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Pope Francis sets records for popularity in new US poll

Catholic World News - December 11, 2013

Pope Francis enjoys enormous personal popularity among Americans, and is bringing new popularity to the Catholic Church, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll.

An overwhelming 92% of the Catholics questioned in the Post-ABC poll said that they had a favorable opinion of Pope Francis. That result outstrips the top popularity ratings attained by Pope Benedict XVI (75% favorable) and Pope John Paul II (87%) in similar polls.

An even higher number of the Catholics surveyed—95%-- said that they had a favorable impression of the Catholic Church. In the general population, 62% of the respondents reported a favorable opinion of Catholicism: the highest figure the Post-ABC poll has recorded in a series of surveys dating back to 1999.

In the general American population, 64% have a favorable impression of the direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church. Among Catholic respondents, that confidence is much stronger, with 85% reporting a favorable view.

Interestingly, self-identified conservatives are least enthusiastic about the Pope’s leadership, with only 57% expressing a favorable view of the Church’s direction under the new Pontiff’s leadership. Yet among those who identify themselves as conservative Catholics, 91% view the Pope favorably, outstripping the 84% who had a favorable view of Pope Benedict XVI in the last Post)-ABC poll, conducted in February of this year.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 15, 2013 10:54 AM ET USA

    Take it to the bank that most of these Catholics have never read what Francis has written in the original; they stick with the (mis)interpretations in Time and the New York Times (see for instance the ridiculously stupid op-ed in Dec 15's NYT written by Frank Bruni; this is what passes for thought in the Gray Lady these days). If they depend on those "sources", they know absolutely nothing about the pope and are incapable of rendering any opinion about him, favorable or otherwise.

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