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Mar14c-ThePope

Mar14c-ThePope

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Published by: CBS_News on Mar 28, 2014
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07/09/2014

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CBS NEWS POLL For release: Thursday, March 27, 2014 6:30 pm EDT Views of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church
March 20-23, 2014
Pope Francis receives high favorable ratings from U.S. Catholics, and most (64%) think he has helped the Catholic Church. 27% think his leadership has been mixed. Not a
single Catholic in the poll said Pope Francis’ leadership has hurt the Church.
 For the first time in CBS News Polls, more Catholics now say the Church is in touch with
the needs of Catholics (48%) than say it’
s out of touch (43%). The Pope is viewed positively by many Americans overall too and they are more apt to view him as a humanitarian leader for all, not just Catholics.  Amid the meeting between President Barack Obama and the Pope at the Vatican,  Americans were asked which of the two they would prefer to meet, 49% pick Mr. Obama, while 43% choose Pope Francis. Most Catholics pick the Pope.
Pope Francis
One year after becoming Pope, 68% of Catholics have a favorable opinion of Pope Francis, while a mere 1% view him unfavorably. His popularity is widespread among Catholics: similar majorities of both men (68%) and women (67%) and older and younger Catholics view him favorably. The Pope is also viewed positively among Americans overall (46%), although many
don’t know enough about him to offer an opinion.
 
Views of Pope Francis
(All Americans) Total Catholics Favorable 46% 68% Not favorable 3 1
Undecided/Haven’t heard
 50 32 When compared to previous Pontiffs early on in their papacies, Pope Francis
favorable rating among Catholics is higher than those of his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI (40%) as well as Pope John Paul II (59%). However, over
Pope John Paul’s
long tenure, his favorability rose and reached 92% upon his death.
Pope Francis vs. Past Popes
(Among U.S. Catholics) Now 4/2006 8/1987 Francis Benedict XVI John Paul II Favorable 68% 40% 59% Not favorable 1 1 5
Undecided/Haven’t heard
 32 54 35 Pope Francis is viewed as more than the leader of the Catholic Church by many Americans. 46% think of him as a moral and humanitarian leader for all people, regardless of religion, while
 
 
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fewer - 38% - say he is solely the leader of the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II was viewed similarly early on in his tenure as Pope.
Leadership Role of The Pope
(All Americans) Now 11/1985 Francis John Paul II -- Leader of the Catholic Church 38% 33% Moral & humanitarian leader for all 46 49  A majority of Catholics think of Pope Francis as a leader for all people, not just Catholics; and his appeal cuts across religious preference. More than four in 10 Americans of other religions and those who do not identify with any religion are also more inclined to view Pope Francis as a humanitarian leader for all.
Leadership Role of Pope Francis
(All Americans) Total Catholics Other Religions No Religion Leader of the Catholic Church 38% 32% 41% 37% Moral & humanitarian leader for all 46 53 46 41 Catholics think the Church has benefited from Pope F
rancis’ leadership. Nearly two
-thirds say he has helped the Church, while 27% describe his leadership as mixed. Not a single Catholic in
the poll said Pope Francis’ leadership has hurt the Church.
 These views are in stark contrast to those of Pope Benedict, who stepped down last year. In February 2013, 52% of Catholics viewed his leadership as mixed; only 26% said he helped the Church. Also, more Catholics say Pope Francis has helped the Church than said that about Pope John Paul a decade ago.
The Leadership of
the Pope has…
 
(Among U.S. Catholics) Now 2/2013 4/2002 Francis Benedict XVI John Paul II Helped the Church 64% 26% 43% Hurt the Church 0 12 6 Mixed blessing 27 52 45
Catholics and Their Church
Catholics appear to be feeling more of a connection to their Church than in the recent past. For the first time in CBS News polling, more Catholics now say that the Catholic Church is in touch with the needs of Catholics (48%) than say it is out of touch (43%). Last year, before Pope Francis assumed the papacy, a majority of Catholics said the Church was out of touch. Catholics were more divided in their views back in 1995.
Is the Catholic Church in Touch with Needs of Catholics?
(Among U.S. Catholics) Now 2/2013 4/2002 9/1995 8/1987 In touch 48% 39% 40% 47% 43% Out of touch 43 53 55 47 48
 
 
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There are some differences within the Catholic community. Most who attend religious services weekly or nearly every week think the Church is in touch with the needs of Catholics, but Catholics who go to Church less often are more divided: 47% say the Catholic Church is out of touch, while 42% think it is in touch.
Is the Catholic Church in Touch with Needs of Catholics?
(Among U.S. Catholics)  Attend church Attend church Total every/almost week less often In touch 48% 58% 42% Out of touch 43 36 47 Catholics are also satisfied with the direction Pope Francis is taking the Church. Very few think he is taking the church in a direction that is either too liberal or too conservative.
Direction Pope Francis is Taking the Church
(Among U.S. Catholics) Too liberal 4% Too conservative 2  About right 82 In addition, Catholics give Pope Francis positive ratings for his handling of many issues facing the church. Majorities think he is doing an excellent or good job trying to bring more people into the Church (68%), addressing the needs of the poor (65%), and in his approach to social issues like abortion and homosexuality (55%). However, they are divided on
how he’s
 dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse by priests: 44% think he is doing an excellent or good job on this, while 46% say he is doing a fair or poor job. Similarly, Americans overall give the Pope mostly positive marks on these issues, except for the reports of sexual abuse. Just a third says he is doing an excellent or good job addressing that.
Ratings of Pope Francis
(Among U.S. Catholics) Excellent/Good Fair/Poor Bring more people into the Church 68% 27  Addressing needs of the poor 65% 25  Approach to social issues 55% 35 Reports of sexual abuse by priests 44% 46
Pope Francis and President Obama
 Amid the meeting between President Barack Obama and the Pope at the Vatican, Americans were asked which of the two leaders they would most like to meet, 49% pick President Obama, and 43% choose Pope Francis. By a nearly two to one margin, Catholics pick Pope Francis. Politics plays some role here: most Republicans (70%) would prefer to meet the Pope, while Democrats (73%) would rather meet the President.

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