Fratelli Tutti 209: Indifference and Individualism

If you are one of the few regular readers of these series, is it just me that the themes of this document and the other seem to be coinciding a lot lately? Here, Pope Francis examines the thought, “It could never happen here.”

209. Otherwise, is it not conceivable that those fundamental human rights which we now consider unassailable will be denied by those in power, once they have gained the “consensus” of an apathetic or intimidated population?

Look in the mirror, USA.

Nor would a mere consensus between different nations, itself equally open to manipulation, suffice to protect them. We have ample evidence of the great good of which we are capable, yet we also have to acknowledge our inherent destructiveness. Is not the indifference and the heartless individualism into which we have fallen also a result of our sloth in pursuing higher values, values that transcend our immediate needs?

Indifference is often a lack of gratitude, a thankfulness for what we enjoy and possess, and our attempts to be blissfully unaware of people, maybe nearby, who lack what we enjoy. Let JP2 finish today’s thought:

Relativism always brings the risk that some or other alleged truth will be imposed by the powerful or the clever. Yet, “when it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the ‘poorest of the poor’ on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal”.[Veritatis Splendor 96]

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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