Edit: Francis has his thousands but Salvini his ten thousands.
ITALY: Many Catholics do not want to follow Pope Francis when it comes to migration issues, but prefer to follow Italian Minister of the Interior Salvini - Caritas: "Many Catholics no longer see the Holy Father as a spiritual leader"
Rome (kath.net) Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is becoming the secret head of Catholics in Italy because of his line on migration. So reports “Welt" on Friday. The occasion is the migration issues and the not uncontroversial line of the Vatican and Pope Francis, so fewer and fewer Catholics want to follow him in Italy. Luca Comodo, head of the Ipsos Polling Institute, says Salvini is becoming increasingly popular in Italy, as his party has risen from 17 to 30 percentage points, and more and more Catholics support the Minister of the Interior.
For the Catholics who attend mass at least once a week, support for Salvini has doubled, reaching almost 32 percent in July, but Pope Francis' popularity is steadily declining.
Oliviero Forti, who is responsible for migration at Caritas in Italy, says quite critically: "Many Catholics no longer perceive the Holy Father as a spiritual leader, on the contrary, in some cases, he is even accused of being too far from the problems that people face .”
Salvini himself presents himself as a savior of the "Christian democracy" in public. He was also spotted with a rosary. [its doubtful that being seen in public with a Rosary is a sign of insincerity.]
Francis is now likely to have felt the danger of the remoteness of his own message from reality. Most recently, he said on board a papal plane: "Every country has to regulate this with prudence and take in as many refugees as it can integrate, educate and put into work."