Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 27, 2019

No evidence Pope Francis said Catholics who vote Democrat are committing “a grave sin.”

President Donald Trump recently said that any Jews who vote for Democrats show "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." Did Pope Francis say something similar about Catholics? 

That’s what an Aug. 26 Facebook post alleges, attributing this quote to the head of the Catholic Church: "You cannot call yourself ‘Catholic’ and vote Democrat. It is a grave sin, one for which there is no redemption."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Searching for the quote online we found no results. We also didn’t discover any evidence that Pope Francis has condemned Americans who vote for Democrats. 

There are about 51 million Catholic adults in the United States, and today they’re evenly split between the Republican and Democratic parties, Pew Research Center reported in January. White Catholics are more likely to vote Republican, and Hispanic Catholics "overwhelmingly back Democrats." 

Republican and Democratic Catholics both used to admire Pope Francis, according to Pew, but he’s become an increasingly polarizing figure in the church. Democrats and Democratic-leaning Catholics view him more favorably than Republicans and Republican-leaning Catholics. Republican Catholics are much more likely than Democratic Catholics to say he’s "too liberal" and "naive." Most Catholic Democrats say he’s doing an excellent or good job of spreading the Catholic faith. 

We rate this Facebook post False.


Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

No evidence Pope Francis said Catholics who vote Democrat are committing “a grave sin.”

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up