Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his popularity in the United States, with a new Gallup poll showing his approval rating dropping to 59% from 76% early last year, the Catholic News website reports today (July 22, 2015).
"This decline may be attributable to the Pope's denouncing of 'the idolatry of money' and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality -- all issues that are at odds with many conservatives' beliefs," wrote Gallup analyst Art Swift yesterday when the survey was published.
Some observers have predicted that many who embraced the Pope's candor and his views on a range of social justice issues would temper their ardor as they realized he would not change church teachings on hot-button issues such as abortion or contraception or gay marriage.
The poll comes just as American Catholics are set to welcome the Pope this September for his first visit to the U.S. The result essentially returns Francis to approval levels he had in the first months after his election.