Fratelli Tutti 29: Progress? What Progress?

Globalization And Progress Without A Shared Roadmap occupies Pope Francis’ mind in this and the following paragraphs. What does he mean? First, that human ingenuity has indeed made great and worthy advances to enrich the lives of potentially every human being. However, these moves forward are countered by problems in morality, values, and responsibility:

  1. With the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, we do not ignore the positive advances made in the areas of science, technology, medicine, industry and welfare, above all in developed countries. Nonetheless, “we wish to emphasize that, together with these historical advances, great and valued as they are, there exists a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility. This contributes to a general feeling of frustration, isolation and desperation”. We see “outbreaks of tension and a buildup of arms and ammunition in a global context dominated by uncertainty, disillusionment, fear of the future, and controlled by narrow economic interests”. We can also point to “major political crises, situations of injustice and the lack of an equitable distribution of natural resources… In the face of such crises that result in the deaths of millions of children – emaciated from poverty and hunger – there is an unacceptable silence on the international level”.[Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, Abu Dhabi (4 February 2019): L’Osservatore Romano, 4-5 February 2019, p. 6]This panorama, for all its undeniable advances, does not appear to lead to a more humane future.

Instead of armies prepping for battle, what if groups of people were deployed to actually help and protect people. Weather events. Wildfires. Earthquakes. Crop failures and famine. What if arms dealers were put out of business and literal human arms were laboring to rebuild after crises? And we tout ourselves as civilized. Pah!

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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