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The one surprising thing Americans are doing because of Pope Francis. Hint - it's NOT going to Church

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 14th, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A new survey says that American Catholics are giving more generously than ever before in response to Pope Francis. The survey, conducted by a Catholic philanthropic organization, found that Catholics are coming through to help the poor specifically because of Pope Francis.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catholics are a lot more generous these days, thanks to the inspiration of Pope Francis, according to the results of a survey performed by the Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA). The survey reports that one-in-four Catholics have increased their charitable giving and that 77 percent say Pope Francis is the reason why.

The results are a little surprising because a survey by Pew Research published in early March revealed that there was no "Pope Francis effect" in the United States. Specifically, Catholics were not returning to Mass and confession as anecdotally reported following the election of Pope Francis.

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Although Catholics may not be attending Mass in greater numbers, they do seem to be giving more charitably.

Responses from those surveyed indicate that people were replying to Pope Francis' call to 'Prayer and Action' to end world hunger by 2025. Respondents said they were particularly motivated by the example set by Pope Francis.

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Pope Francis has gained popularity because of his humble and simple lifestyle and because he makes special efforts to care for the poor. In Argentina he was known to frequent slums and to distribute food and other aid. Now in the Vatican, he sends his almoner out at night to give aid to the poor on the streets of Rome. Some Italian papers have insinuated that Pope Francis himself sometimes joins these charitable excursions, although the reports have not been substantiated.

Americans are clearly inspired by Pope Francis to be more charitable.

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Catholic Online is also supporting the work of Pope Francis by collecting donations for the poor. These donations have been used to purchase over 25,000 meals for those in need. The majority of those meals were delivered to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Hiyan. Presently, those donations are now going to wherever the need is greatest.

Americans continue to give Pope Francis high marks with two-thirds of Americans rating Pope Francis favorably and 85 percent of American Catholics doing the same, according to Pew.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)