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Pope Francis "Renewed" Catholics' Faith: Poll

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    Pope Francis is greeted as he arrives to celebrate a mass in the San Tommaso Apostolo parish church in the outskirts of Rome, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.

    Pope Francis is making American Catholics more committed to their faith as he begins the second year of his papacy, according to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll. Six-in-10 Catholics agreed that the pope has “renewed and strengthened my religious faith and commitment to the Catholic Church,” while three-in-10 disagreed, the poll reported. The poll also affirmed Francis' popularity in the United States. Fifty-five percent of adults said they had a “somewhat positive” (22 percent) or “very positive” (33 percent) view of the pope. Only seven percent gave him a negative rating, with another quarter of respondents said they were neutral. In February 2013, the poll found that only 30 percent of respondents viewed Pope Benedict positively, while 17 percent said they held a negative view of him. Francis was elected Benedict's successor on March 13, 2013 and inaugurated six days later.

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