A new poll released on Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approved of how Pope Francis is handling his duties as the new head of the Catholic Church.
Conducted by CNN and ORC International, the poll suggests that Pope Francis is perhaps the most well regarded religious figure among the American public today, says CNN.
The 77-year-old Argentine-born pontiff has regularly made headlines since he was elected Pope in March this year. Francis was picked by TIME as Person of the Year because he “has become a new voice of conscience.”
The newly released poll confirmed that Americans also approved of the new direction Francis was taking the Church: nearly two-third of respondents agreed with the Pope about how much attention should be paid to moral issues, and the large majority feel that he is in touch with the modern world. While his ratings are better than previous Popes on some issues, CNN’s Polling director Keating Holland said it was difficult to measure as “polling on Popes is pretty sparse.”