‘Fratelli tutti’, an invaluable tool to assess EU policies

“Pope Francis invites all of us, people and institutions, to give our own contribution to build a better, just and peaceful post-Covid19 world with more fraternity and social friendship”, states Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, commenting ‘Fratelli tutti’, Pope Francis’ third Encyclical Letter signed on Saturday 3 October 2020 on the tomb of Saint Francis of Assisi.

On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a pioneer of interreligious dialogue, Pope Francis released the third Encyclical Letter of his papacy, entitled ‘Fratelli tutti’, which translates in “brothers all”, calling on all people of good will to recognise and express our common fraternity in our daily life.

In the wake of the Document on Human Fraternity signed in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi with Ahmad al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the 287-paragraph Encyclical “invites us all to be fraternal with each other, to help one’s neighbour whoever he or she is, without any sort of discrimination”, explains Fr. Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE.

“This new Encyclical letter – continues Fr. Barrios Prieto – is a call for a new way of living human relations: not only on paper, not only by words, but with our daily actions, in our private, public or professional life, overcoming social, cultural and religious divides, like Jesus explains in the Parable of the Good Samaritan or like St. Francis showed in his meeting with the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamal in 1219”.

‘Fratelli tutti’ is a new compass useful also at the political level. It indicates the path towards integral human development, spelling out the needed steps to transform our economic and political systems and to shape them with attitudes such as openness, dialogue, engagement, solidarity, fairness, care for our common home, justice, promotion of the common good, support for the poor and marginalized.

Pope Francis’ third Encyclical letter also contains a strong reference to the “dream of a united Europe” as envisioned by the EU founding fathers (n.10) and “will inspire – states Fr. Barrios Prieto – COMECE’s work in the years to come”.