Buenos Aires Herald
91 percent of citizens have a favourable opinion of Francis despite declining numbers of Catholics
Having dramatically changed the way that the Vatican reaches out to Catholics, followers of other religions and non-believers, and giving the Catholic Church a softer touch, Pope Francis enjoys broad global support with a median of 60 percent of people in 43 countries having a favourable image of the pontiff.
Of the countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center, Poland took the spot for the country with the greatest sympathy for the Argentine pope with as much as 92 percent of the population indicating that they held him in high regard. Remarkably, only three percent of Poles held an unfavourable view, with the remaining group indicating that they had no impression of the pope.
While not rejecting the pope on a majority basis, roughly 40 percent of those in the Middle East, Africa and Asia had no opinion.
Broadly speaking, Francis has taken a far more pastoral approach to the papacy than his immediate predecessor Benedict XVI, while also bringing winds of change to the way that the Vatican is managed and promising no-tolerance for sexual abuse crimes committed by the clergy.
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