Fratelli Tutti 105: Individualism

105. Individualism does not make us more free, more equal, more fraternal. The mere sum of individual interests is not capable of generating a better world for the whole human family. Nor can it save us from the many ills that are now increasingly globalized. Radical individualism is a virus that is extremely difficult to eliminate, for it is clever. It makes us believe that everything consists in giving free rein to our own ambitions, as if by pursuing ever greater ambitions and creating safety nets we would somehow be serving the common good.

Some aspects of individualism are good. Taking personal responsibility. Owning up to one’s failures. Doing one’s job as best as one can.

It is important to recognize that very few people today live in a 19th century-like world where governments have granted land or freedom to roam and make one’s living as one wishes. Seven billion human beings are interconnected in ways that would have been mystifying a few centuries ago. Large numbers of people want to band together for a greater good. Some may chafe at aspects of that. But the Christian would not be bothered.

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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