Catholics Divided On Direction For Church: Survey

(CBS) — A new survey of U.S. Catholics shows them evenly divided over whether the new Pope should move the church in new directions. But on specific issues, the divide is not so even.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker spoke with parishioners at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.

The Pope’s farewell and the end of the era of Benedict XVI was marked in the Thursday evening Mass at Holy Name. The Eucharistic Prayer, which calls on the faithful to pray for him, omitted that plea. In the words of Fr. John Boyvin: “We will not mention Benedict’s name again.”

Now, Roman Catholics are on the brink of a new era, and many, if not most American church members are apparently hoping to see major changes in doctrine and practice. Examples are in a new poll showing that 58 percent think it would be a good thing if the new Pope allows priests to marry; 35 percent disagree.

Costanza Saldana is one of the opponents. “I think that priests that decide to engage in this life agree to those conditions,” she says.

Parishioner Frank Carlos doesn’t believe it will happen in his lifetime. But he says he would not object if it did.

How did Pope Benedict handle the sex abuse scandals? The poll addresses that question. Sixty-three percent said fair to poor, while  33 percent approved.

“They should have been more forthcoming and just a little bit more open,” Vikki Valentine said.

Would it be a good thing if the new Pope comes from the developing world, such as Africa or Asia?  Sixty percent of American Catholics believe that would be a good thing.

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