Pope Francis makes positive impact

Zaraida DiazYouGov Omnibus
December 05, 2013, 4:09 PM GMT+0

Half of Americans (50%) have a positive impression of Pope Francis, according to the latest YouGov Omnibus conducted on November 28th – December 2nd 2013. Pope Francis, the current pope of the Catholic Church, is the first pope to hail from the Southern Hemisphere.

Pope Francis is most popular among the 55+ age group, with over 55% of this demographic stating they have a somewhat or very positive impression.

Atheists have a very positive reaction to the pope, only 4% of Atheists surveyed have a negative reaction compared to 7% of Catholics. 70% of Atheisists have a positive impression of the new pope.

What is your impression of Pope Francis?

Only 22% of Americans have a positive impression of the previous pope, Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger). Pope Benedict resigned his position as leader of the Catholic Church last February, making him the first pope to step down from office since Pope Gregory XII in 1415. Catholics have a more positive impression of Pope Benedict XVI than the general population, at 39% positive and 13% negative. 63% of Atheists surveyed, by comparison, have a negative impression.

Pope Francis has garnered vast media attention for a having a more liberal message than previous leaders of the Catholic Church. When asked to express his views on gay people, Pope Francis affirmed: “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” 65% of Americans agree with Pope Francis’ view of gay people in the church and only 12% of respondents surveyed stated they somewhat or strongly disagreed with the Pope’s statement.

Nearly 8 out of 10 Americans (79%) who identify themselves as Atheist agreed with the pope’s statement to some extent; with 63% of Atheist claiming to strongly agree with the pope’s declaration regarding gay people.

Although Pope Francis has been praised by many for his liberal views, the pope has stated he would not currently consider the ordination of women. Despite American’s positive views of the pope only 24% agree with Pope Francis’ decision to not consider the ordination of women, with 42% of the women surveyed stating that they somewhat or strongly disagree with the pope’s stance on the ordination of women.

How much do you agree or disagree with Pope Francis' view on capitalism?

Since taking leadership of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has been a vocal opponent of unrestrained capitalism which he describes as a “new tyranny.” Furthermore the pope has urged global leader to fight poverty and growing inequality. Nearly half of Americans (48%) agree with Pope Francis’ view on capitalism, with less than a quarter (24%) disagreeing with the pontiff. Higher earners (Americans with an income of over $80,000) are most likely to disagree with pope’s view on capitalism, with a third of high income respondents surveyed stating they somewhat or strongly disagreed with the pope on this topic.

For further information about poll results, and for details about methodology and omnibus services, please email omnibus.us@yougov.com.

Find the full results here.

Image: Getty