Pope Francis Calls for Renewed Commitment to Human Rights and Solidarity

Pope Francis signs ‘Fratelli Tutti’ in Assisi on Oct 4th

In his recently released encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (‘All Brothers), Pope Francis has addressed a range of current global issues. He expresses concern that ‘the sense of belonging to a single human family is fading, and the dream of working together for justice and peace seems an outdated utopia.’ #30

The Pope argues for ‘a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good’ #154 an end to ‘an individualistic and uncritical culture subservient to unregulated economic interests and societal institutions at the service of those who already enjoy too much power’ , #166 to ‘financial speculation fundamentally aimed at quick profit’ #168 and for a politics which is far-sighted rather than focused on short.term political advantage.

He calls for a renewed commitment to the ideals of the United Nations and reforms to equip it ‘with the power to provide for the global common good, the elimination of hunger and poverty and the sure defence of fundamental human rights’ #172

He praises the contribution of civil society groups for their role in ‘integrating and complementing the activity of the state’ noting that they ‘carry out commendable efforts in the service of the common good …. revealing something of the grandeur of which our humanity is still capable.’ #175

He stresses kindness, love, forgiveness and a ‘culture of encounter capable of transcending our differences and divisions’ while condemning ‘consumerist individualism’, increasing inequality that ‘gives rise to new forms of violence threatening the fabric of society’. ‘#142 He also laments the ‘hostility, insults, abuse, defamation and verbal violence destructive of others’, which ‘has found unparalleled room for expansion through computers and mobile devices’. #44

In the final chapter of the encyclical Pope Francis speaks of the essential role that the religions of the world should play in fostering universal fraternity and calls for grater collaboration among religions urging believers ‘to speak with one another and to act together for the common good and the promotion of the poor.’ #282

A short summary of the encyclical can be found here

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