A new AP poll suggests that Americans think the next Pope should be more liberal. It's a good thing they got this poll out in time, because now the Church knows that Americans like their priests married, their couples divorced, and their sex with prophylactics. I'm sure they'll vote accordingly.
Seriously, I don't even understand why they took this poll. Americans make up only 65 million of the 1.1 billion Catholics around the world. Yes, the Cardinals should take into consideration the American issues with the Church when voting for the next Pope, but they sure shouldn't choose a Pope based on American opinion. This is just another example of American hubris. Most Americans think the Church should pick a Pope who will "modernize" the Church, to reflect American preferences. But the Catholic Church is a global institution and anyone with an ounce of sense would say that the Cardinals should chose a Pope who will best serve the issues facing the world. Too many Americans think that the US is the be all and end all. It's truly shameful.
Finally, I'd like to say that I wouldn't mind a new Pope who were more open to discussion of certain issues, such as women in the priesthood. But I certainly don't want a Pope who will step in and suddenly declare that women can be priests. If a church can spin on a dime like that then I question their devotion to Truth. When a church acts it should do so slowly and carefully, it should seriously consider and debate and pray over the issues. It is better to forbid that which is permitted by God than to permit that which is forbidden by God.
Yes, hopefully there will be some change in the Church. At minimum I hope for open discussion of married and women priests. But hopefully change happens for the right reasons - because the Church determines that those things are permitted by God - and not for the wrong reasons - because Americans want a "modern" church.
What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. The Catholic Church maintains that is more important to be right than popular, especially doctrinally. Polls are of the exact opposite ideology, suggesting that change should happen because it would be popular. I'm confident that the Church knows the difference. If only Americans could learn it.
This is a place where eternally fire is applied to the body