Despite obstacles, differences and varying perspectives on the way to achieve peaceful coexistence, this task summons us to persevere in the struggle to promote a ‘culture of encounter’. Unless we recover the shared passion to create a community of belonging and solidarity worthy of our time, our energy and our resources, the global illusion that misled us will collapse and leave many in the grip of anguish and emptiness. It also testifies to the fact that, since the important things we share are so many, it is possible to find a means of serene, ordered and peaceful coexistence, accepting our differences and rejoicing that, as children of the one God, we are all brothers and sisters”. This way of discarding others can take a variety of forms, such as an obsession with reducing labour costs with no concern for its grave consequences, since the unemployment that it directly generates leads to the expansion of poverty. The real question is this: will we abandon the injured man and run to take refuge from the violence, or will we pursue the thieves? SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (30 December 1987), 42: AAS 80 (1988), 572-574; Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 11: AAS 83 (1991), 806-807. This saint of fraternal love, simplicity and joy, who inspired me to write the Encyclical Laudato Si’, prompts me once more to devote this new Encyclical to fraternity and social friendship. [284] Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, Abu Dhabi (4 February 2019): L’Osservatore Romano, 4-5 February 2019, p. 6. A society that seeks prosperity but turns its back on suffering. 161. I should no longer say that I have neighbours to help, but that I must myself be a neighbour to others. www.vatican.va. [258] SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (25 March 1995), 9: AAS 87 (1995), 411. BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 67: AAS 101 (2009), 700-701. For a real and lasting peace will only be possible “on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation in the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family”.[108]. [53] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 1. For whereas individuals can help others in need, when they join together in initiating social processes of fraternity and justice for all, they enter the “field of charity at its most vast, namely political charity”. 257. Nor should we forget that “inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations”. No one can mature or find fulfilment by withdrawing from others. [61] SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Message to the Handicapped, Angelus in Osnabrück, Germany (16 November 1980): Insegnamenti III, 2 (1980), 1232. Indeed, “when financial speculation manipulates the price of food, treating it as just another commodity, millions of people suffer and die from hunger. Some texts are very clear in this regard: we are told to admonish our opponents “with gentleness” (2 Tim 2:25) and encouraged “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone. That journey, undertaken at the time of the Crusades, further demonstrated the breadth and grandeur of his love, which sought to embrace everyone. Jérôme Lejeune on the way to be beatified, Pope Francis prays for victims of #Madrid church explosion. He openly condemned the use of force to gain power over others: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 1) and shares a vision for humanity that Pope Francis has emphasized throughout his papacy: “It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity. It becomes easier to discredit and insult opponents from the outset than to open a respectful dialogue aimed at achieving agreement on a deeper level. Yet, “the commandment of peace is inscribed in the depths of the religious traditions that we represent… As religious leaders, we are called to be true ‘people of dialogue’, to cooperate in building peace not as intermediaries but as authentic mediators. [7] There was also a growing desire for integration in Latin America, and several steps were taken in this direction. This calls for acknowledging that the human mind is capable of transcending immediate concerns and grasping certain truths that are unchanging, as true now as in the past. Nor will it trouble us to be deemed naive for choosing peace. 4). Otherwise, the consequences of a disaster in one country will end up affecting the entire planet. [7] Address to the European Parliament, Strasbourg (25 November 2014): AAS 106 (2014), 996. There are social phenomena that create majorities, as well as megatrends and communitarian aspirations. [211] Address at the National Reconciliation Encunter, Villavicencio, Colombia (8 September 2017): AAS 109 (2017), 1063-1064, 1066. As Jesus told us: “You are all brothers” (Mt 23:8). We achieve fulfilment when we break down walls and our hearts are filled with faces and names!”[193] The great goals of our dreams and plans may only be achieved in part. In the words of the Bishops of India, “the goal of dialogue is to establish friendship, peace and harmony, and to share spiritual and moral values and experiences in a spirit of truth and love”. All too quickly, however, we forget the lessons of history, “the teacher of life”. Yet it is easy to fall into an overly broad interpretation of this potential right. Saint Paul, recognizing the temptation of the earliest Christian communities to form closed and isolated groups, urged his disciples to abound in love “for one another and for all” (1 Thess 3:12). Jesus trusts in the best of the human spirit; with this parable, he encourages us to persevere in love, to restore dignity to the suffering and to build a society worthy of the name. We have become accustomed to looking the other way, passing by, ignoring situations until they affect us directly. What would be the reaction to that same story nowadays, in a world that constantly witnesses the emergence and growth of social groups clinging to an identity that separates them from others? 29. [95] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (24 May 2015), 93: AAS 107 (2015), 884. Le Seuil Paris, 1967, 122. This is how some justify their indifference: the poor, whose pleas for help might touch their hearts, simply do not exist. 218. [167] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 205: AAS 105 (2013), 1106. 119. [115] Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit (25 March 2019), 93. There can be no racial, national, confessional or partisan differences”. Liberty becomes nothing more than a condition for living as we will, completely free to choose to whom or what we will belong, or simply to possess or exploit. No one is useless and no one is expendable. As persons, they need to consider that “the modern world, with its technical advances, tends increasingly to functionalize the satisfaction of human desires, now classified and subdivided among different services. 3. An appropriate and authentic openness to the world presupposes the capacity to be open to one’s neighbour within a family of nations. If we are troubled by the extinction of certain species, we should be all the more troubled that in some parts of our world individuals or peoples are prevented from developing their potential and beauty by poverty or other structural limitations. Every “peace process requires enduring commitment. 96. At the same time, we ask God to strengthen unity within the Church, a unity enriched by differences reconciled by the working of the Spirit. Saint John Paul II observed that the Church “does not intend to condemn every possible form of social conflict. The word ‘people’ has a deeper meaning that cannot be set forth in purely logical terms. Sincere and humble worship of God “bears fruit not in discrimination, hatred and violence, but in respect for the sacredness of life, respect for the dignity and freedom of others, and loving commitment to the welfare of all”. If we wish to maintain that society is more than a mere aggregate of individuals, the term “people” proves necessary. [255] This has made all the more dangerous the growing practice in some countries of resorting to preventive custody, imprisonment without trial and especially the death penalty. A shallow and pathetic desire to imitate others leads to copying and consuming in place of creating, and fosters low national self-esteem. [60] Let us renounce the pettiness and resentment of useless in-fighting and constant confrontation. This has now given free rein to ideologies. [281] Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, Abu Dhabi (4 February 2019): L’Osservatore Romano, 4-5 February 2019, p. 7. Do we love our society or is it still something remote, something anonymous that does not involve us, something to which we are not committed?”[215], 231. Charity’s openness to truth thus protects it from “a fideism that deprives it of its human and universal breadth”.[179]. It would be easier to keep freedoms and differences in check with cleverness and a few resources. [130] GEORG SIMMEL, Brücke und Tür. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater. In a strictly personal way, someone, by a free and generous decision, can choose not to demand punishment (cf. The way many platforms work often ends up favouring encounter between persons who think alike, shielding them from debate. If forgiveness is gratuitous, then it can be shown even to someone who resists repentance and is unable to beg pardon. Once more, I would like to echo a statement of Saint John Paul II whose forcefulness has perhaps been insufficiently recognized: “God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone”. In the words of Saint John XXIII, “it no longer makes sense to maintain that war is a fit instrument with which to repair the violation of justice”. It is moving to see forgiveness shown by those who are able to leave behind the harm they suffered, but it is also humanly understandable in the case of those who cannot. [188] Often, as we carry on our semantic or ideological disputes, we allow our brothers and sisters to die of hunger and thirst, without shelter or access to health care. Charity needs the light of the truth that we constantly seek. Those who work for tranquil social coexistence should never forget that inequality and lack of integral human development make peace impossible. 120. [191] Amid the daily concerns of political life, “the smallest, the weakest, the poorest should touch our hearts: indeed, they have a ‘right’ to appeal to our heart and soul. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Death Penalty (1 August 2018): L’Osservatore Romano, 3 August 2018, p. 8. We must never grow accustomed or inured to them. Digital communication wants to bring everything out into the open; people’s lives are combed over, laid bare and bandied about, often anonymously. To this end, there is a need to ensure the uncontested rule of law and tireless recourse to negotiation, mediation and arbitration, as proposed by the Charter of the United Nations, which constitutes truly a fundamental juridical norm”. [227] Video Message to the TED Conference in Vancouver (26 April 2017): L’Osservatore Romano, 27 April 2017, p. 7. In political activity, we should remember that, “appearances notwithstanding, every person is immensely holy and deserves our love. The moral problem behind certain Covid-19 vaccines and what the Church proposes, 5. And that is not something automatic, but rather a slow, difficult process… of advancing towards a common project”.[132]. War can easily be chosen by invoking all sorts of allegedly humanitarian, defensive or precautionary excuses, and even resorting to the manipulation of information. [144] Address to Participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements (5 November 2016): L’Osservatore Romano, 7-8 November 2016, pp. Pope Francis signed his latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti on Saturday 3 October 2020, in Asissi, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis, whose name he took on becoming Pope (see photo).. Only one person stopped, approached the man and cared for him personally, even spending his own money to provide for his needs. [12], 18. 21. I invite everyone to renewed hope, for hope “speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning. Even as forms of fanaticism, closedmindedness and social and cultural fragmentation proliferate in present-day society, a good politician will take the first step and insist that different voices be heard. There is no need for me to stress the benefits of dialogue. [253] Epistola 97 (Responsa ad consulta Bulgarorum), 25: PL 119, 991. “ipsi (Christo) non solum innoxios quosque, verum etiam et noxios a mortis exitio satagite cunctos eruere…”. If we want true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and peoples. Gal 5:22) as agathosyne; the Greek word expresses attachment to the good, pursuit of the good. [99] Saint John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (30 December 1987), 33: AAS 80 (1988), 557. At a time when everything seems to disintegrate and lose consistency, it is good for us to appeal to the “solidity”[88] born of the consciousness that we are responsible for the fragility of others as we strive to build a common future. [217] Homily, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (10 September 2017): AAS 109 (2017), 1086. [208] Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (19 March 2016), 100: AAS 108 (2016), 351. [286] Cf. 142. [194], 196. As a result of the displacement of moral reasoning, the law is no longer seen as reflecting a fundamental notion of justice but as mirroring notions currently in vogue. [48] How can this contribute to the fraternity that our common Father asks of us? For this reason, it is important that catechesis and preaching speak more directly and clearly about the social meaning of existence, the fraternal dimension of spirituality, our conviction of the inalienable dignity of each person, and our reasons for loving and accepting all our brothers and sisters. 1. “Those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen” (1 Jn 4:20). We must not lose our ability to listen”. 73. This means that “everyone has a fundamental role to play in a single great creative project: to write a new page of history, a page full of hope, peace and reconciliation”. Nor should we forget that “there are huge economic interests operating in the digital world, capable of exercising forms of control as subtle as they are invasive, creating mechanisms for the manipulation of consciences and of the democratic process. The Samaritans lived in a region where pagan rites were practised. [84] A truly human and fraternal society will be capable of ensuring in an efficient and stable way that each of its members is accompanied at every stage of life. Certain requirements thus ensue, and these can be discovered through dialogue, even though, strictly speaking, they are not created by consensus. I sometimes wonder why, in light of this, it took so long for the Church unequivocally to condemn slavery and various forms of violence. 282. One speaks of respect for freedom, but without roots in a shared narrative; in certain contexts, those who defend the rights of the most vulnerable members of society tend to be criticized as populists. Shortly after its account of the creation of the world and of man, the Bible takes up the issue of human relationships. “FRATELLI TUTTI”. 48. People have this right even if they are unproductive, or were born with or developed limitations. Men and women are capable of coming up with shared goals that transcend their differences and can thus engage in a common endeavour. In places where these community values are maintained, people experience a closeness marked by gratitude, solidarity and reciprocity. 114. Nowadays, it is easy to be tempted to turn the page, to say that all these things happened long ago and we should look to the future. [16] Wealth has increased, but together with inequality, with the result that “new forms of poverty are emerging”. All individuals, whatever their origin, know that they are part of the greater human family, without which they will not be able to understand themselves fully. Ancient conflicts thought long buried are breaking out anew, while instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise. : AAS 105 (2013), 1105-1106. In the first Christian centuries, a number of thinkers developed a universal vision in their reflections on the common destination of created goods. 1 Cor 13:1-13). [187] Address to the United Nations Organization, New York (25 September 2015): AAS 107 (2015), 1039. It is therefore crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and to reject the discriminatory use of the term minorities, which engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority. As a rule, the advance of this kind of globalism strengthens the identity of the more powerful, who can protect themselves, but it tends to diminish the identity of the weaker and poorer regions, making them more vulnerable and dependent. It demands a decisive commitment to devising effective means to this end. 74. They were not among those to be helped. The human person, with his or her inalienable rights, is by nature open to relationship. I would link this to life imprisonment… A life sentence is a secret death penalty”.[257]. Indeed, “without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannot completely fulfil its proper economic function. In any case, forgetting is never the answer. Pope Francis’ 40,000 word encyclical Fratelli Tutti is the latest volley in the war for souls. our On an even broader scale, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb and I have observed that “good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both. [248] Cf. A society is noble and decent not least for its support of the pursuit of truth and its adherence to the most basic of truths. For “love shatters the chains that keep us isolated and separate; in their place, it builds bridges. [238] Address to the Members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, New York (25 September 2015): AAS 107 (2015), 1041. [282], 284. The Acts of the Apostles notes that the disciples, albeit persecuted by some of the authorities, “had favour with all the people” (2:47; cf. [94] For my part, I would observe that “the Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute or inviolable, and has stressed the social purpose of all forms of private property”. In any human group there are always going to be more or less subtle power struggles between different parties. Dreams, on the other hand, are built together”. Let us hear the true stories of these victims of violence, look at reality through their eyes, and listen with an open heart to the stories they tell. 20. For “in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13), in which each member has his or her distinctive contribution to make. The dignity of others is to be respected in all circumstances, not because that dignity is something we have invented or imagined, but because human beings possess an intrinsic worth superior to that of material objects and contingent situations. [144] In that sense, such movements are “social poets” that, in their own way, work, propose, promote and liberate. [149] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (24 May 2015), 175: AAS 107 (2015), 916-917. [196] Meeting with Brazilian Political, Economic and Cultural Leaders, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (27 July 2013): AAS 105 (2013), 683-684. Saint Paul VI used these words in praising his commitment: Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio (26 March 1967): AAS 59 (1967), 263. Yet beyond this, those who love, and who no longer view politics merely as a quest for power, “may be sure that none of our acts of love will be lost, nor any of our acts of sincere concern for others. At times fundamentalist violence is unleashed in some groups, of whatever religion, by the rashness of their leaders. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? People can develop certain habits that might appear as moral values: fortitude, sobriety, hard work and similar virtues. We can work on a small scale, in our own neighbourhood, but with a larger perspective… The global need not stifle, nor the particular prove barren”;[125] our model must be that of a polyhedron, in which the value of each individual is respected, where “the whole is greater than the part, but it is also greater than the sum of its parts”. They may quarrel, but there is something that does not change: the family bond. [15] In addition, a readiness to discard others finds expression in vicious attitudes that we thought long past, such as racism, which retreats underground only to keep reemerging. In these pages of reflection on universal fraternity, I felt inspired particularly by Saint Francis of Assisi, but also by others of our brothers and sisters who are not Catholics: Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi and many more. There is no end to the building of a country’s social peace; rather, it is “an open-ended endeavour, a never-ending task that demands the commitment of everyone and challenges us to work tirelessly to build the unity of the nation. It is due, rather, to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride. There are those who prefer not to talk of reconciliation, for they think that conflict, violence and breakdown are part of the normal functioning of a society. [187] This includes taking intelligent advantage of the immense resources offered by technological development. 99. 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