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I'm doing a research paper on Pope Francis, and I need to know from a Catholic's view how Pope Francis's popularity ranks over Pope Benedict XVI's. Can you help?

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Hmmm... good question. I wonder that myself. –  Anonymous Oct 25 '13 at 1:31
    
What do you mean with 'how'? Are you asking, perhaps, 'why'? –  Elberich Schneider Oct 25 '13 at 2:05
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@ElberichSchneider I believe the OP wants to know how Pope Francis' popularity compares with Pope Benedict. –  DJClayworth Oct 25 '13 at 3:10
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A more fundamental question is why it matters at all. The Pope is the Pope. –  Andrew Leach Oct 25 '13 at 8:28
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I think it's an interesting question, but that doesn't make it a good fit for this site. I don't see how an answer could meaningfully or reliably assess their relative popularity and I have therefore voted to close on the basis of "primarily opinion-based". –  James T Oct 25 '13 at 13:55
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closed as primarily opinion-based by Daи, Narnian, wax eagle Dec 16 '13 at 18:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers

I will not give you my opinion, but rather my understanding of Pope's reception from the reading of the catholic resources on the topic, which I suggest you study yourself as well.

In general, Pope Francis is very much liked by all but "the traditionalist". He is a pastor more than a theologian so he resonates better with a "common catholic". So an average catholic, appears to like Pope Francis's approach more than his predecessor's.

The "traditionalist" or "conservative" Catholics (I hate these terms, hence the quotes), those who liked JPII's or Benedict's philosophical (apparently rigid & dogmatic), theology, especially Benedict's seeming support for pre Vatican II practices like Latin mass, have strong reservations or hostility to Pope Francis; there are some groups ready to call him the antichrist. for those views, go to www.Gloria.tv.

He is also very much liked by liberal Catholics who wrongly interpret some of the things he says as supporting changes that they want to make; while those same Catholic's despised benedict's "conservatism"

Many "moderate" "thinking" Catholics are concerned how the Pope's remarks are being twisted, but hold Pope Francis in great esteem.

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A number of opinion polls have been conducted on the new Pope's popularity.

This opinion poll says that in the US, Pope Francis is more popular among Catholics that Pope Benedict, and as popular as John Paul II was at the height of his esteem. US Catholics are a very small fraction of world Catholics, and very unlike the majority of Catholics in the world.

This poll appears to give a 92% popularity for him in Italy, but the article contains no comparison with Benedict.

This is a fairly random sampling of polls, but it should be enough to get you started researching what other polls say about Francis' popularity.

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I think Pope Francis is more a nan of the common people. People are more interested in what he is doing and saying because they believe that he - Pope Francis - is interested in them. Finally, we have a pope who is touchable, plain-spoken, in touch with people's everyday struggles, and small. He's made himself small so that others might look to him as a fellow traveller along the way, rather than some authoritarian overlord. He made himself small by eschewing the trappings of the Papacy and by walking the talk. He models that which he exhorts and that has not been lost on all those who have been watching and listening. He has said some things which have made him unpopular with certain groups, which has only fueled the devotion of the faithful to his Christ-like style of meeting people where they are--on common ground. For so many years, the motto of the Church has seemed to be this: Come to Me. I am the Church. By contrast, Pope Francis seems to be saying this: We are Church. Here we come! This is truly the new evangelization and many people are responding to it! He also departs from the Euro-centric model which is, in his own words, self- referential! I love this man and I can't wait, each day, to find out what he has said and who he has touched. I never had this warm feeling from Pope Benedict. Never.

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I'm not the one who voted you down, but in reading this, I'm not sure it answers the question. (No offense meant here.) It looks more like it answers how you feel about Pope Francis. To be fair, this is a fairly subjective question in the first place. –  David Stratton Dec 15 '13 at 3:15
    
Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": the help page and How we are different than other sites? –  David Stratton Dec 15 '13 at 3:15
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