Yes, the head of the Catholic Church is popular. And it’s because of that, that the liberal media smear his image to their own advantage.
The networks herald the “popular pope” where they agree with him, and censor him where they don’t (abortion, marriage). Media outlets from the Washington Post to MSNBC pit him against conservatives to create the illusion that he is one with them: a liberal. A liberal to the extent that he’s “very similar” to President Obama, as ABC insisted.