By Lisa Cannon Green
Pope Francis is boosting the reputation of the Catholic Church among Protestant pastors in America.
Nearly 4 in 10 say the pope, known for his humility and concern for the poor, has had a positive impact on their opinions of the Catholic Church, LifeWay Research finds. Almost two-thirds view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and “brother in Christ.”
However, half of Protestant pastors say they do not value Pope Francis’ opinion on matters of theology.
LifeWay Research asked 1,000 Protestant pastors in America about their views in a phone survey from Sept. 8-21, 2015, shortly before the pontiff’s visit to the United States this week.
Pope Francis, who in March 2013 became the first non-European and first Jesuit priest to be named pope, has been outspoken on such issues as welcoming immigrants, shunning materialism, and protecting the environment.
For 43 percent of Protestant pastors, Pope Francis has not changed their views of the Catholic Church. However, half say the current pope has affected their opinions—and almost three times as many cite a positive impact (37 percent) as a negative one (14 percent).
“Our sample itself—Protestant pastors—is named after the Protestant…Continue Reading