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Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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Pope’s New Encyclical Offers Voter’s Guide for Upcoming Elections

Lolo Kiko says human fraternity will address issues of "false security" that the pandemic exposed.

Pope Francis has signed a new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, and it’s more than about brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church.

The new encyclical outlines the Pope’s recipe for rebuilding a post-pandemic world—beginning with a complete restructuring of politics and civil discourse to create systems that prioritize the community and poor rather than individual or market interests. (Read: Pope Francis to Sign New Encyclical on October 3)

The almost 300 pages document is essentially Pope Francis’ own “voter’s guide” for the near future, when the world would have to make critical choices in the aftermath of the coronavirus.

US Elections

new-pope-francis-encyclical-offers-voters-guide-for-post-pandemic-world
Photo from Coutts

Although the encyclical is clearly global, Pope Francis has strong words for the United States which will hold its presidential elections next month after a contentious political campaign.

The opening of the Fratelli Tutti is the Pope’s assessment of the world’s inability to come together for a common response to COVID-19, so much so that when the virus hit, it exposed the world’s “false securities.” (Read: Here’s Why Even Filipinos Should Care About the US Elections)

“Aside from the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident,” the Pope said, adding that “For all our hyper-connectivity, we witnessed a fragmentation that made it more difficult to resolve problems that affect us all.”

“Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality,” he said. (Read: Pia Wurtzbach Calls on Voters to Register as Pemberton Gets Absolute Pardon)

Politics and Economy

new-pope-francis-encyclical-offers-voters-guide-for-post-pandemic-world
Pope Francis greeting migrants and refugees during a General Audience. (Photo from Vatican News)

Throughout the rest of the document, Pope Francis talks about what he sees as wrong with global politics and the current economic system. He repeats his frequent criticism of populism, liberalism, and free-market capitalism. The Pope also voiced his support for efforts and policies that prioritize the most vulnerable sectors of society, including migrants and refugees. (Read: Christian Persecutions Happening Around the World)

The Pope also criticized the hyper-polarized and discontentment of social media culture and suggested that fraternity is one of the remedies to combat the toxic influences that dominate so much of modern social interaction.

Moreover, he appealed for women’s rights and equality. He also urged that society must protect the elderly, end racism, and address the violent protests happening around the world because of the imbalance provoked by societal issues.

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