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I could easily imagine this from the mouth of a very young member of a family.

I could also imagine an adult trying to respond. “No, honey. It’s not something you eat. It’s just a word the Pope used as the title of a letter he wrote.”

And then, the follow-up questions…

  • “What’s a pope?
  • “Who did he write the letter to?”
  • “Why did he write the letter?”
  • “Did we get the letter?

Pope Francis Doesn’t get it!

In this spirit, I loved Scott Warden’s introduction to Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti. He is managing editor for Our Sunday Visitor. He writes

I’ve read enough to know, first, that Fratelli Tutti is being unofficially translated as “Brothers All,” and second, that Pope Francis’ central point is that everyone — individuals, families, businesses, governments, etc. — should be treating those around us like brothers and sisters.

He clearly doesn’t know how most brothers and sisters treat each other, I thought — not in my experience, anyway.

I was two years younger than my brother and two years older than my sister — a classic middle child who would fight up and down in weight class. I’ve got kids who are the same way; they take no mercy — with their words or with their hair-pulling.

With this in mind, never once have my wife and I told our children that they need to treat those around them like they do their brothers and sisters. We wouldn’t dare, because we wouldn’t have the money to bail them all out of the local juvenile detention center.

What got Scott Warden to change his mind?

He got deep enough into the 4,000+ word “letter” to say…

Pope Francis does get it. He knows families fight, but he also knows that when it comes to the important things, families have one another’s backs. There is a level of trust — and a feeling of acceptance — that you can only get within a family.

He quotes Pope Francis

“In a family, parents, grandparents and children all feel at home; no one is excluded. If someone has a problem, even a serious one, even if he brought it upon himself, the rest of the family comes to his assistance; they support him. His problems are theirs. … In families, everyone contributes to the common purpose; everyone works for the common good, not denying each person’s individuality but encouraging and supporting it. They may quarrel, but there is something that does not change: the family bond. Family disputes are always resolved afterwards. The joys and sorrows of each of its members are felt by all. That is what it means to be a family!” (Fratelli Tutti No. 230).

What Pope Francis “gets”!

That’s the dream that Pope Francis wishes for the world… God’s dream!

“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” (Fratelli Tutti No. 8).

An Impossible Dream?

  • Is God’s Dream realistic?
  • What needs to change for us to live God’s Dream?

PS Stay tuned for the official Ffratelli Tutti infographics from the Vatican.

Click below for an audio version of this post.

What does a fratelli taste like?