.- A poll conducted by ABC News recently found that more American Catholics see their moral views influenced by Pope John Paul II than they did two years ago. The poll shows that the Pope is broadly popular with sixty-seven percent of Americans and 87% of Catholics viewing him favorably.
ABC pointed out that these numbers are up from a 2003 poll taken on the 25th anniversary of the Pope’s pontificate, which suggested that only 39% of Catholics saw their morality influenced by the Holy Father. That number has jumped this year to 51%.
Further, the number of those who ABC sees as practicing Catholics, i.e., who attend Mass at least a few times a month, whose moral views are influenced by John Paul, jumped from 50% in 2003, to 69% now.
Many see the increased loyalty as a result of compassion over the Pope’s declining health. Many Catholics however, see a new strength in the Holy Father, whose sufferings are an example to the world of the dignity of the human person at its weakest.
Still others say that they’re clinging to the Pope because they see his frailty as a sign of Christ’s suffering, just in time for Holy Week.