(CBS News) CHICAGO – Thursday marks the anniversary of the Vatican conclave that gave the world perhaps the most unexpected pope in generations. Pope Francis has turned out to be full of surprises.
Victoria Fleming was hoping a new pope would offer a new direction for the church she loves. A year later, she is a big fan of Francis.
“He makes me feel great! He makes me want to bring friends to church,” she said.
A new poll of American Catholics out this month found that half of them now thing priests will eventually be allowed to marry. A total of 42 percent envision the ordination of women and more than a third believe same-sex marriages will be recognized by the church by the middle of this century.
All of which concerns conservative Catholics.
Mary Anne Hackett says she thinks the church was headed in the right direction under Pope Benedict. Now, she said, “they have changed directions.”
As president of the Catholic Citizens of Illinois, she sees confusion in her church now.
“Conservatives are distressed because they think — not that he’s changing the doctrines, he can’t. –but because he’s giving the impression that he’s changing them by his words,” Hackett said.
Note: The above text is excerpted directly from an article appearing at CBSNews.com. Click here to read the full story.