Encyclical - Fratelli Tutti
On Fraternity and Social Friendship
Pope Francis sees his new Encyclical Letter as a "Social Encyclical"(6). He borrows the title from Saint Francis of Assisi, who used the words, as Pope Francis writes, to, "address his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel. (Par 1). I offer this social Encyclical as a modest contribution to continued reflection, in the hope that in the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity and social friendship that will not remain at the level of words." (Par 6).
We are created to be relational, to be in communion with God and one another. Pope Francis's new Encyclical Fratelli tutti expresses the Pope's deep concern that humanity is becoming more and more isolated from each other. He states, "If we take each other seriously, then we should be brothers and sisters and friends, and not just anonymous beings." Its full message requires each person to slow down, read it, pray with it and reflect on it. You can do so on your own, or as part of a group, which allows for greater interaction and is in the spirit of the Pope's writing.
The letter has eight chapters, each full of divine and human wisdom for all, with subtitles, which highlight each important area.
Chapter One: Dark Clouds over a Closed World
- Shattered Dreams
- Lacking a Plan for Everyone
- Globalization and Progress without a Shared Roadmap
- Pandemics and Other Calamities in History
- An Absence of Human Dignity and Borders
- The Illusion of Communication
- Forms of Subjection and Self-Contempt
Chapter Two: Strangers on the Road
- The Context
- Abandoned on the Wayside
- A Story Constantly Retold
- The Characters of the Story
- Starting Anew
- Neighbors without Borders
- The Plea of the Stranger
Chapter Three: Vision of an Open World
- Moving Beyond Ourselves
- A Love Ever More Open
- Open Societies that Integrate Everyone
- Inadequate Understanding of Universal Love
- Beyond a World of "Associates"
- Liberty, Equality and Fraternity
- A Universal Love the Promotes Persons
- Promoting the Moral Good
- The Value of Solidarity
- Re-envisioning the Social Role of Property
- Rights without Borders
- The Rights of Peoples
Chapter Four: Heart Open to the World
- Borders and their Limitations
- Reciprocal Gifts
- A Fruitful Exchange
- Local and Universal
- A Universal Horizon
- Starting with our Own Region
Chapter Five: Better Politics
- Forms of Populism and Liberalism
- International Power
- Social and Political Charity
- The Exercise of Political Love
- Fruitfulness Over Results
Chapter Six: Dialogue and Friendship
- Social Dialogue for a New Culture
- Building Together
- The Basis of Consensus
- A New Culture
- Recovering Kindness
Chapter Seven: Renewed Encounter
- Starting Anew from the Truth
- The Art and Architecture of Truth
- The Value and Meaning of Forgiveness
- War and the Death Penalty
Chapter Eight: Religion and Fraternity
- The Ultimate Foundation
- Religion and Violence
Cardinal Tagle presented on "Fratelli tutti" at the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations and said that the Encyclical Letter "inspires Christians to universal love and openness to others."
A distinctive trait of Fratelli Tutti, according to Cardinal Tagle, is that it forms a trio in harmony with two other encyclicals: Evangelii Gaudium, which is inspired by the request Saint Francis received from God to rebuild the Church and Laudato Sí, which outlines our shared responsibility for our common home. In Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis invites us to a universal social friendship and to be brothers and sisters with all.
Pope Francis ends the document with two prayers:
A Prayer to the Creator
Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war.
May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen.
An Ecumenical Christian Prayer
O God, Trinity of love,
from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus,
in his family of Nazareth,
and in the early Christian community.
Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel,
discovering Christ in each human being,
recognizing him crucified
in the sufferings of the abandoned
and forgotten of our world,
and risen in each brother or sister
who makes a new start.
Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves. Amen.
The Encyclical Letter is written by Pope Francis to "all people of good will," so the writing contains less ecclesiastical terminology and Biblical citations than in a typical encyclical, since its message is an important one for all.