Fratelli tutti

Chapter 3 (nn. 87 to 127) “Envisaging and Engendering an Open World” Chapter Three of the encyclical begins with paragraph n.87. It is an introductory paragraph and from there the chapter is divided in to six sub-sections:

  • (i) nn.88 to 94 ‘Moving Beyond Ourselves’;
  • (ii) nn. 95 to 100 ‘A Love Ever More Open’;
  • (iii) nn.101 to 105 ‘Beyond a World of Associates’;
  • (iv) nn.105 to 111 ‘A Universal Love that Promotes Persons’;
  • (v) nn.112 to 117 ‘Promoting the Moral Good’;
  • (vi) nn.118 to 127, ‘Re-envisaging the Social Role of Property

N.87, the introductory paragraph, reads as follows: “Human beings are so made that they cannot live, develop and find fulfilment except ‘in the sincere gift of self to others. (62) Nor can they fully know themselves apart from an encounter with other persons: ‘I communicate effectively with myself only insofar as I communicate with others’. (63) No one can experience the true beauty of life without relating to others, without having real faces to love. This is part of the mystery of authentic human existence. ‘Life exists where there is bonding, communion, fraternity; and life is stronger than death when it is built on true relationships and bonds of fidelity. On the contrary, there is no life when we claim to be self-sufficient and live as islands: in these attitudes, death prevails’. (64)” The three footnotes, 62, 63, and 64 come from different sources. 62 is from a Vatican II document, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) 24; 63 is a quote from an essay written in a French periodical in 1940 by the French philosopher, Gabriel Marcel and 64 is a quote from Pope Francis’ Address at the Angelus in St. Peter’s on 10th November 2019. These three references give us an idea of the depth of thought in writing a document like ‘Fratelli tutti’. Next week we will look at the first three subsections of the chapter.