Most of U.S. Catholics are very or somewhat satisfied with the leadership of their church, with seven-in-ten or more holding positive views of the Pope, American bishops, parish priests and Catholic nuns and sisters.

About three-quarters (74%) said in a survey conducted in June and July this year that they approved of the leadership of the Pope, Benedict XVI (who recently made news when it was announced he would make his debut on Twitter today using the handle @Pontifex). That is about the same number who approved of Pope in June 2002 but lower than the 86% who did so in June 1992, both years in which John Paul II led the church.

However, the church leaders who draw the biggest numbers of Catholics who are very or somewhat satisfied with their leadership are the nuns and sisters (83%) and parish priests (82%). About three-quarters (74%) of Catholics are satisfied to some degree with the leadership of U.S. bishops.

When it comes to those who say they are “very satisfied” with leaders of the church, nuns and sisters again top the list with 50% of U.S. Catholics expressing that view, followed by their parish priest (49%), their bishop (36%), the pope (74%) and American bishops in general (24%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.