Pope Francis’s Call to Fraternity

By Austen Ivereigh
October 4, 2020

The making of ‘Fratelli tutti’

In what may turn out to be his final major teaching document, Pope Francis has issued a bracing call to a fractured world to discover what he calls “a new vision of fraternity and social friendship that will not remain at the level of words.” It could hardly be more timely.

Although he did not pen Fratelli tutti in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the virus hovers over its first chapter, in which he grimly surveys a world sliding back into fragmentation, egotism, and polarization, incapable of the consensus needed to cope with the challenge. But the encyclical was conceived in response to a much broader crisis in modernity, not just the pandemic, and it is on the persuasiveness of its diagnosis and prescription that it will be judged.

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