A new poll shows support for same-sex marriage among US Catholics continues to rise and that 52% say the leadership of the Catholic Church is out of touch with their views.

The Quinnipiac University poll reports 54% support equal marriage, while 38% opposite it.

The figure shows support has risen 5% among Catholics since last December.

Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said: “Catholic voters are leading American voters toward support for same-sex marriage”.

Among all Americans, it’s a closer margin, with 47% supporting and 43% opposing equal marriage.

Meanwhile, as the Vatican prepares to select a new Pope, most American Catholics believe the leadership of the Catholic Church is out of touch with their views.

52% of US Catholics say the leaders out of touch, while 40% say they’re not.

Following last month’s resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, LGBT Catholics in the US and around the world have stated the importance of the Vatican moving away from its current anti-gay doctrine.

The poll also shows that 52% of Catholics want the new Pope to take the Catholic Church in a new direction.