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Polls show majority of American Catholics like Pope Francis

By on Monday, 7 October 2013

Child waves a flag as Pope Francis arrives at the Caritas residence in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi (CNS)

Child waves a flag as Pope Francis arrives at the Caritas residence in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi (CNS)

Fifty-three per cent of American Catholics view Pope Francis favourably, 36 per cent have a very favourable opinion of him and four per cent view him negatively according to a new poll.

The poll – taken in September and released on Friday – also shows that nearly 70 per cent of US Catholics agree with comments made by Pope Francis in his recent extensive interview with a Jesuit Italian journal where he stressed that Catholics cannot “insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.”

According to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, support for the Pope’s remarks was about the same across age groups, sexes and weekly Massgoers and those who attend church less frequently. 23 per cent disagreed with his comments.

The results were similar to a poll released on Sept 12 by the Washington-based Pew Research’s Religion & Public Life Project Centre, which that found 79 per cent of Catholics have a favourable view of the Pope and 4 percent thought poorly of him.

The poll — a national sampling of 1,506 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent points — showed older Catholics were slightly more enthused about the Pope, giving him a 44 percent rating, compared to 31 percent of those under the age of 50 who gave him a favorable rating.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Connecticut not only surveyed American Catholic’s views of Pope Francis but also sought their views on same-sex marriage, abortion and women’s ordination. It surveyed 1,776 American adults — with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points — and surveyed 392 Catholics with a margin of error of plus or minus. 5 percentage points.

The survey found that US Catholics support same-sex marriage 60 to 31 percent, compared to the 56 to 36 percent support among all U.S. adults.

More devout Catholics, who go to Mass about once a week, support same-sex marriage at a slightly lower level, 53 to 40 per cent, while less observant Catholics support it 65 to 26 per cent.

The Quinnipiac poll found Catholic views on abortion slightly different from the American public. Sixteen per cent of polled Catholics said abortion should be legal in all cases, compared to 19 per cent of all Americans and 21 per cent of polled Catholics said abortion should be illegal in all cases, compared to 16 percent of all Americans.

The survey also found that Catholic women support same-sex marriage 72 to 22 per cent, while Catholic men were more divided at 49 to 40 per cent. It also found that 60 per cent of polled US Catholics support the ordination of women priests while 30 per cent oppose it.

  • LocutusOP

    With figures like these, perhaps the interviewers ought to start with the question: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God?

    That might bring some context to the results. I know it was bad, but I honestly didn’t think it would be this bad.

  • LocutusOP

    I want to believe the survey was doctored to result in more heretical views than those held by the Catholic population at large.

    Some of the questions were very unclear – like whether the Catholic church should “insist only on…” On the other hand, the question was in response to a similarly confusing statement from the Pope.

    I’d also like to question whether one can be a “devout” Catholic while being opposed to what the Church teaches, so I take issue with some of your terminology.

  • teigitur

    That’s good they “like” the Pope. But most of them have no idea what the Church is about. Sad reflection on a modernist Church in the USA. The stats on abortion are sad in the extreme. I wonder how many of them actually believe in God these days?

  • Mustang

    If American Catholics (and us here in the UK) not only ‘liked’ but faithfully followed our Holy Father as Successor of Peter, the statistics at the bottom of the article would be quite different.

  • CHARLES

    Pope Francis has put the Catholic Church in a good light which his immediate predecessors failed. He has said he is pro- life but it is not the sole Gospel. What he has said and is doing is what the vast majority of the Catholics have been hoping for. Do not expect the Church to serve your vested interests. Such acts have been distinctly proven to be an utter failure. I love the Church!

  • JustMe123

    It’s shocking to see so many supposed Catholics who are in favor of laws that go against what the Bible teaches. Jesus said Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

    “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

    Many Catholics are in for a shock when they come face to face with Jesus and see the door shut in front of them. Being a Christian means nothing if you disregard Gods laws.

  • UK75

    Priests need to start stepping up to the plate and putting these supposed Catholics in their place and teaching them that it is a grave sin to support abortion and gay marriage as it is a direct assault on Gods plan for humanity . How do you expect to enter Heaven when you think Gods laws are wrong and need to be changed to suit peoples desires. These people need to learn what hell is as they are in danger of going there, being Catholic means nothing if you oppose Gods laws. You will not be saved. You can not rewrite the Bible to suit your own agenda and think you are going to be welcomed into Heaven.

    Priests do not teach enough about Gods anger, his wrath and the hell that awaits those who oppose his rules. To many Catholics walking around with their head in the clouds thinking being a Catholic is a free ticket into Heaven, boy are these people in for a rude awakening.

  • Gerard Johnson

    Seems to me the most significant statistic in this article is that only 4% of those polled view Pope Francis negatively. That certainly chimes with my experience of the views of my family and fellow-parishoners, but it does seem like an awful lot of that 4% are regular commenters on the CH web site.

  • Benedict Carter

    The poll shows that most US Catholics like Pope Francis.

    The same poll showed a majority in favour of abortion, contraception, women priests and hom os exual “marriage”.

    Could these results be connected?

    The Great Apostasy gathers pace.

  • Gerard Johnson

    Because Pope Francis himself has spoken so eloquently in favour of “abortion, contraception, women priests and hom os exual “marriage””? I must have missed that. On the other hand, give the man time….

  • Gerard Johnson

    Ooh, look, Disqus has started using my real name. Hereinafter the liberally-inclined commenter formerly known as Nocastus will be called Gerard Johnson. Unless Disqus changes it again.

  • licjjs

    Re the headline: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  • Benedict Carter

    It’s the age of celebrity Catholicism. Faith & morals don’t mean anything anymore.

  • Benedict Carter

    I hope he has very little time, personally.

  • Gerard Johnson

    That seems rather ungracious, even for someone who is so evidently a proud member of the 4% club.

  • Scyptical Chymist

    If this poll represents the true state of Catholicism in the US then heaven help us. Judging by the the consistently significant number of “vote downs” of any comment which advocates what used to be standard Catholic teaching, there is at least a significant number in the UK of like mind. These people laud Pope Francis thinking him to be the one to lead the Church in a new liberal direction to attune itself to the pleasures so beloved of our ruling elites and therefore being aped by, and approved by, more of the general population. Unfortunately by many of his equivocal pronouncements the present holder of the chair of Peter does little if anything to dispel these impressions and seems to relish the publicity he is getting. It is like living in a bad dream, with one’s faith in what one had been taught and in the leadership of the Church, being undermined constantly. We have seen this sort of thing in politics – one Tony Blair comes to mind – with a few doubters, but adulation unbounded by many in the UK, for a man who turned out to be a charlatan but who still has adulation in man parts of the world. Please God this cannot be happening to the Church, which is supposed to be beyond politics – or is it?
    A minute later!
    Almost immediately a vote down – QED.

  • Jon Brownridge

    I was under the impression that you can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.

  • guestguy

    Raving heretic!! You’re a raving schismatic! How is our pope a heretic? Do enlighten me. You’ve asked me before to apologize for calling the SSPX schismatic; I now ask you to apologize for calling the Vicar of Christ, successor of Peter, bishop of Rome, a heretic.

  • guestguy

    If your name is Benedict Carter, you are not only are more Catholic than the pope, you are also the paragon of orthodoxy and one of the 0.99% of Catholics who’ll get to heaven. You also understand church teaching and history better than all the popes, because obviously, if they were as smart as you, they’d all agree with you 100%.

  • guestguy

    Very true. Being Christian is objective, based on baptism. Being Catholic however is also based on if you accept all church doctrines. If you consider yourself a Catholic, but you know the church’s position on gay marriage, abortion, contraception, etc, and you deny them, you are no longer a Catholic; you are some kind of heretic. You just don’t have a specific name for you heresy; probably because heresy is so rampant now among Catholics that the church has stopped bothering to name them all.
    I wonder who will like/dislike this? Very curious. All I know is, it’s monstrously depressing when I have to argue with fellow Catholics about the faith. I met a communist, feminist lady, about 22~ years old, who considers herself Catholic and also supports gay marriage. She said she hopes one day she’ll be named a doctor of the church. What a laugh.

  • guestguy

    God is love… there is no anger or wrath on his part. When Julian of Norwich was saw a vision of hell, she said “I saw no anger from God, only from man.”

  • LocutusOP

    “She said she hopes one day she’ll be named a doctor of the church.”

    You’re kidding, right?

  • LocutusOP

    Your assumption was obviously mistaken.

  • LocutusOP

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the “vote downs”.

    Something tells me that a lot of the people who frequent this site are not Catholics of any stripe, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see them opposing good old Catholic teaching – i.e, the truth.

  • teigitur

    What is the 4% club?

  • Gerard Johnson

    From the article above:

    “Fifty-three per cent of American Catholics view Pope Francis favourably, 36 per cent have a very favourable opinion of him and four per cent view him negatively according to a new poll.”

    Apologies: it was clearer when that comment was immediately adjacent to my other one below, but of course they got separated as people responded.

  • teigitur

    I see, thanks for that. I do not know what to think yet.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    ???

  • guestguy

    I wish I were kidding… she seemed quite serious that she thought she’d be named a doctor of the church some day. Is why I said “what a laugh.” Sad but fully true.

  • anarchicprune

    I wonder how many of them voted for the Anti-Catholic-in-Chief, Barack Obama?

  • kitekatpie

    The lady in question is either joking with you … or seriously narcissistic and delusional!

  • guestguy

    Pretty sure it’s the last two haha.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Very subjective, unhealthy, immature and sinful outlook. Birds of a feather…. No place for TRUTH, objectivity and humility. “Judge not… ” or is it a sort of judgement other than…. which need to be taken only lightly!

    Usually people everywhere are the Children of their own AGE if they don’t CHOOSE to be Children of God in Jesus the Lord. They are victims of their own circumstances. Circumstances work automatically on them as their first premise. All ragged people to conformity are such and need to be prayed for. Theirs need not be a personal Choice.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    ???

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Spiritually DEAD people can have no UNDERSTANING. It is a gift from God for his Children.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Control freaks are default set like those who always opposed the Son of God in his physical days and killed him by Crucifixion. All need only to pray for such.

    Here the concern is for the Institution and not for the one who represents Jesus the Lord. All of us must sincerely pray for such people (4%…!) that they may go into seclusion before the end comes so that they can repent and believe in the Good News of Jesus the Lord.

    Jesus Lord, have mercy.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Is it delighting by consensus in abuse?

    Better we PRAY. Jesus the Lord DID that, I believe.

    Lord, have mercy on us all.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    DID Disqus suspend editing and deleting facilities? It did help us to make corrections and bring out the BEST in us, Please.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Better Read God’s Word…to find out…

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “….teaching….” need not Change people for good BUT God’s Word can.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    CATHO. Vs. PROT-O problem is a political problem, problem of people who divided and ruled people of God.Take it for what it is. Was Jesus the Lord a CATHO. or PROT-O?

    Some Catholics may easily be found worshiping not the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ BUT the god of Philosophers.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    From being CATHOLIC (‘I don’t believe in a CATHOLIC GOD’, who said that? When we have somebody among us who says so, it is the GRACE of GOD reminding us of something very important.) when Americans start moving towards being CHRISTIAN in its true spirit, – for this they need to be rooted and founded in God’s Word – there will be neither Homosexuals, Lesbians, same-sex Sex-ers (who call their relationship ‘Marriage’,) to claim evil and sin as their human rights nor will there be Fornicators, adulterers and abortionists and bastard-children coming up with the same or similar claims. When the Leaders are not true Apostles these kinds of evils thrive.

  • vito

    apart from abortion, US Catholics have always been more progressive than the rest of the population.

  • Benedict Carter

    Sorry, what are you on about?

  • Benedict Carter

    It’s a facility granted only to APOSTLES.

  • nickandrews

    I don’t know why you say apart from abortion but I agree with the rest of your post.