Dreaming of a Different World: Friendship, Dignity, and Solidarity in Pope Francis's Fratelli Tutti (Brothers & Sisters All) / Nichole Flores


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“Here we have a splendid secret that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure. No one can face life in isolation… We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together… By ourselves, we risk seeing mirages, things that are not there. Dreams, on the other hand, are built together. Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all." (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti)

Last year, in the midst of a global nightmare, Pope Francis invited the world to dream together of something different. He released Fratelli Tutti in October 2020—a message of friendship, dignity, and solidarity not just to Catholics, but "to all people of good will"—for the whole human community. In this episode, social ethicist Nichole Flores (University of Virginia) explains papal encyclicals and works through the moral vision of Fratelli Tutti, highlighting especially Pope Francis’s views on faith as seeing with the eyes of Christ, the implications of human dignity for discourse, justice and solidarity, and finally the language of dreaming together of a different world.

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Show Notes

  • Read the entire text of Fratelli Tutti online here
  • What is a papal encyclical? For “All people of good will”—not just Catholics
  • Examining the signs of the times, e.g., Fratelli Tutti will always be connected to its global context during a pandemic.
  • What is Fratelli Tutti? What does its title mean?
  • Brothers and Sisters All: Using Italian, a particular language, as a pathway to the universal, rather than traditional Latin title
  • Pope Francis’ roots in Latin America: How his particularity as Latin American gives him a universal message; local and communal belonging; neighborhoods contributing to the common good
  • Seeing/Gazing: Faith as seeing with the eyes of Christ (Lumen Fidei)
  • Undermining human dignity in social media discourse; the failure of grandstanding rather than encounter
  • Solidarity as a dirty word: conflicts within Catholicism about how to understand and apply justice and solidarity in real life
  • Solidarity requires encounter with the other
  • Social friendship and fraternity
  • Human dignity in the tradition of Catholic social ethics
  • Dreaming together: fighting against the temptation to dream alone, inviting us to imagine; cultivating a conversation that forms collective imagination and aesthetic reality.

About Nichole Flores

Nichole Flores is a social ethicist who is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. She studies the constructive contributions of Catholic and Latinx theologies to notions of justice and aesthetics to the life of democracy. Her research in practical ethics addresses issues of democracy, migration, family, gender, economics (labor and consumption), race and ethnicity, and ecology. Visit NicholeMFlores.com for more information.

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