Our Concern for the Future: One year on from the signing of the Human Fraternity Document

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Laurent Basanese, SJ

 Laurent Basanese, SJ / Issue 2003 / 27 February 2020

“Dialogue is not a magic formula,” declared Pope Francis at the San Luigi Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, on June 21, 2019.[1] In reality, it requires efforts, meetings, “geological patience” – in the words of the great Dominican Islamist, Georges Anawati – and above all, concrete acts.

The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together of February, 2019, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, has entered the delicate phase of its reception, thus it is worth remembering two important elements.

First of all, the text is an appeal to be put into practice, especially written  for people and institutions that can influence society, i.e. “authorities, leaders, men and women of religion from all over the world, relevant regional and international organizations, civil society organizations, religious institutions and leaders of thought.” Clearly what Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb hope is that the Document on Human Fraternity will not remain a dead letter, but will be incorporated into real laws and reforms of cultural mentalities and society in general.

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