While flying back to the Vatican after a visit to Armenia, Pope Francis declared that Christians should apologize to LGBTs and others who’ve been “offended” or “exploited” by the church. It’s the type of radical thinking that has helped Francis — the first non-European pontiff in more than 1,200 years — achieve a level of celebrity nearly unprecedented in the history of Catholicism.
But now it seems Francis’ star is swiftly falling where it perhaps matters most — his homeland, Argentina. Indeed, a recent local poll revealed that Francis — the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires — has tumbled from the first to the ninth most “trustworthy Argentine” in just two years.
True, the pope still outranks Argentina’s pro-US/market-friendly new president, Mauricio Macri. And, yes, a recent international Gallup poll found the pope more popular than any other world leader. But despite the accolades, the pope’s own people actually view him as less honest than a host of Argentine national icons.
The data marks a stark volte-face for Francis. And while the pope’s leftist, humanist, populist views may delight progressives abroad, back in Argentina they’re coming under fire for increasingly influencing policy. – READ MORE