During a recent interview with Rome Reports, the head of the U.S. Conference of Bishops said that the Pope's trip had a "great impact” on the country.
ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ
Archdiocese of Louisville (Kentucky)
"Our Holy Father made a great impact. Even at this early stage, I've just seen some of the results of the way people are looking at life and at the importance of their faith. And the statistics are showing that people are being affected by this trip.”
And a new survey sponsored by the Knights of Columbus backs up his assertion.
Fifty-five percent of Americans now say they understand the Pope's vision for the Church, including almost 90 percent of Catholics. A few months ago the same numbers were just 43 percent and 73 percent, respectively.
Several the Pope's policy priorities polled higher as well, such as support for religious freedom, respect for the environment, and supporting life at every stage of development.
And the Pope's personal favorability also greatly increased. Now 74 percent of Americans view him favorably, up from 58 percent in August. Almost 90 percent of Catholics feel the same way, up from 83 percent.
Even non-Catholics were deeply affected. Fifty-six percent of all Americans said they "feel better about their own faith because of Pope Francis' visit.”