Chapter 4 entitled “A Heart Open to the Whole World” contains nn.128 to 153 and is divided into three sections. The first is ‘Borders and their Limits ’which has four paragraphs. The second is ‘Reciprocal Gifts’ which has nine paragraphs and is divided into three sub-sections. The third is ‘Local and Universal’ which is in four sub- sections and has twelve paragraphs.
The chapter begins with n.128 preparing the way for the three sections. It states: “If the conviction that all human beings are brothers and sisters is not to remain an abstract idea but to find concrete embodiment, then numerous related issues emerge, forcing us to see things in a new light and to develop new responses.” This paragraph points out the gap between what we are looking for and the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves in the world today.
In the section ‘Borders and their Limits’ Pope Francis acknowledges that the ideal situation would be that “unnecessary migration ought to be avoided; this entails creating in countries of origin the conditions needed for a dignified life and integral development”. Recognising that the ideal doesn’t exist, in the section he looks at the different situations of migrants and how they should be treated in the circumstances in which they find themselves. We will look at some of those circumstances next week.