Here we reproduce a reflection posted by the Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network.
In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis gives us a vision of a fraternal humanity. What are the concrete steps on the way to this ideal? Reconciliation and understanding for other people, cultures and religions becomes possible through personal encounters and open dialogue. The centuries-old arch-enmity between Germany and France was overcome in a short time by getting to know each other, through school exchanges, community partnerships and joint political dialogue on a peaceful future for Europe. In friendly and open encounters with people of other cultures and religions, we overcome our racial, ethnic and social prejudices and discover what we have in common as human beings and as children of the same father as well as our responsibility for our “common home”. In view of the current number of conflicts in the world, the Pope emphasizes the need for reconciliation. He goes into detail about conditions that can break the growing spiral of violence. In view of the devastating destruction of modern weapons, he considers the classical criteria for a just war no longer tenable and the death penalty inadmissible.
- Approaching, speaking, listening, looking at, coming to know and understand one another, and to find common ground: all these things are summed up in the one word “dialogue”. If we want to encounter and help one another, we have to dialogue. Fratelli tutti 198
- A country flourishes when constructive dialogue occurs between its many rich cultural components: popular culture, university culture, youth culture, artistic culture, technological culture, economic culture, family culture and media culture. Fratelli Tutti 199
- Authentic social dialogue involves the ability to respect the other’s point of view and to admit that it may include legitimate convictions and concerns… Differences are creative; they create tension and in the resolution of tension lies humanity’s progress. Fratelli Tutti 203
- Violence leads to more violence, hatred to more hatred, death to more death. We must break this cycle which seems inescapable… Those who work for tranquil social coexistence should never forget that inequality and lack of integral human development make peace impossible. Fratelli Tutti 227 + 235
- It is no easy task to overcome the bitter legacy of injustices, hostility and mistrust left by conflict. … This does not mean impunity. Justice is properly sought solely out of love of justice itself, out of respect for the victims, as a means of preventing new crimes and protecting the common good, not as an alleged outlet for personal anger. Forgiveness is precisely what enables us to pursue justice without falling into a spiral of revenge or the injustice of forgetting. FT 243 +252
- At issue is whether the development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the enormous and growing possibilities offered by new technologies, have granted war an uncontrollable destructive power over great numbers of innocent civilians… We can no longer think of war as a solution because its risks will probably always be greater than its supposed benefits. The death penalty is inadmissible, and the Church is firmly committed to calling for its abolition worldwide. FT 258
- It is not a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority. What is important is to create a process of encounter, a process that build a people that can accept differences. FT 217
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. Fratelli Tutti