Benedict XVI’s poll numbers can’t match John Paul II’s

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI never inspired the deep love and admiration enjoyed by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, … Continued

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI never inspired the deep love and admiration enjoyed by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, but Americans — and American Catholics even more so — still look favorably upon the soon-to-be-former head of the Roman Catholic Church.

A newly-released Washington Post-ABC News poll also shows that nearly two in three Americans (64 percent) strongly approve of the pope’s unexpected decision earlier this month to retire because of his failing health.

More than half (54 percent) of Americans and three-quarters of Catholic Americans look favorably upon Benedict, who will retire on Feb. 28. Before he died in 2005, John Paul’s positive ratings were higher: 67 percent among all Americans, and 87 percent of American Catholics.

John Paul was also more popular than his church, but the current pope is not: 62 percent of Americans look favorably upon the church today, according to the poll.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, in its new poll of American Catholics, also found that John Paul’s favorability ratings eclipsed Benedict’s.

Among other findings, a solid majority of U.S. Catholics (58 percent) told Pew researchers that they hope the next pope will permit priests to marry, and 46 percent hoped the new pope would take the church in “new directions.” A slim majority (51 percent) want him to “maintain traditional positions.”

The Post-ABC poll of 1,006 adults, conducted Feb. 13-17, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The Pew poll of 1,504 adults, conducted between Feb. 13 and 18, had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • HELLO

    We have not hear the end of BenedictXVI even when he is no longer pope. Is there more to his resigning then health and age?

  • TrueLies2

    yes, there is.

    it is coming out of the papal closet as ‘we speak’. and it is NOT good for the pope.

  • TrueLies2

    With this- 3 comments.

    ya, Pope RATsinger is popular. hahahaha

    Maybe its better that there isn’t more posted. Like the truth.

    I will say this in defense of RATsinger- under his governance, the Vatican had some of the most wild and erotic parties ever.

    I think the income of il travesti di Roma increased by 3000%.

    Also- did you notice that the cardinals are donning much more stylish outfits these days?

    I just hope that the pics of the pope in women’s attire do not surface… ewwwwww