Pope Francis will likely emphasize financial challenges. He will ask to oppose the "economy that kills," and call instead for a new model for financing enterprise and ask businesses and the world of finance to act for equality and care for the poor.
All of these speeches and thoughts will converge in Pope Francis's encyclical.
Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti revealed on August 26 that the Pope was going to publish a new encyclical on human fraternity. The diocese of Rieti is home to many Franciscan places, including the setting of the world's first Nativity scene. Bishop Pompili made his remarks at an event launching a committee to celebrate a series of Franciscan anniversaries from now to 2026, the 800th anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi's death.
St. Francis will be then the lodestar of the encyclica, the title of which should be: We are all brothers. Rumor says Pope Francis will sign on October 4-the feast of St. Francis-and present it to the world on October 5.
Pope Francis wrote it during lockdown.
Expect it to enlarge on the notion of fraternity summarily stated in the Declaration on Human Fraternity Pope Francis signed with the Grand Imam of al Azhar, Ahmed bin Tayyeb, in Abu Dhabi in February 4, 2019. Ever since, that declaration has become a guide for Francis's diplomatic efforts, and the Pope has given it to every head of State who has come to visit him in the Vatican since the Declaration was published.
Brotherhood has always been a central theme of this pontificate. Pope 'Francis's very first message for the World Day of Peace, in 2014, was on "Fraternity, foundation and pathway for peace." In 2015, the message for the World Day of Peace was on the topic "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters".
Fraternity will be the point from which we may expect Pope Francis to relaunch the "globalization of solidarity" he considers to be the antidote to the "throwaway culture".
Once these four texts are out, we will have Pope 'Francis's thoughts on social and economic issues after the coronavirus crisis given a global framework. Pope Francis already developed most of the themes, so there will likely be not anything new. We may, however, learn more about specifics of the new approach or see a more in-depth articulation of it.
It is meaningful that these four pillar-pieces will be presented as celebrations for the 5th anniversary of Laudato si' are also underway. As if the Pope, five years ago, took a snapshot of the way he saw the world, and now is trying to indicate the way to the future.
One question is: will the Pope's articulation of his vision include an explicit call for profound conversion to Christ, or merely treat us to a deeper and more detailed version of the Pope's socio-economic ideas?
(Column continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter