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Poll finds American Catholics praise and respect Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict … a high priest of fashion.(PRNewswire-USNewswire) Just a week after his retirement took effect, a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll finds that American Catholics give high marks to Pope Benedict XVI.

More than three quarters of Catholics (77 percent) and more than 8 in 10 practicing Catholics (82 percent) have a very positive or positive impression of Pope Benedict XVI’s years as pope.

American Catholics have very positive views on Pope Benedict’s impact on their lives, the direction of the Church, and the moral direction of the world.

Nearly 7 in 10 Catholics (68 percent) and more than three quarters of practicing Catholics (77 percent) say Pope Benedict had a “very positive” or “positive” impact on their life. Only 13% of Catholics and 12% of practicing Catholics saw a negative impact.

Additionally, 70 percent of Catholics and 75 percent of practicing Catholics believe he had a “very positive” or “positive” impact on the direction of the Catholic Church. Only about two in 10 said his impact was negative or very negative (21 and 19 percent respectively).

About two thirds of Catholics (65 percent) and about 7 in 10 practicing Catholics (69 percent) said he had a “very positive” or “positive” impact on the moral direction of the world. Fewer than a quarter (23 and 22 percent respectively) disagreed and saw his impact as negative or very negative.

Pope Benedict’s use of Twitter was also very popular among Catholics. Two-thirds of Catholics and practicing Catholics (67 and 66 percent respectively), said they “liked the idea” of the pope using Twitter to communicate. Only a quarter of each group disagreed (25 percent for Catholics and practicing Catholics).

Overall, nearly 7 in 10 Catholics (69 percent) and three quarters of practicing Catholics (75 percent) have a very favorable or favorable view of Pope Benedict XVI. By contrast, only 16 percent of Catholics (and 14 percent of practicing Catholics) have an unfavorable view.

“The data indicates clearly that American Catholics have a deep respect for Pope Benedict XVI and a great appreciation for his pontificate,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “That so many felt he had a positive impact on their lives, their Church and their world speaks volumes to the good that he was able to do as pope.”

The findings come just days after the Cardinals – gathered in Rome to elect the new pope – sent Pope Benedict their “gratitude” for his “Petrine ministry” and “example of generous pastoral care for the good of the Church and of the world. ”

The national survey of 2,000 American adults including 515 Catholics was conducted from March 2 through 5. The margin of error for Catholics is +/- 4.3 percentage points.





  1. Elizabeth says:

    When he gave the eulogy for Pope John Paul, I told my sister to turn on the tv and see the new pope. I was not surprised when he was elected and I thought he did a great job. I am very very concerned about the next pope and how he will lead the church…very very concerned.

  2. I Pray for him. I thank him for at age 78 taking on the position to lead the whole church. At 69 I only have one parish to lead of 600 families, he has the whole church. That he does not please everyone, I ask you in all honest in your own immediate families how many of you please each and every family member 100% of the time. God has not created such a person yet. If you are looking for peace in the world it only existed for 3 minutes when Christ was dying on the Cross, and every other time in history had disagreement. Thank you Pope Benedict for giving all you had to Jesus and his people. You did the best you could as a human being and I say Thank You from the bottom of my heart

    • Concerned says:

      He freely took on the responsibility of leading the church – he had free will. His refusal to deal with the corruption, his choice to ignore and cover up the scandals, his refusal to acknowledge how the hierarchy have made themselves irrelevant are what is so wrong. These things are not about “pleasing” people – it is about doing the RIGHT thing. Am not sure of your theology of “three minutes.”

  3. Tony says:

    Benedict Also said God’s creation is one and it is good, The concerns for nonviolence, sustainable development, justic and peace and care for our environment are of VITAL importance for humaity.

  4. Concerned says:

    Let’s see the poll was conducted by a dying group within the Catholic Church. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, a whopping 515 were Catholic which is the section that is mention most in the article. That means for this “meaningful” survey 515 people are supposed to represent the entire Catholic population of the United States. Did these people come from all across the country? Views do differ from place to place – Conn – home base for the Knights of Columbus is very different from views in other areas. So I would have to challenge the validity of this survey. Somehow I find it hard to believe Supreme Knight (such an outdated title and they wonder why people do not join the Knights of Columbus today) would ever say that most Americans are not pleased with the job Benedict did. So the survey really sounds biased, staged and not very believable.

    • Andrew says:

      Speaking of biased, staged and not believable… We have another angry post from Concerned.

      • Ann says:

        Concerned is on the mark Andrew. If you don’t follow RC church goings on closely, or one is not in theology, it is easy to give Benedict hight marks without knowing some of the problems he created within the laity and certainly among theologians.

        • Tony says:

          I complettly agree with Concened and Ann. You hit the nail on the head.
          I think it is so higly inapprociate for the 4th Degree Knights
          Of Columbues coming in with their plumed hats and swoards. How inappropite.

      • Concerned says:

        Andrew you keep accusing everyone of being angry who disagrees with your point of view – you should learn how to have discussions, debates. Your posts are simply expressions of your own frustrations of not knowing what is going on and simply agreeing, like a programmed robot, with whatever you have been told. That is exactly why you do so much harm to the CHurch – you simply don’t care and are so unable to deal with those who care that you lash out with total nonsense, name calling and childish comments. You say only what has been programmed in your head and demonstrate the anger of someone who has nothing to argue. Try wrestling with your faith a little.

  5. A Practicing Catholic says:

    I am always amazed when “practicing Catholics” are polled. I have been a regular church goer (even weekday mass, when there are priests available) all of my life and as a “practicing Catholic” I would have to disagree with this date. This Pope has done nothing but bring division and exclusivity back into our Church, first as Cardinal Ratzinger and then as Benedict XVI. We don’t need a “green pope”, we need a Christ-like pope.

  6. Recovering Catholic says:

    What would you expect from survey results from a far right-wing organization like the Knights of Columbus? What this survey proves is that most people who label themselves “Catholic” are very poorly informed when it comes to the “history” of Ratzinger’s internal advice to “cover up” and keep “secret” from the laity the thousands of priest sexual abuse claims during Pope John-Paul II’s reign.

  7. Tony says:

    Benedict was perhaps the first GREEN Pope. His use of solar energy in the Vatican, his talks on being respectful and loving of creation and the earth, his warnings of the effects of global warming helped bring environmental issues to our minds.

    • Tony says:

      Pope Benedict has said, “The Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attenton to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family.”

      • Ann says:

        Agree Tony. He was good about the environment. . . attibutable perhaps to the lovely Bavarian environment in which he grew up?

        • Tony says:

          Ann, yes Pope Benedict was super about being Green, he was a real tree huger. He said, “we are all responsible for the protection and care of the environment. This responsibility knows no boundaries. IT I S IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO BE COMMITTED AT HIS OR HER PROPER LEVEL, WORKING TO OVERCOME THE PREVALENCE OF PARTICULAR INTERESTS.” Please forgive the caps my keyboard was stuck.


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