Photo Credit: Times Now
Gallup conducted a poll from September 4-12 about America’s opinion of Pope Francis. Seventy-nine percent of U.S. Catholics have a favorable opinion of Francis, essentially unchanged from the 78% who felt the same last month. Non-Catholic Americans' opinions of Pope Francis have become less positive this month, with 53% now holding a favorable opinion of the pontiff, down from 66% in August.
On the other side, The Pew Research Center’s new survey on confidence of how Pope Francis is handling the sex abuse crisis found that just three-in-ten Catholic adults say Francis is doing an “excellent” or “good” job addressing the issue, which is down 24 points since 2015; and it’s down 14 points from when Pew Research Center last asked the question in January of this year. Actually, six-in-ten now say he is doing “only fair” or a “poor” job handling the sex abuse scandal, including 36% who say his efforts on this front have been poor.
Motivated by these poll results, Catholic League president Bill Donohue clearly blames homosexuality in his comments, “...The logic is sound. Most homosexual priests (they are responsible for 80% of the problem) practiced restraint in the 1950s, but when the Church relaxed its guard in the 1960s and 1970s, they were given a green light to act out. Add to this the influx of homosexual seminarians during this time — driving good heterosexual men to leave — and the makings of a scandal were all but assured. Respect for traditional moral values needs the support of everyone in the Church. Then we will see the progress that Catholics want...”
Even among Catholics who say they attend Mass weekly, the share of American Catholics who give Francis positive marks for his handling of the sex abuse crisis has been cut in half since 2015. Only thirty-four percent of this group now gives Francis “excellent” or “good” ratings for his handling of the issue, whereas 67% gave him a positive evaluation in 2015, the Pew Research Center reports.
Is the decline of Pope Francis’ popularity due to his and the church’s failure to punish bishops and cardinals who were responsible for the sex abuse scandals, or are homosexual men really to blame?