This is the article that appeared in the May 2024 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.

The latest Pew Research Center poll on Catholics reveals that Pope Francis’ favorability rating is tanking.

In 2015, the pope’s favorability rating was 90 percent. In 2021, it was 83 percent. Today it is 75 percent. Those Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly are the least supportive of him: his favorability rating is 71 percent.

Why are Catholics who are the most practicing also the least happy with Pope Francis? We know from virtually every survey that these Catholics are mostly orthodox, and it is likely that they are also more attentive to what he has been doing. That may explain their relative dissatisfaction with him.

In the last few years, the pope has allowed the blessing of homosexual couples; the clergy pushback continues to be widespread. He has also failed to deal forthrightly with accused serial predators, Fr. Marko Rupnik and Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, two fellow Jesuits. Moreover, the on-going Synod has welcomed dissidents and has been a source of much controversy.

The pope has put severe restrictions on the Latin Mass, alienating millions of Catholics. After San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone publicly denied Communion to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the pope granted her a private audience. He dismissed one of his critics, Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, and stripped

Cardinal Raymond Burke of his salary and his subsidized apartment in Rome.

Whether it is too late to turn things around remains to be seen.

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