Fratelli Tutti 217: Social Peace

217. Social peace demands hard work, craftsmanship. It would be easier to keep freedoms and differences in check with cleverness and a few resources. But such a peace would be superficial and fragile, not the fruit of a culture of encounter that brings enduring stability.

We see expectations in the US. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were supposed to establish freedom and full citizenship for American Blacks. American culture was ill-equipped to provide the culture of encounter to keep progress moving forward. In the win-lose environment of a post-war culture, it is easy to see how whites would resent freed slaves, and through various constructs: prison, theft of farmland, rioting, lynching–violence continued a state not far above slavery for most.

Integrating differences is a much more difficult and slow process, yet it is the guarantee of a genuine and lasting peace. That peace is not achieved by recourse only to those who are pure and untainted, since “even people who can be considered questionable on account of their errors have something to offer which must not be overlooked”.[Evangelii Gaudium 236] Nor does it come from ignoring social demands or quelling disturbances, since it is not “a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority”.[Ibid. 218]

It’s not a happy prediction, but #BLM will continue into the future unless and until demands are heard, and injustices addressed in concrete ways. 

What is important is to create processes of encounter, processes that build a people that can accept differences. Let us arm our children with the weapons of dialogue! Let us teach them to fight the good fight of the culture of encounter!

The Church will have ample opportunity to practice this in the days and years ahead. We have the tools to lead the way. Hopefully we are up to the challenge.

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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