a year later
A year ago today, St. Thomas Aquinas parish in East Lansing, Michigan invited me to give a presentation (followed by a Q&A) about Pope Francis's incredible encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.
Check that out here!
The presentation gave some of the scriptural and historical background of Catholic Social Teaching, both generally and as the context for Fratelli Tutti.
I also spoke about the key concerns that Pope Francis believes the world is facing, as well as the solutions he proposes. I explained how in this encyclical, the pope is calling us to reject our political ideologies, let alone our partisanship, and embrace “an alternative way of thinking” rooted in the dignity of the human person (FT 127).
However, while Fratelli Tutti is a teaching document, it’s not meant to simply convey doctrinal teaching. Pope Francis wants his teaching to provoke conversion and lead to concrete action. So I also included the pope’s reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan and an invitation to personal conversion and transformation.
Pope Francis wants us to “dream together” of a world firmly grounded on the dignity of all persons. He says:
“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. Fraternity between all men and women….Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” (FT 8).
I thought Fratelli Tutti was incredibly relevant to our situation a year ago, in the middle of a pandemic and immediately following the presidential election. And I still think it's relevant. This document challenges every ideology, every political party, and every heart. I really believe that through this document the Holy Spirit is showing us the antidote to the virus of selfishness, violence, and prejudice so prevalent in the world and in our own hearts.
Take a look at the presentation! And if you're interested more in Fratelli Tutti, I also helped Where Peter Is create a free study guide for it here.
Finally, Kristina Fahey created the original painting you see above for this encyclical. You can get prints or card of that painting here.