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Opinion Poll Indicates Americans Want a More Progressive Pope

A new opinion poll says half of Americans believe Pope John Paul II will be remembered as one of the greatest popes in history. Yet a majority of Americans also said the next pope should be more progressive.

The Associated Press poll released Monday, reports that seven-out-of-ten people (69 percent) say the next pope should change church policy to allow priests to marry.

Almost two-out-of-three Americans (64 percent) say the next pope should allow women to be ordained as priests.

Also, an overwhelming majority (86 percent) say John Paul's successor should do more to address the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the church.

An independent U.S.-based research group, Ipsos Public Affairs, conducted the survey for the Associated Press.

Of the one thousand and one adults questioned in the survey, almost one-quarter are Catholic.

The poll indicated people in the United States are divided over the preferred ethnicity of the next pope. About one-in-three Americans say the pope should be chosen from a place where Catholicism is spreading rapidly, such as Africa or Latin America. An equal number say he should come from Europe, as tradition dictates.

Some information for this report provided by AP.