Catholics and politics, pope named top story, newsmaker of year
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Catholic editors voted the controversy surrounding Catholics and politics as the top religious news story of 2004, with the related story of the presidential election coming in second and the continuing fallout from the clergy sex abuse scandal third. In voting for top religious newsmaker of the year, Pope John Paul II, who has won the poll most often in recent years, again took the top spot. Catholic voters were the No. 2 newsmaker for 2004, while Sen. John F. Kerry edged out President George W. Bush for third. The poll was the 43rd annual survey of Catholic News Service client newspapers. This year’s ballots were distributed Dec. 7 and the deadline for returns was Dec. 14. When the editors’ poll was first conducted in 1962, the overwhelming choice for top story was the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Last year, editors chose the war in Iraq and its aftermath as the top religious story of the year and Pope John Paul as the top newsmaker.