I’ve been writing about Fratelli Tutti. This is the recent encyclical by Pope Francis. It comprises eight chapters roughly covering four topics: Assessment, Scripture, Conversation, and Action. This week I would like to focus on Chapter 5: A Better Type of Politics. , I’m examining paragraphs 190-191, “A Love That Integrates and Unites.”
Political charity is also expressed in a spirit of openness to everyone. Government leaders should be the first to make sacrifices that foster encounter and seek convergence on at least some issues.
At a time when various forms of fundamentalist intolerance are damaging relationships between individuals, groups, and peoples, let us be committed to living and teaching the value of respect for others. Even as forms of fanaticism, closed-mindedness, and social and cultural fragmentation proliferate, a good politician will take the first step and insist that different voices be heard.
I recently watched a movie on Netflix called Sergio. It is a documentary about Sergio DeMello. DeMello was a successful arbitrator and negotiator for the United Nations. For several years, he was able to bring about peace in some of the most war-torn areas in the world. He helped move Cambodia to a more inclusive, democratic form of government. This occurred after the fall of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. In East Timor (an island in Indonesia) deMello acted as an interim administrator for two years. He piloted a peaceful transition to a democratic form of government. East Timor had been ravaged by sectarian violence for years.
DeMello‘s success in East Timor eventually led to his untimely and unfortunate death. He was killed by a suicide bomb attack in Iraq. Islamic fanatics said that de Mello had participated in the unlawful removal of territory from the Islamic Caliphate.