Sep 1, 2020
Pope Francis will issue a new encyclical on the human fraternity. The document will outline Pope Francis' vision for the world after the COVID 19 pandemic. However, the encyclical will not be the only Papal text on which to focus. The Pope will also send a message to the general assembly of the United Nations—on September 15—and deliver two important speeches: one to the Global Compact for Education and one to the upcoming “Economy of Francis” event.
These four pieces will lay out how Pope Francis wants the world to respond to the pandemic’s challenges.
Pope Francis already gave some indication of his vision for the world post-COVID 19. On Easter Sunday, he sent a letter to popular movements. In the letter, he advocated for a new economic model that would not marginalize the poor. He called for a universal basic income for the lowest-wage workers excluded from globalization’s benefits.
Other clues come from the catecheses Pope Francis is delivering every Wednesday at his weekly General Audience. The catecheses are about the social teaching of the Church as viewed through the lens of the pandemic.
Pope Francis is developing some recurrent themes: he keeps saying that we cannot emerge from the pandemic unchanged, but must be either better or worse; he says that the effects of the pandemic are worsened from the economic model that makes things harder for the poor, both in facing the financial crisis and the illness; he advocates the building of more equal societies; he underscores that the pandemic led us to rethink the pace of our lives, which must now be turned into an ecological conversion that could let humanity finally respond to the environmental crisis.
We can assume that these will be the guidelines of the vision Pope Francis will outline.
The UN assembly will be held via video conference, but it is an important one since it marks the organization's 75th anniversary. Expect the main focus to be on how to get out of the crisis caused by the pandemic. Francis will likely underscore that it is crucial to get out of the crisis with new economic models, and not simply using the old ones or tweaking them. That. He will likely argue, would mean getting out of the crisis “worse”.
The Global Compact on Education will take place on October 15. Pope Francis’ speech will likely focus on the recognition that “everything is connected,” as he stated in Laudato si’. When Pope Francis launched the Global Compact on Education, he stressed: