The World

Pope on the Day of Human Fraternity: "Either we are brothers, or everything falls apart".

This Thursday, February 4, on the first International Day of Human Fraternity, the Pope continued on the path undertaken two years ago, at the meeting he held with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, where they signed the Document on Human Fraternity for Peace and Common Coexistence.

David Fernández Alonso-February 4, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes
pope human fraternity

©2021 Catholic News Service/United States Conferences of Catholic Bishops

Pope Francis has celebrated the First International Human Fraternity Day in a Virtual Meeting organized by the sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed in Abu DhabiThe event was attended by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Secretary General of the High Committee for Human Brotherhood, Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and other personalities.

The date was established by the United Nations General Assembly. and coincides with the anniversary of the Abu Dhabi meeting on February 4, 2019, when the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al- Azhar signed the Document on Human Fraternity for Peace and Common Coexistence.

During the event, the winners of the first Zayed Prize inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity were also presented.

Gratitude for the path taken

The Holy Father began his speech by expressing his gratitude to the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, whose friendship, commitment and companionship he emphasized.on the road to reflection and the drafting of this document, which was presented two years ago". He also appreciated the efforts that His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed "has put in to make it possible to move forward on this path. He believed in the project. He believed.

To conclude his thanks, he joked with Judge Abdel Salam, "accusing him" of being "l'enfant terrible" of this whole project. Judge Abdel Salam, the Holy Father continued, is that "l'enfant terrible" of this whole project.friend, hard-working, full of ideas, who helped us to move forward. Thank you all for betting on fraternity, because today fraternity is the new frontier of humanity. Either we are brothers, or we destroy each other.".

Avoiding indifference

Pope Francis has emphasized in his speech to avoid indifference to others. "We cannot wash our hands. With distance, with disregard, with contempt. Either we are brothers -allow me-, or everything falls apart. It is the frontier. The frontier on which we have to build; it is the challenge of our century, it is the challenge of our times.".

Fraternity means firmness in one's convictions. Because there is no true fraternity if one's own convictions are negotiated.

Pope Francis

The fraternity, Francis continued, "means outstretched hand, fraternity means respect. Fraternity means listening with an open heart. Fraternity means firmness in one's own convictions. Because there is no true fraternity if one's own convictions are negotiated.".

Children of the same Father

In this sense, he wanted to relate the common fraternity with the common filiation, since ".we are brothers, born of the same Father. With different cultures and traditions, but all brothers. And respecting our different cultures and traditions, our different citizenships, we must build this fraternity. Not by negotiating it".

Finally, Francis called on humanity to engage in an era based on listening. "It is the moment of sincere acceptance. It is the moment of certainty that a world without brothers is a world of enemies". And he wanted to underline this idea: "We cannot say: either brothers or no brothers. Let us say it well: or brothers, or enemies. Because dispensation is a very subtle form of enmity.".


In conclusion, the Pope addressed words of congratulation to the two recipients of the Zayed Prize, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterresand to the French-Moroccan activist Latifa Ibn Ziaten: "your last words are not spoken by hearsay or convention, "we are all brothers". They are the conviction. And a conviction embodied in pain, in your wounds. You gambled your life for the smile, you gambled your life for the non-resentment and through the pain of losing a child -only a mother knows what it is to lose a child- through that pain you dare to say "we are all brothers"and to sow words of love.".

Continuing on the road

A few months after the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity, the High Committee for Human Fraternity was established to translate the aspirations of the February 4, 2019 Document into concrete commitments and actions.

The High Committee plans to establish a Abrahamic Family Housewith a synagogue, a church and a mosque, on the island of Saadiyat, in Abu Dhabi. It has established an independent jury to receive the nominations for the Zayed Prize for Human Fraternity, selecting the winners whose work has stood out for their permanent commitment to human fraternity.

The Pope urged the Holy See to participate in the celebration of the International Day of Human Fraternity under the direction of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Last January, the Holy Father launched the year 2021 with an appeal to fraternity, in the video with his prayer intention, for people of different religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to return to the essentials: love of neighbor.

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.