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Survey shows Pope's popularity among Americans

April 04, 2013

Pope Francis enjoys broad popularity among American Catholics, a new Pew Research survey shows.

A Pew telephone survey of 1,001 Americans found that 84% have a favorable opinion of the new Pontiff, and 43% “very favorable.” Only 5% have an unfavorable view.

Among the American population as a whole, 59% expressed a favorable view of Pope Francis, and 14% unfavorable.

Pope Benedict XVI had a considerably lower “favorable” rating—67%-- in a Pew survey taken in July 2005, several weeks after he was elected to the papacy. That less favorable view may have been caused by negative coverage of his work at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Pope Benedict’s popularity rose to over 80%, and stood at 74% at the time of his resignation.

Pope John Paul II enjoyed extremely high popularity, with over 90% expressing a favorable view of the Polish Pontiff.


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