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Pope’s New Encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’ Outlines Vision for a Better World

Pope Francis has called for a “better kind of politics,” a more “open world,” and paths of renewed encounter and dialogue in his latest social encyclical, a letter that he hopes will promote a “rebirth of a universal aspiration” toward “fraternity and social friendship.”

TitledFratelli Tutti (Brothers All), the eight-chapter, 45,000-word document — Francis’ longest encyclical yet — delineates many of today’s socio-economic ills before proposing an ideal world of fraternity where countries are able to be part of a “larger human family.” 

The encyclical, which the Pope signed in Assisi on Saturday, was published today, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and followed the Angelus and a morning press conference on a Sunday. 

The Pope begins in his introduction by explaining that the words Fratelli Tutti are taken from the sixth of 28 admonitions, or rules, that St. Francis of Assisi gave his brother friars — words, Pope Francis writes, that offered them “a way of life marked by the flavor of the Gospel.”

But he focuses in particular on St. Francis’ 25th admonition — “Blessed is the brother who would love and fear his brother as much when he is far from him as he would when with him” — and re-interprets this as calling “for a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance.” 

Noting that “wherever he went,” St. Francis “sowed seeds of peace” and accompanied the “least of his brothers and sisters,” he writes that the 12th-century saint did not “wage a war of words aimed at imposing doctrines” but “simply spread the love of God.” 

The Pope draws mostly on his previous documents and messages, the teaching of post-conciliar popes, and some references to St. Thomas Aquinas. And he also regularly cites the Document on Human Fraternity that he signed with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar university, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, in Abu Dhabi last year, saying the encyclical “takes up and develops some of the great themes raised in the Document.”

In a novelty for an encyclical, Francis says he also has incorporated “a number of letters, documents and considerations” received from “many individuals and groups throughout the world.” 

Read more at National Catholic Register

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