it.
Catholics who attend church on a weekly basis were more likely to back the church’s pro-life position, by a 69 to 29 percent margin.
In general, American Catholics consider Pope John Paul II, who strongly emphasized the church’s pro-life views, as one of the best in the history of the Catholic Church.
Some 90 percent of those polled will go down in history as either a "great" pope (21%) or one of the greatest popes ever (67%).
The sampling error for questions posed to Catholics was plus or minus 6 percentage points. Gallup conducted the poll by phone on Friday and Saturday.