Satisfaction is down to Pope Benedict XVI levels.
A survey done by Pew Research Center revealed that a significant proportion of American Catholics have lost confidence in Pope Francis after the method he used to managed the Vatican crisis. Only three Catholics among 10 hold the opinion that the pontiff is doing an excellent job. This is a sharp 24 point drop from 2015 numbers. It is also a 14 point dip from when Pew put forward the same question just nine months ago in January 2018. It is a far cry from 2015 when Francis had the image of a popular and charismatic leader.
These findings form key points of the Pew Research survey, conducted from September 18 to September 24 among a total of 1,754 adults. Among the respondents, Catholics numbered 336. Before these findings, Pope Francis had consistently clocked better ratings than his immediate predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. The new survey, however, puts the present pope in the backseat.Even among the Catholic devout, meaning those who attend mass every week, the share of U.S. Catholics giving Pope Francis positive marks on managing the crisis has dipped by half. In 2015, it was 67 percent. The number now stands at 34 percent. When it came to the general U.S. public, including non-Catholics, about 50 percent hold favorable views of the pope. This number is the lowest in his personal papal history. Francis' ratings are now on par with Pope Benedict XVI, his immediate predecessor.
The pope for his part, had his work cut out for 2018. He could not master the cascade of scandals which engulfed the Catholic Church this year. Compounding his problem were sexual abuses by the Catholic clergy was reported from all over the world.
What's worrying the Catholic church is that the decline in confidence in the pope's management of the sex abuse crisis is found to be broad-based. When compared to 2015, Francis bled 24 points and 23 points among Catholic men and Catholic women respectively. The pope's management of the situation has also left Catholics of all age groups expressing displeasure at the state of the Catholic church.
The bad news for the pontiff does not end there.
When respondents were asked to rate the pope on managing other aspects of his responsibility like the appointment of new cardinals and bishops, and dissemination of the Catholic faith, the answer is unambiguously negative.