Fratelli Tutti 216: Encounter That Becomes Culture

Let’s look at what Pope Francis means when he refers to “Encounter that becomes culture.”

216. The word “culture” points to something deeply embedded within a people, its most cherished convictions and its way of life. A people’s “culture” is more than an abstract idea. It has to do with their desires, their interests and ultimately the way they live their lives. To speak of a “culture of encounter” means that we, as a people, should be passionate about meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning a project that includes everyone. This becomes an aspiration and a style of life. The subject of this culture is the people, not simply one part of society that would pacify the rest with the help of professional and media resources.

I think one key word in this paragraph is “passion.” Human culture is not casual, and living culture isn’t taken for granted at all. We see it in modern sports, and various expressions of celebrity. Rather than think of culture as “things,” as material expressions of human beings, the Holy Father steers us to treat our interpersonal experiences as part of a strong-hearted and intentional effort to make connections with other people.

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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