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Survey: Pope Francis popular; Mass attendance unchanged over past year

March 06, 2014

A new Pew Research Center survey has found that Pope Francis remains popular among Catholics in the United States.

According to the survey, 85% of Catholics view Pope Francis favorably, up from 79% in September; in the past, similar surveys found that 67%-83% of Catholics viewed Pope Benedict XVI favorably, and 91%-93% viewed Blessed John Paul II favorably. 68% of the 1,821 Catholics surveyed believe that Pope Francis represents a “major change” in direction “for the better.”

Majorities of Catholics report that their excitement about their faith, their time spent in prayer, and their time spent reading the Bible “has not changed much” in the past year. 40% of Catholics told Pew that they attend Mass weekly-- the same percentage as a year ago.

According to the survey, 63% of Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly want the Church to change her teaching on birth control; 72% want to “allow priests to get married,” 68% support women’s ordination to the priesthood, and 50% support same-sex marriage. The percentages are 21%-25% higher among Catholics who attend Mass less than once a week.


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