Completed during the Coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis’s prophetic new encyclical is addressed to “all people of good will, regardless of their religious convictions”. He expresses the hope that the pandemic, terrible as it is, may help us discover a renewed sense of our common humanity.
This greatly welcomed encyclical is a beautiful reflection on humanity’s path forward to a deeply desired and sought-after peace. Pope Francis begins by analysing those trends which militate against fraternity and friendship today. He proposes the Good Samaritan as a model of someone who cares for others regardless of where they are from.
Amid the human conflicts, tensions and divisions present in today’s world, Pope Francis suggests respectful dialogue and proposes that we answer with “a new vision of fraternity and social friendship.” He rebukes “fundamentalist intolerance” and other forms of “shameless aggression” that get in the way of fraternal peace. Pope Francis asks, instead, that we recover kindness and forgiveness. In this task, each of us has a role.