New Zealand and Oceania don’t know if they love Pope Francis

Oceania, New Zealand and Australia do not feature in the ‘global’ research of Pope Francis’ popularity.

The Pew Research Centre global survey, released Friday, however shows most of the rest of the world seems to love him.

A charmer of global opinion since he was elected pontiff last year, he has championed causes such as modern slavery, human trafficking, rights of migrants and economic justice.

Most recently he said the Catholic Church must find ways of welcoming divorced and remarried couples, and homosexuals.

On Friday, at morning Mass, Francis told the congregation that God was like a mother, he loves us unconditionally, saying, God is not into spiritual book-keeping.

The goodwill the Holy Father enjoys is felt most in Europe, where he enjoys an 84% favourable rating.

Francis, recently described Europe as “haggard”, like a tired “grandmother” and called on it to recover its founding values, in part built on its Christian legacy.

He is least favoured in the Middle-East where the Pew global study rated him with only a 24% favourable and 25% unfavourable rating. 41% in the Middle-East gave him no rating.

The Pew global study interviewed more than 40,000 people in 43 countries and the Holy Father achieved a 60% median favourable rating in the surveyed countries.

The global research reached down as far as Indonesia in the antipodes where Francis attained 31% favourable and only 12% unfavourable ratings. 57% gave him no rating.

Pope Francis’ received most “no rating” in Indonesia, India (61%), Malaysia (76%), Pakistan (85%), Palestine territory (63%), Turkey (54%), Tunisia (71%), Senegal (55%) and South Africa (52%).


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