Pope popular, pastors moreso

Since 2001, “Le Moyne College,”:http://www.lemoyne.edu/index.asp a Jesuit school in Syracuse, has been partnering with the Zogby polling people to take the pulse of American Catholics.

Their “latest poll,”:http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1200 out today, found that Catholic support for their bishops has rebounded since the sex-abuse scandal of 2002. About 71 percent say the bishops are doing a good job (29% strongly agree, 42% somewhat agree), compared to 59 percent in the spring of 2003 (21% strongly, 39% somewhat).

A robust 83 percent are happy with Pope Benedict XVI so far (45% strongly, 39% somewhat).

And a whopping 88 percent think their pastors are doing a good job (69% strongly, 19% somewhat).

On abortion….

Fifty percent of Catholic respondents believe all abortion should be illegal. Forty-nine percent disagree.

But, of those who attend Mass at least weekly, 60 percent believe all abortion should be illegal.

On capital punishment…

Forty-eight percent say the death penality should be illegal; but 53 percent of those who attend Mass at least weekly say so.

Only 29 percent oppose abortion AND the death penalty.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.