Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

April 08, 2005 09:30 ET

MAJORITY OF CANADIANS & CATHOLICS AGREE POPE SHOULD BE NAMED A SAINT

Nine In Ten Believe Pope John Paul II Will Go Down In History As One Of The Greatest Popes Of All Time Attention: News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 8, 2005) - As Pope John Paul II is laid to rest, a new CTV/Globe and Mail poll indicates that a majority of Canadians (55% -- 74% among Catholic Canadians) agree that Pope John Paul II should be named a Saint by the Catholic Church - 34% disagree, and 11% "don't know".

The poll, which was conducted over the last 48 hours also updates previous tracking from 2003 concerning the approval of John Paul II and various attributes ascribed to him during his reign.

The most recent poll's findings indicate that strong majorities of Canadians both think Pope John Paul II will go down in history as one of the greatest Popes of all time (89%) and approved of his performance as a spiritual leader (83%).

Admiration for Pope John Paul II among a majority of Canadians is driven by several different factors, including the popularly-held beliefs that: he had been an effective champion of freedom from government oppression (83%), brought honour and true faithfulness to the Papacy of the Catholic Church (81%), helped the poor and oppressed around the world (66%), and that he brought the Catholic Church closer to the true Christian faith during his reign (65%).

As for agreement with the Pope John Paul II's pronouncements on topics such as philosophy, abortion, birth control and evangelism, more Canadians today (56%, up 9 points) agree with the Pope's pronouncements than did so in 2003 (47%) and 2002 (43%).

And when evaluating adjectives to describe Pope John Paul II, nine in ten describe him as sincere (93%, +8 points from 2003), a peacemaker (89%, +9 points), a force for good (88%, +11 points), humble (86%, +7 points), and forgiving (86%, +8 points).

However, good portions of Canadians do offer some criticisms of Pope John Paul II, specifically: that his teaching and policies alienated many Catholics from the Church (41%), and that he tried to drag the Catholic Church out of the 21st Century and back into a less enlightened past (39%).

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/Globe and Mail/CTV poll conducted from April 5th, 2005 to April 6th, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 737 adult Canadians were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the national results are considered accurate to within ±4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

Majority Of Canadians (55%) Agree That Pope John Paul II Should Be Named Saint By Catholic Church…
A majority of Canadians (55%) agree with the statement that "I believe Pope John Paul II should be named a saint by the Catholic Church" (29% strongly/26% moderately). One-third (34%) disagrees with this statement (15% strongly/19% moderately). The remaining 11% of Canadians "don't know" if they agree or disagree with this statement.

·Self-identified Catholics are the most likely among Christian Canadians to believe Pope John Paul II should be named a Saint (74% vs. 51% among all other Christian denominations combined).

And, Nine In Ten (89%) Believe He Will Go Down In History As One of The Greatest Popes Of All Time…

Nine in ten (89%) agree that "Pope John Paul II will go down in history as one of the greatest Popes of all time" (58% strongly/31% moderately), but 10% disagree with this statement (4% strongly/6% moderately). The remaining 2% "don't know" if they agree or disagree with this statement.

·Among Christian Canadians, the percentage who agree with this statement is relatively equal across all denominations.

Eight In Ten (83%) Approved Of The Pope As A Spiritual Leader…

Eight in ten (83%) Canadians say they approved of his performance as a spiritual leader (43% strongly/40% somewhat). One in ten (13%) disapproved (6% strongly/8% somewhat). Overall approval has climbed 12 points since 2003 (71%), with the biggest change coming among those who strongly approved (+11 points).

Strong Majorities Agree Pope John Paul II Was A Champion Of Freedom (83%), Brought Honour To The Papacy Of The Catholic Church (81%), Helped The Poor And Oppressed (66%), And Brought The Catholic Church Closer To The True Christian Faith (65%) …

Admiration for Pope John Paul II among the majority of Canadians is driven by several popular beliefs, such as:

·83% agree that "Pope John Paul II had been an effective champion of freedom from government oppression" (44% strongly/39% moderately) -- 12% disagree (4% strongly/8% moderately), and 5% don't know.
·81% agree that "Pope John Paul II brought honour and true faithfulness to the Papacy of the Catholic Church" (45% strongly/37% moderate), -- 14% disagree (5% strongly/9% moderately), and 5% don't know.
oSelf-identified Catholics are the most likely among Christian Canadians to agree with this statement (91% vs. 83% among all other Christian denominations combined).
·66% disagree that "Pope John Paul II had done little to help the poor and oppressed around the world" (41% strongly/24% moderately), but 29% agree (13% strongly/16% moderately), and a further 5% don't know.
·65% agree that "during the reign of Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Church had been brought closer to the true Christian faith" (23% strongly/42% moderately) - 27% disagree (9% strongly/18% moderately), and 8% don't know.
oSelf-identified Catholics are the most likely among Christian Canadians to agree with this statement (82% vs. 69% among all other Christian denominations combined).

As For Descriptions Of The Pope…

As for the descriptions of Pope John Paul, over nine in ten describe the Pope as sincere (93%, +8 points from 2003), a peacemaker (89%, +9 points), a force for good (88%, +11 points), humble (86%, +7 points), and forgiving (86%, +8 points). Others describe him as a conservative (78% , -1 point), and a few describe him as being intolerant (36%, -3 points).

And More Canadians Approve Of Pope John Paul's Pronouncements Today (56%) Than Did So In 2003 (47%) And 2002 (43%)…

As for agreement with the Pope's pronouncements on topics such as philosophy, abortion, birth control and evangelism, more Canadians today (56%, up 9 points) agree with the Pope's pronouncements than did so in 2003 (47%) and 2002 (43%). Forty-percent of Canadians disagree with the Pope's pronouncements, down 6 points from the last sounding in 2003 (46%) and down 11 points from 2002 (51%).

·Self-identified Catholics are slightly more likely than all other Christian Canadians to agree with the Pope's pronouncements (67% vs. 63%).

However, Good Proportions Of Canadians Feel Pope John Paul II Alienated Many Catholics From The Church (41%) And Tried To Drag The Catholic Church Back Into A Less Enlightened Past (39%)…

However, good proportions of Canadians do offer some criticisms of Pope John Paul II, specifically:

·41% agree that "the teaching and policies of Pope John Paul II have alienated many Catholics from the Church" (14% strongly/26% moderately) - 52% disagree with this (23% strongly/29% moderately), and 7% don't know.
oSelf-identified Catholics are the most likely among Christian Canadians to disagree with this statement (66% vs. 52% among all other Christian denominations combined).
·39% agree that "Pope John Paul II tried to drag the Catholic Church out of the 21st Century and back into a less enlighten past" (13% strongly/26% moderately) - 55% disagree (27% strongly/28% moderately), and 6% don't know.
oSelf-identified Catholics are the most likely among Christian Canadians to disagree with this statement (70% vs. 56% among all other Christian denominations combined).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

Andrew Grenville
Senior Vice President
Ipsos-Reid
(416) 324-2900

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