Everything is Connected: From Laudato Si to Fratelli Tutti

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On July 25th, 2024, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, delivered a speech titled Everything is Connected: From Laudato Si to Fratelli Tutti. His speech was a reflection on the Pope’s encyclicals considering social problems and ecological devastation in the modern era. Mons. Vincenzo Paglia describes the social and natural problems to be deeply interconnected. The disregard for human dignity comes in tandem for a disregard for the earth’s wellbeing. Issues of palliative care, global warming, consumerism and overall interpersonal attitudes towards our fellow human beings were issues of interest.

Mons. Vincenzo Paglia began his speech by noting how much devastation war has brought our world, from Ukraine to Gaza to South Sudan and many more. Any vision for a united world has deteriorated as violence continues and we question what a hyper-virtualized and technologically enhanced society will look like. However, Pope Francis gives a new vision for the future in his two encyclicals, Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti. Pope Francis’ message is clear: we have one human family and one earth to take care of responsibly.

Mons. Vincenzo Paglia remarks that in order to work towards a better future, we must value the inherent dignity in every human being. Globally, we must preserve human rights, women’s rights, freedom, equality, a sense of fraternity, democracy, and solidarity amongst nations. Pope Francis wrote that we are all connected through the Trinity, and have a universal bond to honor. Additionally, humanity’s bond with the natural world must be renewed and honored as well. Human health is bound with the health of the planet, and because of this we must work to maintain balance with our earth’s ecological system. Thus, countries, corporations, and individuals must take precautions to reduce our carbon footprint, pollution, and consumption habits. Mons. Vincenzo Paglia reminds his listeners that to create a peaceful world, values of universality and fraternity must come first.

(Summary by Grace Karmazin-Schneider, University of Notre-Dame Rome)