According to a new survey just released this week, Pope Francis has increased his popularity with the French with 89 per cent, having a good opinion of him, whether Catholic or non-believers. His popularity has risen by 4 per cent this year according to the survey carried out by Odoxa for iTele and le Parisien-Aujourd’hui.
This survey was conducted via the Internet on 18 and 19 December with a sample of 1,016 representative of the French population aged 18 and older.
“Non-Catholics are equally likely as Catholics to have a good opinion,” the study said.
These figures for Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope in history, are a lot higher than his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who collected only 43% of good opinions in December 2013.
The Argentine pope is even more appreciated by the French left (93%) than right (85%).
47% of respondents, agree the primary role of the pope is “to contribute to peace in the world”.
Finally, 55% of French people think that the Church is in its right place in France, not too intrusive or too passive in society, as it has recently been involved in several debates, including one on gay marriage.