Pope Francis' influence and public opinion in the EU in the context of national resilience





Catholicism, national resilience, religion, EU, public opinion, Pope Francis


Studying Pope Francis' influence on public opinion in European Union countries in the context of national resilience is a pressing research question. Although the Pope enjoys high moral authority among Europeans, a comprehensive analysis of his role in shaping societal positions, particularly on security and defense issues, is lacking. Investigating this problem enables a deeper understanding of the religious factor's role in strengthening European unity, countering destructive influences. The research materials include Pope Francis' public speeches and statements, primarily those circulated through mass media and social networks, as well as sociological survey results on the EU public's perception of the pontiff's position on crucial socio-political issues. Content analysis methods are used to examine the content and tone of the Pope's messages, while comparative analysis of sociological research data identifies correlations between the Pope's rhetoric and shifts in public sentiment regarding national resilience. The results show that despite Pope Francis' high popularity in EU countries, where the vast majority of the population approves of the pontiff, his public statements have a limited and short-lived impact on public opinion. Empirical evidence indicates that most Europeans do not consider the Pope a decisive factor in shaping their views on various socio-political problems, such as nuclear disarmament, migration, pandemics, or basic income. The Pope's pacifist stance on war, a topic of discussion in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war, is not a determining factor that risks critically undermining the personnel and motivation of EU countries' armed forces. The population's willingness to defend their homeland militarily varies significantly among EU states and is influenced by a complex interplay of historical, geopolitical, and socio-cultural factors that outweigh the pontiff's religious rhetoric. In conclusion, while papal pacifism somewhat resonates with the anti-war sentiments of some Europeans, it does not pose major challenges to ensuring the defense capabilities and resilience of EU countries. Pope Francis' high moral authority does not automatically translate into a dominant influence on public opinion and societal attitudes regarding national security in European Union member states.


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How to Cite

Kostiuk, O. (2024). Pope Francis’ influence and public opinion in the EU in the context of national resilience. Skhid, 6(2), 9–19. https://doi.org/10.21847/2411-3093.621