Why Pope Francis’ Favorability Rating Is ‘Tanking’ in the U.S.

ROME – Pope Francis’ popularity among American Catholics has continued to decline over the past decade, according to an April poll from the Pew Research Center.

Professor Pew said that from 2015 to 2021, the pope’s favorability rating fell by 7 percentage points, from 90% to 83%. found. Perhaps more importantly, his favorability rating has dropped another eight points over the past three years, to an all-time low of his 75 percent.

Devout Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week have the least support for him, with a favorability rating of just 71 percent. Only 26 percent of all Catholics say they view the Pope “very favorably.”

For comparison, Pope John Paul II’s favorability rating never fell below 91 percent during his 27 years as pontiff, with half of Catholics viewing him “very favorably.”

The Pew Center did not provide an analysis of what caused Francis’ loss of support, but Dr. Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, suggested Tuesday that it is not difficult to connect the dots.

Donahue, the sociologist, said the pope’s support for civil unions and blessing of gay couples over the past three years has led to an unprecedented backlash from clergy around the world.

Francis also named Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández as the Vatican’s head of the doctrinal secretariat. Cardinal Fernández is not known as a high-ranking theologian, despite the fact that his claim to fame is publishing a book on kissing (heal me with your mouth) Another book on the spirituality of orgasm (Mysterious passion: spirituality and sensuality), described by many as pornographic.

Donahue said Pope Francis “allowed Fr. Fellow Jesuit Marko Rupnik remained a priest in good standing despite being expelled from the Society for blasphemy and sexual crimes. ”

Donahue added that the Pope similarly “failed to be forthright with his Jesuit friend Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who was sentenced to prison by an Argentine court for sexually abusing a seminarian.”

In addition to these embarrassing actions, Francis has placed “draconian restrictions on the Latin Mass,” to the chagrin of many Catholics and conservatives such as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, and former head Cardinal Raymond Burke. Donahue wrote that the church had punished many high-ranking clergymen. of the Supreme Court of the Vatican.

Donohue argued that these and other issues are “considered wrong ideas by many Catholics,” and go a long way toward explaining why the pope’s favorability rating is “in the doldrums.” He claimed that