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Pope Francis woos 87.1% of Italians

75% are Catholic but only a third practice their faith

30 January, 17:41
Pope Francis woos 87.1% of Italians (ANSA) - Rome, January 30 - Pope Francis has managed to 'conquer' the vast majority of Italians since his election last March, the private think-tank organisation Eurispes said Thursday.

Some 87.1% of Italians thought the Argentinian pope had breathed new life into the Roman Catholic church since replacing Benedict XVI following his shock abdication in February, according to Eurispes' annual Italy report. Just 4.5% had a negative opinion of the new pontiff, while 8.4% were undecided.

Meanwhile, just over 75% of Italians said they were Catholic but only a third admitted to actually practicing their faith.

The majority of Catholics supported stem-cell research (88.4%), quick divorce (81.8%), civil unions (74.9%), assisted fertility (74.4%) and the possibility of making a living will (68.1%). Instead opposition remained high to assisted suicide (76.1%), adoption by same-sex couples (71.8%) and same-sex marriage (56.8%).