March 7, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Two years after he was elected pope, Pope Francis’ popularity rating among U.S. Catholics is at 90 percent, surpassing Pope Benedict XVI’s best-ever popularity, and rivaling that of St. John Paul II.
Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Washington, New York and Philadelphia in September, garnered a “very favorable” view from 57 percent of U.S. Catholics, and “mostly favorable” from another 33 percent.
By comparison, Pope Benedict’s highest favorability rating was 83 percent in April 2008, when he visited the United States. St. John Paul achieved favorability scores of 93 percent in May 1990 and June 1996, and 91 percent in May 1987, four months before his second U.S. visit. All of those scores were nearly a decade or more into his papacy.