WASHINGTON (CAP) - American Catholics this week, while generally happy with the newly elected Pope Francis, expressed disappointment that the new head of the Catholic Church insisted on espousing such Catholic views.
A new study out of the Pew Research Center said that while 74 percent of American Catholics approve of Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio's appointment as pontiff, almost 60 percent wished he held different views on abortion, premarital sex, contraception and same-sex marriage.
"Most respondents questioned why the pope has to be so darn Catholic, to use a phrase that came up over and over again," said Pew spokesman Dr. Francis Spitznagel. In addition to those issues mentioned above, most Catholics weren't thrilled with the new pope's views on adultery, masturbation and "pretty much any of that sex stuff," said Spitznagel, again quoting the study.
"Just once I'd like to see a pope who didn't have a problem with premarital sex," said Carole Thomson, 29, who describes herself as a "devout Catholic" who nonetheless has never married and has had 19 sexual partners, some of them women.
"It seems kind of backward in this day and age to have the leader of the Catholic Church unwilling to bend on some of these things," she said, referring to the basic tenets of the Catholic religion that the pope is sworn to uphold.
Most Catholics did agree, though, that Pope Francis was an improvement over Pope Benedict, whose excuse for not stopping the church's child sex abuse scandal was that he was hard of hearing and thought the priests were actually "amusing" children.
"Also, we're pretty sure the new guy's not a Nazi, so there's that," said Thomson.
- CAP News Staff