The “Fratres Omnes” encyclical
Damir Mukhetdinov, First deputy Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation and Executive secretary of the Muslim International Forum; David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee and Director of the Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding; H. Em. Card. Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans; H. Em. Card. Matteo Maria Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna. Introduced by Roberto Fontolan, Director of the International Centre of Communion and Liberation.
As we saw on the occasion of the apostolic journey to Iraq, interreligious dialogue is probably the main and most meaningful contribution of Francis’ pontificate, with a major evocative power made of unique and unrepeatable signs, capable of reaching out to the whole world. It is not by chance that the “All Brothers” Encyclical had a cross-cutting reception among people of all religions; among the many subjects mattered, the one that had the greatest level of operating follow-up is perhaps the encounter between faiths, also and especially outside the ecclesial world.
According to the Pope this is a crucial aspect for the future of human cohabitation: as he wrote at the Library of the Spirit on the occasion of the presentation of the Russian translation of the encyclical, edited by the Muslim International Forum, “Brotherhood result from the acknowledgement of one single Father. And if we are all children of the same Father, then we can call ourselves brothers and above all live as such”. For Francis, the most important pontificate issue, i.e. dialogue, reaches its peak and is subject to the encounter between faiths, because all believers recognise a Father and can therefore claim with anyone to be brothers.
By the way, the “All brothers” encyclical stemmed from an interreligious encounter. Through the encyclical the Pope “felt especially stimulated by the Great Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb…It was not about a mere diplomatic deed, instead it was a genuine reflection carried out in dialogue and a joint commitment. This Encyclical brings together and develops the major themes set out in the Document that we signed together. And here I have also incorporated, in my own language, several documents and letters that I have received from many people and groups from all over the world”.