Poll Shows Pope Benedict XVI’s Trip Motivated Catholics on Pro-Life Issues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll Shows Pope Benedict XVI’s Trip Motivated Catholics on Pro-Life Issues

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 8
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion finds that Pope Benedict XVI motivated Catholics to take a stronger stand on pro-life and moral issues. The survey found half of respondents revealed a desire to lead a more moral life as a result of the pope’s visit.

Marist conducted the survey with 1,015 adults eighteen and an oversample of 613 American Catholics to compare the two groups.

The results showed 64 percent of Catholics say they better understand the Church’s position on issues now and 40 percent said they are more likely to vote as a result of the pontiff’s visit.

The survey showed 66 percent of Catholics are more likely to appreciate their membership in the Catholic Church, and 50 percent are more likely to be interested in family issues.

Carl Anderson, the head of the pro-life Knights of Columbus, told WorldNetDaily he’s excited the pope inspired Catholics on pro-life issues.

"It’s very difficult to see an issue that trumps the pro-life issue when you understand that after 35 years, we’re talking about 40 million abortions, the deaths of 40 million children," he said. "What pressing evil tops that?"

Anderson said Pope Benedict presented the pro-life message clearly and, when he did, he was well received.

"His largest applause line on the trip was when he said we must defend unborn children at Yankee Stadium," Anderson told WND. "I was there. Nothing else was close. And he had a similar experience at National Stadium."

The poll also found, by a ratio of four and a half to one, Americans have a favorable opinion of Pope Benedict XVI. Fifty-eight percent viewed him favorably compared with 13% who have an unfavorable opinion before the visit and the number rose to 71 percent afterwards.

Meanwhile, 65 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Catholic Church versus 28% who have an unfavorable view. That number rose as well.