Pope Francis is on record saying that the Catholic Church has been too focused on social issues like homosexuality, abortion, and contraceptives. Before his remarks, most Americans had favorable views of the 266th pope.
How do Americans feel now?
To be sure, Pope Francis has not advocated for a change in official church policy or doctrine. Rather, he is advocating for less of a focus on these hot-button issues and more of a focus on mercy, acceptance, and salvation. Nonetheless, some may feel that he’s prodding the church in the wrong direction.
HuffPost/YouGov conducted a poll in the days after the pope’s remarks were published.
AMONG ALL AMERICANS POLLED: Overall, 37% felt that the pope’s remarks reflected “a good change” in the direction of the church. An additional 21% felt that he didn’t go far enough. About two of ten (18%) felt that he was straying too far from traditional church values. A quarter (24%) were unsure.
AMONG CATHOLICS: Compared with the population overall, Catholics had a more positive reaction. Almost half (46%) said all this reflects a “good change” in the direction of the Church. Two of ten (20%) said that it didn’t go far enough. Fifteen percent said it strayed too far, with 19% reporting that they were unsure.
It is interesting to note that Protestants were less favorable than Catholics. Only one third (34%) said the pope’s remarks reflected a good change in the direction of the Church. Thirty percent said the pontiff’s views strayed too far from traditional Church values.
Has Pope Francis gone too far?
Or has he not gone far enough?
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