There is a lot of buzz about a “Francis Effect”. As I watch Twitter, for example, I see comments such as “I’m not Catholic anymore, but I really like this Pope!” or “I disagree with the Church on a lot of things, but Francis is great!”
There are reports that numbers of penitents making sacramental confessions are up. GOOD! I hope that is the case.
At the same time… is the a “Francis Effect” and, if so, will it last? Are people who are in some way impressed with Francis going to change some aspect of their lives?
Liberals will tend to latch on only to what the MSM reports about certain of Francis’ soundbites. This is going to be a huge problem in sorting out the meaning of the new Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium. Conservatives will also be driven, through herd-mentality, to react to those same soundbites. I predict that a greater polarization is ahead of us. “Francis Effect”? I hope not, but I am not sanguine. People on both sides don’t seem to be able to read and weigh anymore.
Anyway, I was sent a link to a post at the Pew Research Center:
No clear ‘Pope Francis effect’ among U.S. Catholics
In the first eight months of his pontificate, Pope Francis has impressed, charmed and inspired many people around the world with his outreach to non-Christians, his statements of concern for the poor and disabled, and his personal humility. At the same time, other Catholics have expressed dismay over the pope’s statements about homosexuality and his remarks that the church is “obsessed” with some social issues.
Some news accounts contend that the pope’s popularity has created a “Pope Francis effect,” producing a “significant global rise in church attendance,” based on reports by Catholic clergy in Italy, Britain and and other countries of a recent rise in Mass attendance.
In the United States, home to the world’s fourth-largest Catholic population, the pope appears to be well-liked by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, rated favorably by 79% of Catholics and 58% of the general public.
[QUAERITUR…] But has the pope’s popularity produced a Catholic resurgence in the U.S., where 10% of adults are former Catholics? Not so far, at least in terms of the share of Americans who identify as such, or the share of those who report attending Mass weekly.
A new analysis of pooled Pew Research surveys conducted between Francis’ election in March and the end of October this year finds that the percentage of Americans who identify as Catholics has remained the same – 22% — as it was during the corresponding seven-month period in 2012. In fact, our polls going back to 2007 show Catholic identification in the U.S. has held stable, fluctuating only between 22% and 23%. [Is the Francis Effect just a superficial, ephemeral phenomenon?]
Though Americans may report attending church more frequently than they actually do, our surveys find that self-reported levels of Mass attendance have remained virtually unchanged since the new pope was elected. Since April of this year, 39% of U.S. Catholics report attending Mass at least weekly, similar to the 40% attendance figure last year.
Mass attendance isn’t the only thing to look at.
Can we imagine that as Pres. Obama and crew help to destroy the job-force and blast family budgets to the moon through the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act that people will gives as much?
Will homosexuals be moved to live continent lives? Will the wymyn priest crowd give up their demands for Holy Orders?
Will the number of young men who respond to priestly vocations rise? The numbers of men and women to religious vocations?
Will Catholic schools clean up their act and guide their institutions according to Ex corde Ecclesiae?
Will couples in invalid and immoral relationships be moved by the Francis Effect to get their lives straightened out?
What is the Francis Effect?