Fratelli Tutti 8: Desire And Dream

A reminder that you can click here for the full document from Pope Francis. With this paragraph we arrive at the end of the introduction. Chapter One begins with the next one.

When a Jesuit speaks or writes of “desire,” it is important to pay attention. Those steeped in Ignatian spirituality do not use that word carelessly. Likewise the word “dream.” In the context of Fratelli Tutti 8, we get a window into the Holy Father’s hope for the world in this time of division and unrest:

8. It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity. Fraternity between all men and women.

While I think this encyclical could have benefitted from a better attention to sexist language in the English translation, we do need to acknowledge that Pope Francis does indeed think of women as he thinks or writes in Spanish.

“Here we have a splendid secret that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure. No one can face life in isolation… We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together… By ourselves, we risk seeing mirages, things that are not there. Dreams, on the other hand, are built together”.[Address at the Ecumenical and Interreligious Meeting with Young People, Skopje, North Macedonia (7 May 2019): L’Osservatore Romano, 9 May 2019, p. 9]

Dream the dream:

Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana. But as we move toward the topics at hand, any comments so far?



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Fratelli Tutti 8: Desire And Dream

  1. martincbarry says:

    Can’t help wondering if the problem with supposed sexist language is partly an invented one here. ‘Fraternity’ has an etymological connection with a gender-specific term but none of its meaning relies on that. (That is, if we talk about fraternity between nations, we don’t mean that Sweden and Norway are like brothers.) ‘Patrimony’ is the same – someone determined to find fault could call this patriarchal and exclusive, but the derivation of a word is not the same as its denotation.

    • Todd says:

      I think you are right to a degree. But not wholly. Feminists note that language is used “conveniently” by misogynists and others to denigrate women and keep them from contribution, recognition, and expression. Some “exclusive” language is undoubtedly sexist.

      As for your example of “fraternity,” it does have one meaning which is exclusively male–college organizations. Would men accept the label sorority in an “inclusive” setting, if the context was clearly universal? Some men would.

      I’ll also point out that nations are quite frequently female. Mothers, daughters, and sisters are used as is the term fatherland. I think language is something on which we keep an eye. Behavior more so.

      • martincbarry says:

        Thanks Todd. Yes, I’d forgotten about the ‘American college students’ organisation’ meaning of ‘fraternity’. I think sensitivities here in the UK are very different – the people who in my experience object the most to politically-correct tinkering with pronouns, etc., tend to be educated women, who roll their eyes at the thought they should feel insecure over traditional male for ‘male and female’ usage. As a choir director, I have sometimes found myself the only person in the room in favour of gender-inclusive edits.

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