Encyclical special 4: The miracle of kindness

The title of the sixth chapter of Pope Francis’s encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” is “Dialogue and friendship in society”.  The chapter describes the concept of life as the “art of encounter” with everyone, even with the world’s peripheries and with original peoples, because “each of us can learn something from others. No one is useless and no one is expendable” (215). True dialogue, indeed, is what allows one to respect the point of view of others, their legitimate interests and, above all, the truth of human dignity.

Relativism is not a solution

Relativism is not a solution – we read in the Encyclical – because without universal principals and moral norms that prohibit intrinsic evil, laws become merely arbitrary impositions (206).

From this perspective, a particular role falls to the media which, without exploiting human weaknesses or drawing out the worst in us, must be directed toward generous encounter and to closeness with the least, promoting proximity and the sense of human family (205).

Then, of particular note, is the Pope’s reference to the miracle of “kindness”, an attitude to be recovered because it is a star “shining in the midst of darkness” and
“frees us from the cruelty … the anxiety … the frantic flurry of activity” that prevail in the contemporary era. A kind person, writes Francis, creates a healthy coexistence and opens paths in places where exasperation burns bridges (222-224).

(The above report is taken from the official summary supplied by the Vatican.) To follow: Part 5 entitled  “Never forget “horrors” like the Shoah”.)