Fraternity and social friendship.
DARK CLOUDS OVER A CLOSED WORLD
Fratelli Tutti describes a world where all see each other and act as brothers and sisters, a world as God wants it. The real world we live in is far away from that. It is dominated by power struggles between nations, parties and politicians, even between religious communities. In the economy and in the workplace, people compete with each other instead of cooperating. Families, marriages and friendships are breaking up due to envy and strife.
Francis addresses several negative developments: the levelling of the different cultures through globalisation; the loss of a historical awareness; the growing inequality; the problem of migration; the negative sides of digital media. Despite all this, there are also signs of hope.
- Society becomes ever more globalized; it makes us neighbours but does not make us brothers.
Fratelli Tutti 12
- We have grown indifferent to all kinds of wastefulness, starting with the waste of food, which is deplorable in the extreme«. Fratelli Tutti 18
- Wealth has increased, but together with inequality, with the result that “new forms of poverty are emerging… While one part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees its own dignity denied, scorned or trampled upon, and its fundamental rights discarded or violated… Whether by coercion, or deception, or by physical or psychological duress, human persons created in the image and likeness of God are deprived of their freedom, sold and reduced to being the property of others. 22.24
- Migrations, more than ever before, will play a pivotal role in the future of our world… Aided by its great cultural and religious heritage, it has the means to defend the centrality of the human person and to find the right balance between its twofold moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens and to assure assistance and acceptance to migrants. 40
- Digital media can expose people to the risk of addiction, isolation and a gradual loss of contact with concrete reality, blocking the development of authentic interpersonal relationships. They lack the physical gestures, facial expressions, moments of silence, body language and even the smells, the trembling of hands, the blushes and perspiration that speak to us and are a part of human communication…. The flood of information at our fingertips does not make for greater wisdom. 50
- At times, the frantic pace of the modern world prevents us from listening attentively to what another person is saying. Halfway through, we interrupt him and want to contradict what he has not even finished saying. We must not lose our ability to listen. 48
- Despite these dark clouds, which may not be ignored, I would like in the following pages to take up and discuss many new paths of hope. For God continues to sow abundant seeds of goodness in our human family… Hope is bold; it can look beyond personal convenience, the petty securities and compensations which limit our horizon, and it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile. Let us continue, then, to advance along the paths of hope.! 55
May our hearts be open to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects, and shared dreams. Amen.