Sunday, Oct 04, 2020

Pope Francis today called for a renewed spirit of global community with the release of his new encyclical, Fratelli tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship.

The pope took the name for the document from the greeting St. Francis used with his brothers and sisters in Christ — “brothers all” — and traveled yesterday to the saint’s birthplace of Assisi, Italy to officially sign the third encyclical of his papacy. Today’s release of the document coincides with the feast day of the beloved saint.

The eight-chapter encyclical examines contemporary social and economic problems against a backdrop of the current coronavirus pandemic, which “unexpectedly erupted” during its composition. Yet Pope Francis notes the global health crisis only underscores that “no one can face life in isolation” and that the time has truly come to “dream, then, as a single human family” in which we are “brothers and sisters all.”

Cardinal Cupich of Chicago in a statement hailed the new document as “destined to be a defining document and body of teaching for the pontificate of Pope Francis.”

“Fratelli tutti” represents a synthesis of the social teaching of Pope Francis,” Cardinal Cupich stated. “The encyclical draws deeply from previous writings, particularly “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” and his addresses, especially those directed to the international community. His framework is Christian, but his approach is also deliberately ecumenical and interfaith.”

Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, currently serving as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the encyclical as “an important contribution to the Church’s rich tradition of social doctrine.”

“In analyzing conditions in the world today, the Holy Father provides us with a powerful and urgent vision for the moral renewal of politics and political and economic institutions from the local level to the global level, calling us to build a common future that truly serves the good of the human person,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement.

The Vatican prepared a variety of resources for reading Fratellu tutti, including a one-page summary; a short, chapter-by-chapter overview; and a series of infographics.