Pope Francis, who was once heralded by followers of the Catholic faith everywhere – including in the United States – as a true reformer with express concern for the poor has now seen his favor fall among Americans, with recent polls painting in a most unfavorable light.
Gallup finds fully 16 percent see the pope unfavorably, compared to 59 percent who still see him through a positive lens. On surface, that may not seem significant, but when compared to the same poll taken in 2014, the pope’s numbers are down quite a bit. Then, 76 percent saw him in a favorable light.
Conservatives, especially, have lost admiration for the religious leader. Support from this camp has fallen by 27 percentage points in the last year; from liberals, it’s fallen 14 percent.
And among American Catholics in general, the pope’s favor fell from 89 percent to 71 percent, the Hill reported.
“[The decline] may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of the ‘idolatry of money’ and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income equality – all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs,” said Art Swift, at Gallup.