Fratelli tutti

The last time we looked at this document we reflected on renewed encounters. Renewed encounters lead us into the path of peace — not a returning to the way things were, but leading forward into a newness of existing with peace in play. It means that ‘the path to social unity always entails acknowledging the possibility that others have, at least in part, a legitimate point of view, something worthwhile to contribute, even if they were in error and acted badly.’ (n.228) This ensures that all people ‘working to overcome our divisions without losing our identity as individuals presumes that a basic sense of belonging is present in everyone,’ (n.230)

Pope Francis talks about the ‘architecture’ and the ‘art’ of peace — it comes in a paragraph that deals with negotiation and sums up what is necessary in negotiations. I quote part of n.231 to highlight what he means:

“Negotiation often becomes necessary for shaping concrete paths to peace. Yet the processes of change that lead to lasting peace are crafted above all by peoples; each individual can act as an effective leaven by the way he or she lives each day. Great changes are not produced behind desks or in offices. This means that “everyone has a fundamental role to play in a single great creative project: to write a new page of history, a page full of hope, peace and reconciliation”.[216] There is an “architecture” of peace, to which different institutions of society contribute, each according to its own area of expertise, but there is also an “art” of peace that involves us all. From the various peace processes that have taken place in different parts of the world, “we have learned that these ways of making peace, of placing reason above revenge, of the delicate harmony between politics and law, cannot ignore the involvement of ordinary people.”

All the ‘architecture’ can be put in place with all the institutions of the society contributing, but if the ordinary person is not involved the ‘art’ has been left out.