As Pope Francis celebrated the second anniversary of his pontificate March 13, a survey found he remains popular among Americans. In fact, he’s growing in popularity.
The Pew Research Center revealed this month that nine-in-10 Catholics view the pope favorably, even growing in admiration of him since his selection in March 2013.
His favorability rating among U.S. Catholics is comparable to Pew’s ratings for Pope John Paul II in the 1980s and 1990s. The survey conducted in February among 1,500 adults also revealed Francis’ favorability is on par with surveys on the late St. John Paul II’s in the 1990s and 1980s.
Even non-Catholics have grown to admire him.
Among U.S. adults overall, both Catholic and non-Catholic, seven-in-10 see the pope favorably, up 13 points since the beginning of his leadership of the Church. Six-in-10 Protestants and two-thirds of the religiously unaffiliated reported similarly.
Both men and women give Francis a positive rating, and Republicans and Democrats are united in their esteem for him, the survey reported.
Among Catholics, those who attend Mass weekly gave a favorable rating of 95 percent, and two-thirds expressed a “very favorable” opinion of Pope Francis.
The survey was based on telephone interviews Feb. 18-22.