Episode 107: The Pope’s Political Reach

How does the Pope’s message translate into policy?

Less than 24 hours after touching down on U.S. soil for the very first time, Pope Francis made quite clear his stance on issues such as immigration and climate change.

Confronting major global disputes with forceful words is nothing new for Pope Francis. He has used the worldwide papacy platform to speak out on issues both inside and outside the church.

But according to David Gibson, a national reporter for the Religion News Service, the challenge lies in transforming the pope’s words into global action: “The question is — as always in politics, frankly — how do you translate that into a mandate? How do you translate that into policy? How do you make actual changes?”

On our latest podcast, Gibson guides us through a history of papal influence around the world, decoding just how far the Vatican and pope can reach into the political life of a nation and actually impact policy and politics.

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