Pope Francis finds high favor among Americans
By Adelaide Darling
Pope Francis rides through St. Peter's Square before his Wednesday General Audience, April 3, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.
Pope Francis rides through St. Peter's Square before his Wednesday General Audience, April 3, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

.- A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that a majority of Americans, including Catholics, have a largely favorable view of the new Pope.

Catholic social researchers, however, say that Pope Francis may not be significantly more popular than his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

“Generally, popes have had approval ratings among Americans (Catholic or not) that are higher than that of U.S. presidents,” explained Mark M. Gray, senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

“It's a bit of a honeymoon period,” Gray told CNA on April 8.

On April 3, the Pew Research Center released the results of a poll of Americans, showing that Pope Francis was viewed favorably. The study showed that more than 84 percent of American Catholics and 57 percent of Americans in general rated Pope Francis “favorably.”

These numbers contrast the ratings of Pope Benedict XVI, whose highest rating from U.S. Catholics was 83 percent following his visit to the United States in 2008, and whose approval among U.S. Catholics upon announcement of his registration in February 2013 was 74 percent.

While there is a difference is their popularity ratings, Gray noted that “there is not as big of a difference as it may seem.”

“Many of these comparisons are based on a small samples size of Catholics,” Gray explained. “Thus one must account for margin of error when looking at the differences between the polls.”  

Gray also added that world leaders “often get high poll numbers after they are selected,” and that “news and events will likely determine if they go up or down.”

“As with past popes I'd expect his numbers to stay well above that of a U.S. president,” he said.

Gray also commented on the “positive response” elicited by the Pope’s actions. “I think his very simple or even humble leadership style is attractive to many.”

“Also the fact that he is the first pope from the Americas and a Jesuit also likely create positive reactions,” Gray noted.

According to the poll, only 5 of U.S. Catholics view of Pope Francis unfavorably.

Tags: Benedict XVI, Pope Francis

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: