Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2020_10_30_ICS_opinion_fratelli_tutti

Ana Marta Gonzalez Gonzalez, Professor of the School of Philosophy and Letters and researcher of the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Navarra. Ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Fratelli Tutti: all challenged

Fri, 30 Oct 2020 12:19:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

Even in media that rarely echo Church affairs, the social encyclicals of the Popes arouse interest because they offer an interpretation of social reality in the light of the Gospel, without descending into the partisan polemics that are usually the protagonists of the political discussion in each country. Precisely when exasperated partisanship constitutes one of the factors that most deteriorate social harmony, this reflection class , because of its far-sightedness, challenges not only believers, but also anyone concerned with generating a more humane social and political environment.

Like a "father of a family who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old" (Mt. 15:52), in this class of documents the Popes are accustomed to focus on those aspects of the Christian message that allow us to better illuminate a social reality that is in itself changing. In a world context marked by an evident social and political polarization, by the "globalization of indifference", by growing economic and social inequalities, by the generalized discarding of people considered unproductive, by exacerbated identity conflicts, by the resurgence of racism and xenophobia, and, in final, by the practical regression of the universal recognition of human rights, Francis has dedicated this letter to "Fraternity and social friendship"; and, among the many facets of Christian fraternity, he wanted to expressly highlight one: openness to all.

Recalling that the Christian is called to foster social friendship and, therefore, to contribute to the construction of common humanity, his reflection finds an echo beyond the borders of the Catholic Church and other Christian confessions; in fact, Francis wanted to highlight the encouragement that he received from his 2019 meeting with the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, meeting , and he firmly believes in common humanity and friendship as a place of meeting between believers and non-believers: from the depths of his Christian faith, taking as guideline the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Pope does not hesitate to make common cause with all those who are sincerely committed to making themselves neighbor to others, overcoming personal or group selfishness, to open themselves to others and build a more supportive and just world, however diverse their convictions may be. Because we are all in the same boat.

In this sense, it is not by chance that the degree scroll of the encyclical reflects the words with which St. Francis of Assisi addressed his brothers and sisters: it thus underlines the continuity with Laudato Si, whose degree scroll evokes the Canticle in which the Saint of Assisi, praising the Creator, referred to all the creatures of the earth as sisters: for if he "felt himself brother to the sun, the sea and the wind, he knew himself even more united to those who were of his own flesh". Once again, Pope Francis invites us to turn our gaze to the Poverello of Assisi, who "sowed peace everywhere and walked close to the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the discarded, the last," in order to refocus our approach to social and political life.


In fact, Fratelli Tutti is an invitation to imagine the construction and the development of social and political life in the light of this evangelical radicality, which, in the opinion of Francis, is called to inspire and transform the thought and conduct of Christians in this field as well. In fact: intertwining his thought with that of Benedict XVI, who in 2009 dedicated his encyclical Caritas in Veritate to the human orientation of globalization, Francis underlines: "All the commitments that flow from the Social Doctrine of the Church come from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the whole Law (cf. Mt 22:36-40)". This means recognizing that "love, full of small gestures of mutual care, is also civil and political, and is manifested in all actions that seek to build a better world". For that reason, love is expressed not only in intimate and close relationships, but also in "macro-relationships, such as social, economic and political relationships." (n. 181).

From the consolidation of everyday social ties to the way of approaching International Office, including the recovery of a noble sense of political activity, many are the issues that are illuminated by these principles; many are the challenges that, both in terms of thought and action, open up for those who wish to embrace the message contained in these pages. In any case, it is imperative to review our social and political practices in accordance with the ideal of social friendship.