Pope Francis and Fraternity

Diego Fares SJ

 Diego Fares SJ / Pope Francis / 19 September 2019

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In the vision of Pope Francis, fraternity – being brothers and sisters – has a transcendental value and a programmatic character. If you “pass by,” taking it for granted, or if you use the term lightly, almost as if saying “brothers and sisters” were enough to avoid the temptations of indifference, bureaucracy or authoritarianism, it means that fraternity’s wealth and ability to generate positive dynamics have not yet matured sufficiently.

I deliberately use the evangelical expression of the parable of the Good Samaritan “to pass by,” because, if the excuses of the priest and the Levite for not aiding the wounded traveler were formal – avoid contamination! – it should be remembered that the law, while prohibiting, for example, the “touching” of a corpse, did make exceptions for close relatives.[1] Insisting on fraternity expressed in concrete gestures and pursuing our engagement with this concept allows us to overcome false dichotomies.[2]

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