UPDATE: Here’s the video.
Tonight at 6:30pm (EST) I’m giving a presentation on Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.
St. Thomas Aquinas parish in East Lansing, Michigan invited me to give an hour-long presentation (followed by a brief Q&A). You can watch it live on their Facebook page or watch the recording there afterwards (we’ll provide a link). If you happen to live in the area you can also attend in person (socially distanced in the church).
The presentation will include some of the scriptural and historical background of Catholic Social Teaching, both generally and as the context for Fratelli Tutti. I will also speak about the key concerns that Pope Francis believes the world is facing, as well as the solutions he proposes. I will explain how in this encyclical, the pope is calling us to reject our political ideologies, let alone our partisanship, and embrace “an alternative way of thinking” rooted in the dignity of the human person (FT 127).
However, while Fratelli Tutti is a teaching document, it’s not meant to simply convey doctrinal teaching. Pope Francis wants his teaching to provoke conversion and lead to concrete action. The talk will therefore include the pope’s reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan and an invitation to personal conversion and transformation.
Pope Francis wants us to “dream together” of a world firmly grounded on the dignity of all persons. He says:
“It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity. Fraternity between all men and women….Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” (FT 8).
I think Fratelli Tutti is incredibly relevant to our situation right now, especially following the US election. This document challenges every ideology, every political party, and every heart. I really believe that through this document the Holy Spirit is showing us the antidote to the virus of selfishness, violence, and prejudice so prevalent in the world and in our own hearts.
Watch if you can!
Image: Public Domain