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Utah catholics want modern, progressive pope

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utah Catholics wait for the white smoke to rise but deep in their hearts there is hope their new leader will modernize the church.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A new national poll shows U.S. Catholics want a modern and progressive pope, someone who is line with their thinking.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that about 60-percent believe the church is not in sync with their attitudes.

And in Utah, some Catholics are marching in step with the national majority.

“I would like to see a progressive pope with an ideology moving forward that embraces what's currently going on in the world,” says Adam Gatto, a member of the Cathedral of the Madeline.

The same poll shows that a majority of U.S. Catholics didn't like the way the church handled the priest sex abuse scandals of the past decade.

“The church has gotten better with handling that and I would hope the next pope will be very responsible in handling those kinds of issues,” says Doug O’Neil of the Cathedral.

And a majority of U.S. Catholics also say it's time for the next pope to consider changing sacred doctrine, like admitting women into the priesthood.

“That's always interesting,” says Robyn Hildreth of St. Thomas More. “I believe women do a wonderful job and that would be a great way to go in the future.”

But conservative European Cardinals frown on U.S. thinking making a progressive Pope unlikely.

“It would probably be not someone from the United States,” says Principal Rick Bartman of Judge Memorial Catholic School. “But from Central America or Africa considering the explosive grown of the church in those areas

And that would be just fine for Utahans with roots in Sudan.

“I think we have a lot of qualified Africans who could be pope this time,” says Lilly Deng who is from the Sudan. “In the past maybe they were not ready but it's about time.”
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