The Vatican announced this weekend that Pope Francis will sign his new encyclical in Assisi on Oct. 3, just in time for the feast day on the following day of St. Francis, after whom the Pope took his name. The new document is called “Fratelli Tutti” or “Brothers and sisters, all” in Italian, and if Francis’ previous encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” is any indication, this will be a significant document.
“Fratelli Tutti” will likely cover many of the themes that Pope Francis has addressed since the beginning of the pandemic, like solidarity, ecology and the growing wealth gap. Francis is concerned that as wealthy nations gradually control the virus’s spread and reopen, the poor may be left to deal both with continuing infections and the economic fallout of the pandemic.
In addition to creating a Vatican coronavirus task force and donating money to pandemic relief efforts, Francis devoted his last five Wednesday general audiences to catechesis on human solidarity in the time of coronavirus.
This week on “Inside the Vatican,” we devote the whole episode to that “Covid catechesis,” unpacking Francis’ central ideas of community, the universal destination of goods and care for the environment, which are likely to appear in the forthcoming encyclical “Fratelli Tutti.”