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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

The secret to the pope's popularity: credibility


Since beginning his pontificate now four years ago, Pope Francis has kept wide-spread popularity throughout the world, and especially with people in the United States. 

John Cabot University
"Poll data shows that he's [Pope Francis] won the hearts and minds and has a very high popularity all across the world. So he's been capable of bringing people in and making his faith look credible. This is what he's interested in; sort of offering, projecting, entering into, living out a very spiritually credible holy life and allowing all of his policies to flow from that.” 

Dr. Michael Driessen, the chair of the department of political science and international affairs at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, is frequently called on as an expert opinion in Europe on politics and trends in the U.S. 

He references a Pew Research Center study from January 2017, where data shows that most Catholics, and most Americans in general, like Pope Francis. Thus, his favorable numbers have remained in the 80 percentile with American Catholics and in the 70 percentile with the general United States public. 

John Cabot University
"We see these levels of support for the pope. I mean, these levels are unheard of. We see people latching on as well, across the political spectrum, to this sort of leader. That credibility is key here. Beyond whether or not people agree with him on specific issues, his spiritual credibility, his credibility as a holy person, his credibility as an authentic human being is just widespread loved.

The pope's way of gaining popularity does not seem to be one of tiptoeing around important issues. Instead, he is forcefully speaking out contrary to various world leaders, and calling out ideologies of hatred, destruction and fear which are creeping into society as a whole. 

John Cabot University
"There's a whole series of issues, which I think the pope in this moment is uniquely placed to speak to, and from a unique place of credibility. So he's not speaking for the secular liberal left; he's speaking for a religiously expressed understanding of humanities and sort of a humanistic understanding, which I think undercuts some of that opposition.”

The latest polls show that in January 2017, the pope's popularity reached 87 percent. It will be interesting to see if the numbers inch up to the 90th percentile at all during this upcoming year.