Why It’s Newsworthy: Political differences among Roman Catholic Georgians may be stronger than the recent messages of unity from Pope Francis. About one in 10 Georgians are Catholic. 


Pope Francis released his newest encyclical, Fratelli tutti, at the start of October. The letter is meant for Catholics worldwide, but the messages he penned focus on topical issues in the United States 2020 election. The topics covered included: movement across borders, whether or not there can be a just war, disadvantageous globalization, human rights and how he feels people have embraced darkness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pope Francis’ leverage is strong among Catholic Americans, but in a time where 55% of Republican Catholics view Francis as “too liberal,” how much will his messages resonate with Catholic citizens in a place like Northeast Georgia? Catholic leaders in the area say that President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and people’s already-existing political boundaries, may be stronger voting motivations than the religious unity Francis’ messages are trying to create.

Alex Miller is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.



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