Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 27 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Simeon Sylites

Measuring the “Francis Effect”: in poll, most say they believe pope will attract Catholics back to the Church

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/25/15

A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) offers an interesting snapshot of the “Francis Effect in the U.S., just ahead of his first visit:

More than one year into his papacy, Pope Francis remains popular among the American public. Two-thirds (67%) of Americans have a favorable view of the pope, while 15% say they have an unfavorable view. Nearly one in five (19%) Americans did not offer an opinion about the pope. Views of the Catholic Church are also relatively positive, but significantly less favorable than views of the pope. A majority (56%) of Americans have a favorable view of the Catholic Church, compared to roughly one-third (32%) of Americans who hold unfavorable views of the Catholic Church. …A majority (56%) of Catholics report that their feelings toward the Catholic Church have changed a lot or a little over the last couple of years, roughly the period of Pope Francis’ papacy. Roughly four in ten (42%) Catholics say their feelings have not changed at all over this time period. Notably, among Catholics who say their feelings about the Church have changed, nearly six in ten (59%) say their feelings have become more favorable, while 36% say they have become less favorable. Most Catholics believe Pope Francis will have a positive effect on the Church by spurring engagement among Catholics. Roughly two-thirds (66%) of Catholics say Pope Francis will attract more Catholics back to the Church, compared to only 20% who believe he will not. Fourteen percent remain unsure of the pope’s influence on the Church. However, former Catholics are significantly less optimistic about the pope’s capacity to reengage Catholics. A slim majority (51%) of former Catholics believe the pope will attract more Catholics back to the Church, while 29% say that he will not and 20% offer no opinion.

There’s much more. Read it all.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
Cecilia Pigg
Simplify your life and honor your body with these 5 natural perso...
See More