Pope to take his post-pandemic pleas globally

Friday, Sep. 18, 2020

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When he addresses, via video message, the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 21, Pope Francis is expected to speak about using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to rethink economic, political and environmental policies in a way that will benefit humanity and the earth.
Since COVID-19 was officially recognized as a pandemic in early March, the pope has been urging individuals, organizations and governments to recognize the inequalities the pandemic has highlighted in economics and access to health care and education, as well as the ways current patterns of production and consumption have damaged the environment.
Pope Francis began a series of general audience talks Aug. 5 about the principles of Catholic social teaching that can help the world recover from the pandemic and move forward in a way that is better for human beings and for the environment.
He spoke about transforming “the roots of our physical, spiritual and social infirmities and the destructive practices that separate us from each other, threatening the human family and our planet.”
During a news conference Aug. 26 in Rieti, Italy, to launch a celebration marking events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi, Bishop Domenico Pompili replied to a comment about interreligious cooperation by saying that Pope Francis was preparing a new encyclical on “human fraternity,” a phrase used for a document on interreligious dialogue and cooperation signed in 2019 by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar.
The Vatican confirmed Sept. 5 that the pope was writing the encyclical and said he would sign it Oct. 3 in Assisi.

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