Pope Francis has released a video message to mark the 2nd International Day of Human Fraternity, and urges all people to trod the difficult path of fraternity in order to overcome the prejudices and conflicts that divide humanity.
Pope Francis sent a video message on Friday as the world marked the second Day dedicated to this historic event. Fraternity, said the Pope, can act as a “bulwark against hatred, violence, and injustice”.
“Fraternity is one of the fundamental and universal values that ought to undergird relationships between peoples, so that the suffering or disadvantaged do not feel excluded and forgotten, but accepted and supported as part of the one human family. We are brothers and sisters!”
Pope Francis said all people, regardless of religion or creed, are called to promote a “culture of peace” that welcomes all, while encouraging development and solidarity.
Throughout his message, the Pope repeated the affirmation that “we all live under the same heaven” and that we are all God’s children, no matter the colour of our skin or social class.
He said every person has a role to play in making the world a better place, by helping others raise “their eyes and prayers to heaven.”
“Let us raise our eyes to heaven, because whoever worships God with a sincere heart also loves his or her neighbour. Fraternity makes us open to the Father of all and enables us to see others as our brothers or sisters, to share life, to support one another and to love and come to know others.”
As the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, we must remember that we are not saved alone. Rather, we must extend our hands “to celebrate our unity in diversity—unity, not uniformity,” said the Pope.
“The time of fraternity has arrived,” he added, so we should strive to “live in solidarity with one another.”
He also lamented the many little wars—a “third world war being fought piecemeal”—that destroy lives, force children to endure hunger, and suppress educational opportunities.
“Now is not a time for indifference: either we are brothers and sisters, or everything falls apart.”
We must not be indifferent to each other’s sufferings, said the Pope. The common heritage of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in God’s promise to Abraham joins us and helps us live “a fraternity as vast and bright as the stars of heaven.”