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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Spotlight

Pope Francis Receives Strong Support, Survey Finds

Pew study finds Catholics are overwhelmingly satisfied with the election of the Pope, but issues regarding the priesthood and the role of women remain top priorities.

A recent Pew survey found Catholics are overwhelming happy with the selection of the new Pope. Over 70 percent are satisfied with Pope Francis where as only two percent says they are unhappy with the result.

The same survey also showed an increasing support for changes inside the church. Over half of the Catholic population think now the church should embrace female priests, birth control and priest marriage.

Irene Ajuirre was converted to Christian thirty year ago. She said priests have a better understanding of marital problems if they have the experience.

“It is difficult to talk to priests and confess my marital problems. I’ve known that once they left the priesthood and got married, they whole experience is different," said Ajuirre.

Ajuirre believes church should open the door to women priests, who would bring a balance to the all-male priesthood.

The changing attitude from lay people, however, doesn't shake the viewpoint of many priests.

“I don’t think a whole lot have to change. The church has been the same for two thousand plus years,” said Father Michael Barret, a priest from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“The most important things for me is to help people to understand and embrace the tradition of the church, not trying changing things. Catholics don’t know their faith very well, we have to help them discover that,’’ said Fr. Barret.

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