2/2021 English Summary – Fratelli tutti

Massimo Faggioli
Encyclical Fratelli tutti and the New Age of Walls

One of the problems Pope Francis points to in his Encyclical Fratelli tutti is a problem of walls and obstacles in the contemporary world, the temptation to build culture based on exclusion and on walls. For Francis it is only a social and political issue but also spiritual and psychological. Francis shows that even Church and religion are not resistant to a temptation of building walls, this proc­ess even changes our sense to be Church. These new walls have weakened our sense of being one church, in the one world, in communion with the one human family. Catholic ecclesial notions of communion have been replaced with an imported secular model of cultural identity that reduces ritual and doctrine to tools to mark the difference. Francis presents ways to rediscover the relationship between Christians and believers with the human family, how to overcome the mentality of “us versus them” and connects this mentality with modern consumeristic habits. He presents an inclusive model of the Church that is called to bring in the world a radical quest for justice and equality and helps to remove the walls – physical or virtual – that divide one human family.

Markus Vogt
The message of the encyclical Fratelli tutti in the context of Catholic social teaching

The text offers a summary of the key message of the encyclical Fratelli tutti and evaluates the ­strengths and weaknesses of its arguments from a socio-ethical point of view. The connection between ­peace, ethics and interreligious dialogue is emphasized as the centre and innovative core of the papal circular. The fundamental rejection of the “just war” paradigm is opposed to the “responsibility to protect”. The papal plea for an open society in contrast to the “politics of isolation” and the aggressive nationalisms of authoritarian regimes is interpreted as an ethically and politically highly contemporary message.

Marianne Heimbach-Steins – Eva Hänselmann
Universal fraternity and social friendship
Central motives of the encyclical Fratelli tutti

The study carefully analyses the central motive of Fratelli tutti, which is universal kinship and social friendship. These are to wake up the awareness of indispensable solidarity with everybody and to pay attention to protection of human dignity as the main pillar. Systematically the authors present the intention and the overall orientation of the encyclical and its main motives as stated above. They deal with religious sources of concrete ethical universalism; they emphasize the social and political ethos of sibling coexistence. They discuss the used pair of attitudes of kinship – friendship and love as a virtuous-ethical driver of kinship. The division into social love – political love – solidarity and the differentiated terminology of love and kinship lead to the laying of the foundations of the universal ethos.

Denisa Červenková
“Theology of fraternity”: from the interreligious dialogue to the society-wide dialogue

The author analyses the frame of theology and aiming of the document Human fraternity and the encyclical Fratelli tutti. She reviews texts in the perspectives of theology of intercultural and interreligious dialogue. She shows how they are tightly intertwined by reference to the category of fraternity. The first document offers fraternity as a key to peaceful coexistence between members of different religious traditions (namely Christians and Muslims). However, Fratelli tutti presents fraternity in the perspective of theological anthropology (every man as a creature of God and the image of God) and further refines its content by referring to the Trinitarian missio and Christological overlap (cross­ing the boundaries narrowly ethnically, nationally or culturally defined brotherhood, following the example of Christ). The author shows how the category of fraternity, which is the link to both of the texts, is deeply embedded in the Catholic tradition and how the theological approach and understanding of the two of the documents enable us to better understand the Pope Francis and his effort to evangelise contemporary society.

Tomáš Petráček
The past cannot be overcome by forgetting
Memory, guilt and reconciliation in the encyclical Fratelli tutti

By its all orientation the Encyclical Fratelli tutti offers most of all a vision founded on a diagnosis and balance of the actual state. The pope is aware that it is also necessary to deal with our past – not just a very precise description and analysis of historic processes, which are actually necessary for a good understanding of the present and for a good estimation of the trends. The other aspect to deal with our past is also very important, that is to right a wrong and overcome obstacles that may complicate our common way towards the future. The study introduces the fundamental issues of the encyclical Fratelli tutti about forgiveness, especially impulses that are important for our historical situation. It focuses on the importance of our memory, assumption of doing right a wrong and reconciliation as a journey and on Church and gospel in the ministry of reconciliation.

Encyclical Fratelli tutti Survey

We have addressed some Czech distinct personalities of the Czech society with an inquiry. How is the encyclical read by those who are not the typical addressee of the church documents, however, their influence on the society – e.g. politics, media, academic world etc. – makes them more attentive to the message of this kind. Among the addresses belong Petr Fisher, Kristina Koldinská, Miroslava Němcová, Danuše Nerudová, Josef Pazderka, Jiří Přibáň and Petr Vizina.

Arnd Küppers
A new point of view on social function of ownership

Pope Francis is considered a harsh critic of capitalism. He remains faithful to this position in his encyclical Fratelli tutti. Yet the general nature of his criticism of the market economy is seen by many as „incompatible with the Church‘s existing tradition of teaching“. This study focuses on the central question of private property in the encyclical Fratelli tutti from an economic and ethical perspective and examines whether the above thesis of a break in the Church‘s social teaching is true. In the encyclical, Pope Francis himself explicitly follows his predecessor John Paul II. However, John Paul II by no means formulated the concept of property, which Pope Francis develops further; he also took it from the Church’s tradition. The author discusses the Christian doctrine of property, the social obligation of property as a social ethical principle, and current challenges in light of the Christian ethic of property, including international migration and issues of human rights and international law.

Johannes Wallacher
For a Humane Order of the World Economy
Impulses from Fratelli tutti

The encyclical Fratelli tutti met with sometimes sharp rejection because of its criticism of capitalism. However, the Pope by no means condemns free-market competition and globalisation. According to him, however, a humane order of the (world) economy needs to increase the prosperity and social participation of all and, above all, to overcome the exclusion of the poorest and most vulnerable people. The vision of universal fraternity offers orientation not only for personal initiative, but also for the shaping of regulatory structures, both nationally and internationally. In doing so, the Pope draws on the tradition of the Church’s social teaching with its central principles, which he develops further in the light of new challenges – as the article shows with reference to the order of the world economy in general and the world trade order WTO in particular.

Ahmad Al-Tayyeb
A speech in an interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi

There is also an edition of a speech of Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb on human fraternity in this issue of Salve. This speech was heard at the interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi and it has become a sig­­nif­i­­cant inspirational source of the papal encyclical. The edition is complemented by a more comprehensive presentation of the life and work of Ahmad Al-Tayyeb by Lukáš de la Vega Nosek.

Jaroslav Franc
Fratelli tutti: Christians and Muslims

The Encyclical Fratelli tutti is seen as a new sign of hope in the divided world, where Christians and Muslims form more than a half of inhabitants. Christians of Arabic world has had a task to understand the relationship of historical and above the historical dimension of Islam since the 12th century. The study deals with the context, in which the encyclical Fratelli tutti derives from – the first of the entire Arabic world. Moreover it deals with the reactions of the Islamic congregation to the encyclical. It presents three ways of Muslim’s reactions. The first one is the reaction of the highest religious authority of Sunni Islam, Grand Imam of Cairo Mosque al-Azhar and this is currently Ahmad Al-Tayyeb. The second form is on the level of a discussion within a society or rather reflexion of a chosen Muslim author from Canadian Toronto, who is Muneeb Nasir. The last is a presentation of a book-length theological reflection presented by Muslim theologian Adnane Mokrani together with Christian theologian Brunetto Salvarani.

Norbert Schmidt
Josef Pleskot – Pendulum
or intuition and reason

The issue is accompanied by photographs from an art installation by architect Josef Pleskot in the saint Salvator Church in Prague. It presents a giant moving wooden pendulum placed in the middle of the church nave. The author presents the context of the challenging engineering installation given by the historical reminiscences of local Jesuit scholars of 17th and 18th centuries and their exploration of natural laws, the multi-layered symbolism of the pendulum in literature and culture as well as the immediate circumstances of the installation, prolonged by the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent relocation of the pendulum to the Ostrava premises of Dolní Vítkovice and the multifunctional Gong auditorium.