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Bishop Walter A. Hurley Welcomes Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Human Fraternity



GAYLORD, MICHIGAN — Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord, issued a statement today welcoming Pope Francis’ new encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship.” 

Bishop Hurley states, “I welcome this teaching of our Holy Father, which stresses that God has created each of us with equal sanctity and dignity, designed for brotherhood and sisterhood. ‘Fratelli Tutti’ is received with thanksgiving during this season of isolation unlike any we have experienced in our lifetime – a timely reminder that human life cannot rightly exist without meaningful relationships. 

“God has a beautiful purpose for us which only comes to fulfillment when we properly order our lives with central focus on love of God and love of neighbor. This love should permeate every aspect of our existence, shaping our societies, our economies and our politics. In light of the upcoming elections, the Holy Father’s words remind us that we must approach politics with the gospel message at the forefront, recognizing that political leadership is a gift intended to provide justice and order in our society. 

“In his letter, Pope Francis challenges us to a renewed love of neighbor, through protecting the weak and powerless and rejecting the degradation of the dignity of the human person. This rejection of selfishness lies in stark contrast to our society’s narrow focus on one’s self. Yet, it is only when we look upward and outward that we find true joy and true hope. When we radically love others — those of every background, creed and color – we open our hearts in the same way Mary opened her heart to Jesus. 

“This remains our invitation, our calling and our challenge: To recognize Christ in the face of others; to seek justice and mercy devoid of violence and vengeance; and to choose compassion in all circumstances. Jesus’ obedient journey to Calvary is the ultimate expression of this love, modeling how we too can carry our cross for the salvation of others.

“I pray that ‘Fratelli Tutti’ will spark new life within our own hearts, within the Church and throughout the nations. As we reflect on our Holy Father’s words, may we be able to more fully live out Jesus’ new commandment to love one another, as he has loved us.”

Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti,”  can be found at the Vatican’s website




The Diocese of Gaylord was established by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on July 20, 1971. The territory encompasses 11,171 square miles and includes the 21 most northern counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The region is home to nearly 50,000 Catholics, served by 75 parishes, 17 Catholic schools and many closely-related institutions. For more information, visit

Keywords: Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Gaylord, Papal Encyclical, Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti

Media Contact: Mrs. Mackenzie Ritchie, Director of Communications / / 989.705.3506

File: Statement on Encyclical - Fratelli Tutti - Press Release 10-7-20

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