Skip to comments.The non-revolutiton
Posted on 03/18/2014 10:12:54 AM PDT by Welchie25
Are you ready for a crazy statistic? Pope Francis, who just completed his first year as pope, had a favorability rating of 79 percent midway through his reign. Surprisingly, Pope Benedict XVl about halfway through his reign in April 2008 had a favorability rating of 83 percent. Its shocking that the pope demonized and held to be unpopular by almost everyone in the media had a higher approval rating at one point than the pope celebrated daily in the news.
Least, I seem dishonest. Benedicts average for his entire reign was around 74 percent and Franciss average over the entire year was 83 percent. Pope John Paul II was higher than both, averaging in the low 90s.
I am the last person to argue that approval ratings matter in religion, but I find these statistics useful because they complicate the standard narrative of the past year. Benedict was backwards looking and thus unpopular, and Francis is forward looking and therefore popular. Thats just not true.
This blog is not intended as an attack on Francis or a defensive of Benedict. Quite the opposite. My target is the imagined tension between the two popes, and the prevalent view that change is the key to success in the church.
Undeniably, the current pope has made a huge impact in his first year. I have often used him as a source of inspiration for many blogs, and according to recent surveys, the majority of Catholics think the church is heading in the right direction and Catholics are more excited. The Francis Effect however has not materialized into concrete changes in practice. There has been no noticeable change in the number of Americans that claim to be Catholic or in church attendance, and less Catholics have reportedly gone to confession in the last year.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicreview.org ...
Popes are popes for life. How could anyone know where the midway point is? For all we know, he'll be Pope for 20 years. This is either shoddy reporting or amazing fortunetelling.
Not difficult to understand. People will not go to church because of Francis, whether he be St. Francis, St. Francis Xavier, Pope Francis, or Francis Sinatra. In the long run, people will go to church because of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Anything less is celebrity entertainment.
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