Pope Francis in the polls

Politicians would give anything for these approval ratings. The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life has just released the results of a nationwide survey of attitudes toward Pope Francis after his first six months in office. The result: Very strong and steady approval.

He is rated favorably by eight in 10 U.S. Catholics (79 percent), and only 4 percent say they have an unfavorable view. Seventeen percent express no opinion or say they have not heard enough about Francis to have an opinion.

Even more remarkable, those 18-49 and those who are 50-plus give him the same favorable rating at 79 percent. Weekly Mass attenders give him a whopping 86 percent approval, but he also does quite nicely with those who don’t frequent church as often: 74 percent.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

It is not unusual for popes to have high approval ratings — but presidents and prime ministers can only dream! 

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