A poll has shown growing disenchantment with Pope Francis in the Unites States, especially among political conservatives.

A survey by Pew Research Forum found that fewer conservatives approved of Francis than was the case three years ago, though his overall popularity was still high.

Among Republican and Republican-leaning Catholics, 55 per cent said the Pope was “too liberal”, a jump from 23 per cent in 2015. A third, meanwhile, said he was “naive”, up from 15 per cent three years ago.

Greg Smith, a Pew senior researcher, said it was the first time Catholics had been so sharply divided along political lines in their view of the Pope. The polling questions go back to the early 1980s.

“In our polling [among Catholics] about John Paul II and Benedict XVI, when we look at them we don’t see any falloff over time,” he told Catholic News Service.

“What’s interesting about this survey that this is the first one where this political polarisation among American Catholics really stands out.”

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