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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Americans' esteem for the Holy Father has declined dramatically, and it appears to be due to his bad track record on sex abuse allegations.
According to a recent CNN poll, only 48 percent of Americans and 63 percent of Catholics have a favorable view of Pope Francis.
In January 2017, the Pope's favorability among Americans was at 66 percent, and his favorability among U.S. Catholics was 83 percent.
This means that in the past year and a half, the Pope's favorability has dropped 18 percentage points among Americans and 20 percentage points among U.S. Catholics.
In December 2013, in the early months of Francis' pontificate, his favorability among Americans was at 72 percent.
The Pope has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks for his non-response to the bombshell testimony of Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Viganò claims that Pope Francis knowingly lifted sanctions on homosexual predator ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick that were imposed by Benedict XVI.
When journalists asked Francis for his response to Viganò's claims, he dodged the question, saying on Aug. 26, "Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this."
In a statement on Aug. 28, Bp. Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois said of the Pope's comments, "Frankly, but with all due respect, that response is not adequate."
In the weeks since then, the Pope has given several homilies which seem to imply that the faithful should not criticize bishops or try to hold them accountable. In one instance, he claimed that Satan himself "tries to uncover the sins [of bishops], so they are visible in order to scandalize the people."
The Pope also has a bad record on dealing with abusive priests back when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. For instance, then-Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio tried to protect sex abuser Fr. Julio César Grassi, who was convicted of pedophilia in 2009.
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