Almost half, 46%, think the new pope should move the “church in new directions” according to a new survey conducted by Pew Research Center in mid-February 2013.
Over half, 51%, hope the next pope will “maintain the traditional positions of the church.”
Among Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week, nearly two-thirds (63%) also say they want the next pope to continue the church’s traditional positions.
Nine out of ten U.S. Catholics say they have heard a good deal or some information about Benedict’s resignation.
In earlier decades, Pope John Paul II was given favorable ratings of up to 90% by U.S. Catholics, while Benedict has a 74% current rating.
The majority people surveyed about Benedict’s management of the church sex abuse scandal think he did a poor or “only fair” job with it. Only 33% gave him good or excellent ratings on the scandal.
See the next residence of Pope Benedict XVI in the slide list.