Pew Research Center President Michael Dimock examines the changes – some profound, some subtle – that the U.S. experienced during Barack Obama’s presidency.
55% of Catholics rated Francis positively on addressing sex abuse, and 53% gave him high marks on environmental issues. But these were two out of nine areas in which Francis drew the least positive ratings.
A solid majority of U.S. Catholics believe that Earth is warming. But climate change is a highly politicized issue that sharply divides American Catholics, like the U.S. public as a whole, mainly along political party lines.
Popes have written encyclicals on an array of topics, ranging from the nature of work to the virginity of Jesus’ mother, Mary.
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans' views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
The unaffiliated (58%) are the most likely to say there is solid evidence the earth is warming because of human activity while white evangelical Protestants (34%) are the least likely to believe in man-made global warming.
The combination of widespread religious commitment and leadership in science and technology greatly enlarges the potential for conflict between faith and science in the U.S.