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Poll says Benedict popular, but not as much as John Paul II

Catholics give outgoing pope 76% approval rating in U.S. survey

21 February, 17:23
Poll says Benedict popular, but not as much as John Paul II (ANSA) - New York, February 21 - Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered as a popular pope when he steps down on February 28, but according to a poll released on Thursday, he is no John Paul II.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News survey, approximately 76% of Catholics view Benedict favorably, up slightly from a 2008 survey. Americans in general gave him a 54% popularity rating.

Only 14% of Catholics and 27% of the overall public gave the pontiff negative ratings.

However, compared to his predecessor John Paul II, Benedict rates 14 points lower.

Polish pontiff John Paul had a 67% approval rating by Americans in general during his final month as pope and 87% of Catholics gave him positive marks. In the poll carried out February 13-17, 64% supported Benedict's decision to resign.

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