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Three-fourths of American Catholics say they approve of Pope Francis, however his ballot numbers are slipping as political polarization grows, the Pew Analysis Middle discovered.

Francis’ approval ranking, combining 49% who maintain a “largely favorable” view with 26% saying they’re “very favorable” towards the primary pope from South America, has dropped 8 proportion factors from September 2021 and is his lowest ranking but, the survey discovered.

Amongst all U.S. adults, Francis will get a 57% favorable ranking with 29% viewing him unfavorably.

Pew stated a “giant partisan divide” now exists in U.S. Catholics’ views in regards to the pope. Whereas 89% of Catholics who say they’re Democrats or “lean Democratic” approve of Francis’ efficiency, that proportion drops to 63% of Republican Catholics or those that lean in direction of the GOP.

Simply 7% of Democrat-aligned Catholics maintain an unfavorable view of the pope, down 8 factors from 2018, Pew stated. Against this, Republican-affiliated Catholic unfavorables climbed from 28% seven years in the past to 35% this 12 months.

“The partisan hole in views of Pope Francis is now as giant because it’s ever been in our surveys,” the Pew report said.

The survey additionally revealed a disconnect between many U.S. Catholics and the church’s teachings. Survey respondents, at 83%, stated the church ought to enable Catholics to make use of contraception, whereas 75% stated single Catholics dwelling collectively needs to be allowed communion.

Allowing clergymen to marry was favored by 69% of American Catholics, Pew stated, whereas 64% supported permitting ladies to function clergymen. A majority of these surveyed, 54%, stated the church ought to “acknowledge the marriages of homosexual and lesbian {couples}.”

These numbers have been boosted by Catholics who have been largely Democrats or lean Democratic (57%), with 56% of these in favor of progressive adjustments saying they seldom or by no means attend Mass, Pew stated.

The survey was carried out Feb. 13-25, earlier than this week’s Vatican assertion that condemns sex-change surgical procedure and surrogate parenting. However the ballot got here after a December pronouncement permitting clergymen to bless same-sex and cohabiting {couples}, a transfer that provoked pushback from some U.S. Catholics.

The late Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was considered barely much less favorably on the time of his shock resignation than Francis is now. The German-born pontiff had a mixed 74% favorability rating, 1 level decrease than his successor.

Neither chief, at his apex, hit the 91% to 93% rankings given the late Pope John Paul II, who’s now canonized as a saint. Francis’ highest rating was 90% in February 2015, whereas Benedict XVI’s 83% in April 2008 was the peak of his recognition within the U.S.

Pew stated it acquired survey responses from its American Traits Panel of 12,693 U.S. adults, together with 2,019 Catholics who shaped the premise for the Friday survey. The margin of error for the total pattern is plus or minus 1.5 proportion factors.

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