As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.
Religion Commentator Father Edward Beck says Pope Francis’ soaring popularity is unsurprising.
“This is a man who just sent 2,000 cards to immigrants in a shelter… and he gave them phone cards so they can call home. He gave them stamps so they can write home,” Father Beck says.
The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably. The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
“He hugs the faceless man and then he speaks about the faceless poor,” Father Beck says. “He’s consistent all the way through."
Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.
The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
This week’s Instagram challenge is #Family. Show me the people you love.
Also, please be sure to post with BOTH the #NewDayCNN and #Family hashtags.
I love, love, love family traditions – especially over the holidays. Some of my family's traditions over the years have included: dad reading "The Night Before Christmas" with several goofy voices, searching for the secret ornament to win an extra gift, mom staying up to wrap gifts all night long and then dozing through gift-opening, and mom's special rack of lamb dinner to top it off. Oh, the memories!
Thank you so much for sharing some of your traditions. It has been so fun to see the creativity and diversity you all brought to the #HolidayTradition challenge. We saw wreaths, advent candles, holiday light shows, lots of sweet treats, and even cats in hats. Clearly you've all been busy getting ready.
This week's winner is @rickhodesigns (VIDEO BELOW). Rick says he and his wife moved east six years ago and in this awesome Instagram video, he shows us a time lapse of the couple decorating their tree in Brooklyn, New York. Thanks for letting us in on your new family tradition Rick! How did you pull off the time lapse? Happy holidays and congrats on the beautiful tree.
@rickhodesigns, I'm posting your image to my Instagram feed, the “New Day” Instagram feed and on our website, NewDayCNN.com. Also, our “New Day” digital team will be in touch to send along a little thank you!
The "tweet heard round the world" was followed by the sound of a slamming door Saturday.
Media company IAC has "parted ways" with company PR executive Justine Sacco over her tweet: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" CNN's Pamela Brown reports.
"The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question," an IAC spokesman said in a statement.
"There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally," he said. "We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core."
Stelter said "the trial by social media was just as bad as her initial post."
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