Pope Francis' visit to the United States in September gave a boost to himself, the Catholic faith and religion in general, according to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll.
It found that 90 percent of Catholics in the U.S. view the Holy Father favorably, up from 83 percent in August. The results also reveal that 74 percent view him favorably, a jump from 58 percent in August.
The news bodes well for the Catholic faith, which has seen its numbers in the United States tumble in recent years as the tally of unaffiliated people rises. A recent Pew survey found that there are about 51 million Catholic adults living in the United States today, which is about a fifth of the U.S. population. That's roughly a 3 million drop compared to 2007, although the margin of error could mean the decline is closer to 1 million.
The aftermath of the pope's six-day visit to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia also left people with improved feelings about their faith, whether Catholic or not.