According to a new Gallup poll, the popularity of Pope Francis has declined in the United States, especially among political conservatives. Issued on July 22, the survey showed that a larger number of Catholics in the U.S. now have tempered their views about the pontiff. Approximately seven out of ten Catholics in the U.S. say they have an unfavorable view of the Pope. This represents a drop of 18 percentage points since 2014. 
 
The decline is most noticeable among conservatives. While 72 percent of those polled in 2014 had a favorable view of the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, his approval among U.S. conservatives has since dropped to 45 percent today.
 
Writing at MarketWatch.com, analyst Paul B. Farrell wrote on July 21 that Pope Francis promises to be a “revolutionary” on the order of Washington, Lenin, and Marx. “Yes folks, Pope Francis is a revolutionary destined to end up in the history books right up there with Lenin and Marx, Mao and Castro. He is obviously inciting revolution, wants civil disobedience and political insurrection, he is egging the poor into rebellion against a vastly outnumbered rich. In fact, Francis has become one of the world’s great revolutionary leaders. He not only is inciting an uprising of the masses against wealthy capitalist billionaires, he’s out in front of the emerging global revolution, encouraging the masses, shouting battle cries, a leader in the tradition of Washington.”
 
Farrell wrote in his opinion piece that Americans, instead of focusing on candidates such as Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as harbingers of reform, should take a look at the pontiff who, Farrell says, is promising a Second American Revolution.” The fact is: The era of capitalism is rapidly dying, a victim of its own success, sabotaged by greed and a loss of a moral code. In 1776 Adam Smith’s capitalism became America’s core economic principle. We enshrined his ideal of capitalism in our constitutional freedoms. We prospered. America became the greatest economic superpower in world history.” As evidence of global income disparities, Farrell pointed out the number of billionaires in the world have increased from 322 in 2000 to 1,826 in 2015, with 11 trillionaire capitalist families predicted to control the planet by 2100.
 
Farrell delineated several points about Pope Francis for readers to take into consideration, which he cited from an article by Obama supporter Christopher J. Hale in Time Magazine. Among them: “Socialism is a moral obligation,” “Humans, not capitalist profits, should be at the center of global economics,” and “Everyone has a sacred right to land, lodging and labor.” 
 
Pope Francis is expected to visit the U.S. later this year and to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
 
Hale was in charge of outreach to Catholics for the Obama re-election campaign. He is the executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. In referring to the Pope's messages of solidarity with the poor, Hale wrote in Time: "This also goes well beyond the traditional social teaching of the Catholic Church, which argues for the dignity of work, but doesn’t go as far to say that everyone has a God-given right to have a job."


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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