Before release of encyclical ‘Fratelli tutti’, pope draws a sketch of post-COVID world
Francis has used his Wednesday general audience the past several weeks to offer his vision of creating a better world after the pandemic
Loup Besmond de Senneville, La Croix, Sept 30, 2020
“The pandemic is a crisis, and we don’t come out of a crisis the same way: we come out better or we come out worse,” he has repeated throughout his speeches.
“After the crisis, will we continue with this economic system of social injustice and disregard for the environment, creation and our common home? Let’s think about it,” he has said.
But how is this to be done?
The pope says it is by relaying on “certain fundamental social principles. This is so as to heal both the world of the pandemic as well as the “wider social pathologies” that have emerged as a result of this crisis.
“We must cure a great virus, that of social injustice, inequality of opportunity, marginalization and lack of protection for the vulnerable,” Francis has insisted.
The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires believes that “faith, hope and love necessarily lead us towards this preference for the most needy”.
“Solidarity is precisely a way to emerge better from the crisis,” the pope has said, insisting on the need to reform the current economic system. He’s called solidarity “the rock of the common good”. And has said it is only on this that a new “healthy, inclusive, just and peaceful” society can emerge.
“Our mother earth groans”
But the pope has warned that such a reconstruction can only take place by giving particular attention to our “common home”; that is, to the planet and everything that lives on it.
“Our poorest neighbors and mother earth are groaning because of the damage and injustice we have caused, and they are asking for another way,” Francis has repeated.
He has pointed out that it is necessary to “take care” of the earth and also “contemplate” so as to realize that “we are inside nature and are part of nature”.
The 83-year-old pope has expressed the conviction that “this healing process” must include “intermediate bodies” such as families and associations. And out of respect for the “principle of subsidiarity,” which is very dear to him, he has reminded the world that this also includes the poorest people themselves. “The first step is to let the poor tell you how they live, what they need: let everyone speak!” Francis has said.
A dreamer pope?
Francis would not be ashamed of the label.
“Let’s encourage ourselves to dream, seeking these ideals,” he loves to repeat.
“Let’s not try to rebuild the past, especially the past that was already unjust and already sick.”