Tweets from Fratelli tutti

Here’s a collection of what I tweeted as I read Pope Francis’ new encyclical Fratelli tutti this morning after its release…

“Francis felt himself a brother to the sun, the sea and the wind, yet he knew that he was even closer to those of his own flesh.” – FT, 2

“Francis did not wage a war of words aimed at imposing doctrines; he simply spread the love of God. He understood that ‘God is love & those who abide in love abide in God’ (1 Jn 4:16). In this way, he became a father to all and inspired the vision of a fraternal society.” – FT, 4

“As a result, there is a growing loss of the sense of history, which leads to even further breakup. A kind of “deconstructionism”, whereby human freedom claims to create everything starting from zero, is making headway in today’s culture… The one thing it leaves in its wake is the drive to limitless consumption and expressions of empty individualism.” – FT, 13

WOW read 13-14 3x.

Update: Added this after publishing – good highlights/take from Harrison Garlick, Chancellor of the Diocese of Tulsa:

“The Holy Father on how those who seek to destroy history do so to ‘reign unopposed’ and are ‘the new forms of cultural colonization.'”

“Respect for [human] rights ‘is the preliminary condition… When the dignity of the human person is respected, and his or her rights recognized and guaranteed, creativity and interdependence thrive, and… creativity.. that further the common good.'” -FT 22 (quoting himself)

[COVID] “If everything is connected, it is hard to imagine that this global disaster is unrelated to our way of approaching reality, our claim to be absolute masters of our own lives and of all that exists.” – FT 34

37: Certain populist political regimes, as well as certain liberal economic approaches, maintain that an influx of migrants is to be prevented at all costs. Arguments are also made for the propriety of limiting aid to poor countries… great numbers of lives are at stake. Many migrants have fled from war, persecution and natural catastrophes. Others, rightly, ‘are seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. They dream of a better future and they want to create the conditions for achieving it.’

41: “I realize that some people are hesitant and fearful with regard to migrants…. part of our natural instinct of self-defence. Yet it is also true that an individual and a people are only fruitful and productive if they are able to develop a creative openness to others.”

43: Digital Communications “do not really build community.. they tend to disguise and expand the very individualism that finds expression in xenophobia and in contempt for the vulnerable. Digital connectivity is not enough to build bridges. It is not capable of uniting humanity.”

“Information without wisdom” 47-50 is golden. I will need to blog on this section.

56-60: Parable of the Good Samaritan… “Where is your brother Abel?”… Saint Irenaeus on harmony in music… Sirach “the compassion of the Lord is for all living beings”… Matthew “do to others as you would have them do to you.”

FT 79: “All of us have a responsibility for the wounded, those of our own people and all the peoples of the earth. Let us care for the needs of every man and woman, young and old, with the same fraternal spirit of care and closeness that marked the Good Samaritan.”

“The spiritual stature of a person’s life is measured by love… ‘the criterion for the definitive decision about a human life’s worth or lack thereof.’… Yet some believers think that it consists in the imposition of their own ideologies upon everyone else, or in a violent defence of the truth, or in impressive demonstrations of strength… All of us, as believers, need to recognize that love takes first place: love must never be put at risk, and the greatest danger lies in failing to love.'” – FT 92

“Love, then, is more than just a series of benevolent actions. Those actions have their source in a union increasingly directed towards others, considering them of value, worthy, pleasing and beautiful apart from their physical or moral appearances.” – FT 94

(Note to self: remember to quote this in any papers for Trinity & Salvation.)

101-102: Comparing the idea of “neighbor” with the modern idea of “associate” for business, political, or other gain.

“Individualism does not make us more free, more equal, more fraternal. The mere sum of individual interests is not capable of generating a better world for the whole human family. Nor can it save us from the many ills that are now increasingly globalized.” -FT 105

The common destination of created goods & the social purpose of all forms of private property, 118-120, is going to take a lot more prayerful reading to be sure I understand what he’s teaching. Remembering what we have is gift to be shared is my starting point.

Quotes JPII, though, in Centesimus Annus, “God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone.”

“On an even broader scale, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb and I have observed that ‘good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both.'” – FT 136

“Life without fraternal gratuitousness becomes a form of frenetic commerce, in which we are constantly weighing up what we give and what we get back in return. God, on the other hand, gives freely, to the point of helping even those who are unfaithful.” – FT 140

“In some areas of our cities, there is still a lively sense of neighbourhood. Each person quite spontaneously perceives a duty to accompany and help his or her neighbour. In places where these community values are maintained, people experience a closeness marked… by gratitude, solidarity and reciprocity. The neighbourhood gives them a sense of shared identity. Would that neighbouring countries were able to encourage a similar neighbourly spirit between their peoples!” – FT 152

“The development of a global community of fraternity based on the practice of social friendship on the part of peoples and nations calls for a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good.” FT 154

“The biggest issue is employment… promotes the good of the people… the opportunity to nurture the seeds that God has planted: talents, initiative, innate resources. This is the finest help we can give to the poor, the best path to a life of dignity.” – FT 162

“True charity is capable of incorporating all these elements in its concern for others. In the case of personal encounters, including those involving a distant or forgotten brother or sister, it can do so by employing all the resources that the institutions of an organized, free and creative society are capable of generating. Even the Good Samaritan, for example, needed to have a nearby inn that could provide the help that he was personally unable to offer.” FT 165

“The marketplace, by itself, cannot resolve every problem, however much we are asked to believe this dogma of neoliberal faith. Whatever the challenge, this impoverished and repetitive school of thought always offers the same recipes.” FT 168

“Charity needs the light of the truth that we constantly seek. ‘That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith,’ and does not admit any form of relativism.” – FT 185

Dignity & education, subsidiarity & solidarity (187); fundamental human rights vs. ‘throwaway culture’, calling for effective solutions & naming big problems affecting human dignity today (188); elimination of hunger as a biggest goal & step to universal human rights (189)

“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.” – FT 198

“Dialogue is often confused with something quite different: the feverish exchange of opinions on social networks, frequently based on media information that is not always reliable. These exchanges are merely parallel monologues.” FT 200

“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. Based on their identity and experience, others have a contribution to make, and it is desirable that they should articulate… their positions for the sake of a more fruitful public debate. When individuals or groups are consistent in their thinking, defend their values and convictions, and develop their arguments, this surely benefits society” – FT 203

“That every human being possesses an inalienable dignity is a truth that corresponds to human nature apart from all cultural change.. human beings have the same inviolable dignity in every age of history… The intellect can investigate the reality of things through reflection, experience and dialogue, and come to recognize in that reality, which transcends it, the basis of certain universal moral demands… To agnostics, this foundation could prove sufficient to confer a solid and stable universal validity on basic and non-negotiable ethical principles that could serve to prevent further catastrophes… As believers, we are convinced that human nature, as the source of ethical principles, was created by God, and that ultimately it is he who gives those principles their solid foundation.” – FT 213-214

“When one part of society exploits all that the world has to offer, acting as if the poor did not exist, there will eventually be consequences. Sooner or later, ignoring the existence and rights of others will erupt in some form of violence, often when least expected… Liberty, equality and fraternity can remain lofty ideals unless they apply to everyone. Encounter cannot take place only between the holders of economic, political or academic power.” – FT 219

Recovering Kindness (FT 222-224) may be the basis for my Virtue/Gifts of the Spirit focus (Kindness) for our Young Disciples Society at my parish this coming week.

Calling out learnings from Bishops of South Africa & South Korea in how to achieve reconciliation & peace (FT 229)

Fixing inequality, providing = opportunities, “When a society, whether local, national or global, is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance can indefinitely guarantee tranquility.” FT 235

Forgiveness, the memory of harms done, moving on, (236-254)

“Revenge never truly satisfies victims. Some crimes are so horrendous and cruel that the punishment of those who perpetrated them does not serve to repair the harm done. Even killing the criminal would not be enough, nor.. any form of torture… Revenge resolves nothing.” -FT 251

On war and the death penalty, including great new language to try to bring people along on the injustice of capital punishment, FT 255-270. *

On the church’s (& her members’) rightful participation in political life: FT 276

@pontifex ends his reflection on universal fraternity recalling Saint Francis of Assisi, but also Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi… and Blessed Charles de Foucauld. “Only by identifying with the least did he come at last to be the brother of all.”

A bit about Blessed Charles de Foucauld:

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