I am very grateful to you for this invitation to reflect together on the relationship between global governance and the culture of encounter, taking as our guide the teaching of Pope Francis. From the beginning of his papacy, the Holy Father has encouraged us to see dialogue as the principal method for bringing the Gospel message of peace into our daily lives and into international relationships. The very word “encounter” points to the interplay of diplomacy, global governance and the search for peace. In the words of the Pope:
“There is always movement in an encounter. If we all stand still, we will never meet. ‘Life, for all its confrontations, is the art of encounter’ (Fratelli Tutti, 215). That is what life is: the art of encounter. Encounter is, as it were, the oxygen of life. And this is why we need a culture of encounter, because ‘we the people, should be passionate about meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning a project that includes everyone’ (ibid., 216).”
We can say, then, that formation for a culture of encounter involves an education in the art of peacemaking, drawing individuals, nations and peoples out of the spiral of war, resentment and hatred, and guiding them to the path of dialogue and the pursuit of the common good. In contributing to the culture of encounter, the Church does not simply talk about relationships, but seeks to educate, to help people grow by examining the intellectual, the moral and social dimensions of their relationships and daily decisions, directing them towards peace.