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Pope's three key messages to understand new “All brothers” encyclical


Every Wednesday, the pope gives a catechesis during his General Audience with pilgrims.

For the past few weeks, he's been reflecting on the post-pandemic world. These meetings offer a sneak peek of his forthcoming encyclical on human fraternity, titled “All brothers,” which he will sign in Assisi on Oct. 3.

NO MORE SELFISHNESS

Pope Francis says the pandemic has opened up another wound: the social gap caused by a sick economy.

The pope explains that selfishness transforms the “homo sapiens” into a “homo economicus,” in other words, an individualistic, calculating, dominating person. He invites people to ask themselves if they want to continue living that way.

POPE FRANCIS
Aug. 26, 2020
When the obsession to possess and dominate excludes millions of persons from having primary goods; when economic and technological inequality are such that the social fabric is torn; and when dependence on unlimited material progress threatens our common home, then we cannot stand by and watch. No, this is distressing. We can't just stand by and watch.

HOW WILL WE EMERGE FROM THIS CRISIS?

For Pope Francis, one key criterion of Christian authenticity is attention to people in need. That's why he invites the faithful to address the root causes of poverty. He says returning to normality must not mean returning to injustices.

POPE FRANCIS
Aug. 1, 2020
The pandemic is a crisis, and a crisis does not leave people the same. We come out better or worse. We have to do better to fix social injustices and environmental destruction. Today, we have an opportunity to build something different. For example, we can create an economy of integral development for the poor and not of welfare.

SOLIDARITY IS THE WAY

The pope explains that the coronavirus has revealed our interconnectedness—that either we all emerge from the crisis, together, or we all continue in it.

POPE FRANCIS
Sept. 2, 2020
It's not merely a question of helping others—it's good to do so—it is a matter of justice. Solidarity today is the road to living in a post-pandemic world, toward the healing of our interpersonal and social sicknesses. There is no other option: either we move forward along the road of solidarity, or things will get worse.

For now, the pope has proposed three pillars: saying no to selfishness; spreading hope; and taking action.

On Oct. 3, his complete proposal for facing the post-pandemic world will be made public.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres