On October 3, 2020, Pope Francis released the social encyclical Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship. (You can read the entire text of this encyclical by clicking here.)
Encyclicals are documents that the Pope issues to a particular audience with a focus on a topic or issue of importance.
Pope Francis addressed Fratelli Tutti to all people of good will who are open to dialogue. Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi’s way of Gospel-living, Pope Francis calls for a renewed commitment to respond to the challenges of our day with love for all people and our earth—regardless of how near or far to us they are. From January 24-March 14 in each Sunday’s bulletin, we are pulling out brief points from the encyclical one chapter at a time. You can read those bulletin blurbs at the end of this page.
Once a month from January-May 2021, the Center for Mission is hosting a series of events called “Encountering Fratelli Tutti,” with a variety of speakers helping break down the themes and applications of the encyclical.
Risen Savior will post the recordings of the videos at the bottom of this page under their relevant chapters, but we highly encourage you to attend live if you are able!
- January 26th: Dr. Bernie Evans on chapters 1 & 2
- February 24th: Catherine Orr on chapter 3
- March 23rd: David Fremo on chapters 4 & 5
- April 27th: Kayla Jacobs on chapter 6
- May 25th: Lynette Graham on chapters 7 & 8
All “Encountering Fratelli Tutti” events are live on Zoom from 7-8:30p.m.
Register by filling out the Google Form at this link: http://bit.ly/3seBAFi. Contact Adam Fitzpatrick, firstname.lastname@example.org, at the Center for Mission (https://centerformission.org/whats-new/) with questions.
Chapter 1: Dark Clouds over a Closed World
In this first chapter, Pope Francis names key challenges, or “dark clouds,” of our time: the rise of self-interest and exclusive nationalism, limitless consumption, lack of a shared vision for our human family, pursuing economic interests at the expense of ethical considerations, and cultivating fear and hostility instead of a community of belonging and solidarity. All of these are challenges for Christians and other people of good will to actively counter with love, justice, encounter, and hope.
Chapter 2: A Stranger on the Road
Here, Pope Francis applies the Parable of the Good Samaritan to our contemporary experiences (Luke 10: 25-37). At the heart of the parable is a call to love all people as our neighbor, especially those from whom we would rather look away or ignore. Francis challenges us to recognize these tendencies towards indifference as signs of an unhealthy society—yet a society that we can change and re-orient towards love and compassion. In Francis’s words, “Let us seek out others and embrace the world as it is, without fear of pain or a sense of inadequacy, because there we will discover all the goodness that God has planted in human hearts” (78).
Chapter 3: Envisaging and Engendering an Open World
Francis challenges us on what authentic fraternity, social friendship, and solidarity rooted in love look like in lived practice. As individuals, families, communities, and nations, Francis calls us to consider to what extent our actions are expressions of love that knows no bounds—the love we receive from God. Of particular challenge to citizens of Western industrialized countries like ours, is Francis’ critique of self-serving decisions and policies made under the guise of “freedom.” He reminds us that the freedom God offers us is a freedom for the common good, freedom for loving and caring for one another.
Chapter 4: A Heart Open to the Whole World
Here, Pope Francis calls us as individuals, local communities, states, and nations to embody love for neighbor through just immigration and international policies. He highlights how when we encounter other cultures, we grow in love and appreciation of our own origins; there is mutual enrichment when sincere dialogue and exchange are sought.
Chapter 5: A Better Kind of Politics
Pope Francis highlights that though many of us shy away from politics and might even have been taught not to talk politics, political life is a way to act for the common good and is necessary! Individually we express charity through donating to causes or helping someone suffering; politically, we express charity through “working to change the social conditions that caused [the person’s] suffering” (186). “Good politics combines love with hope and with confidence in the reserves of goodness present in human hearts” (196).
Chapter 6: Dialogue and Friendship in Society
Pope Francis calls us to courageous and persistent commitment to dialogue—by which he means “approaching, speaking, listening, looking at, coming to know and understand one another, and to find common ground” in pursuit of the common good (198). As people of good will and of faith, he urges us individually, as families, communities, and nations to develop a heart for “meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning project[s] that include everyone” (216).
Chapter 7: Paths of Renewed Encounter
Coming March 7!
Chapter 8: Religions at the Service of Fraternity in Our World
Coming March 14th!