updated 4/14/2005 7:28:15 AM ET 2005-04-14T11:28:15

Most American Catholics think Pope John Paul II’s support of traditional church positions was a good thing and that the late pontiff should be made a saint, a poll found.

While they want to see some changes from the next pope, they aren’t looking for change on some of the most sensitive issues, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

“On right-to-life questions like abortion and the death penalty, they are thoroughly traditional and right in step with John Paul,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute. “But on some other issues like married priests and women priests, they are more liberal.”

Eight in 10 Catholics said the pope’s traditional stance on many issues was good for the church, and two-thirds say he should be made a saint.

A slight majority of Catholics expect change from the next pope on issues like letting priests marry and having women priests, about the same findings for Catholics as in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken the weekend the pope died.

A majority, 55 percent, said they think the church should relax its ban on contraception, the Quinnipiac poll found. But they generally opposed abortion and the death penalty.

Two-thirds said they oppose abortion in most or all cases. Six in 10 said they oppose the death penalty in most or all cases.

The poll of 500 American Catholics was taken April 8-12 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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