The Encyclical “All Brothers,” But Whose?

October 30, 2020
Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb

On October 4, 2020 - after signing it the day before in Assisi - Pope Francis published the third encyclical of his pontificate, entitled “Fratelli tutti [All Brothers], on fraternity and social friendship.”

This 90-page document, along with 288 notes, is in line with the Abu Dhabi Document of February 4, 2019, “on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” co-signed by Francis and the grand imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, personally cited four times in the encyclical. The latter also declared on October 4: “The message from my brother Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti, is an extension of the Document on Human Fraternity.... It is a message addressed to people of good will and living conscience, and which restores to humanity its conscience.”

Among the Pope’s sources, we note: a song by the Brazilian songwriter Vinicius de Moraes - with a reference to his 1962 recording -, the filmmaker Wim Wenders, the theologian Karl Rahner, St. Thomas Aquinas, Gabriel Marcel, Paul Ricoeur, Georg Simmel, Karol Wojtyla in his book Love and Responsibility, René Voillaume… Francis refers to Holy Scriptures, to his predecessors, to episcopal conferences around the world, and to his own writings or interviews. But the Pope also says he is indebted to Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Gandhi and Charles de Foucauld.

A Very Political Encyclical

In Le Figaro of October 5, Jean-Marie Guénois writes that it is a “very political” encyclical, and he sees in it a reminder of three themes often addressed by Francis during the seven years of his pontificate:

1. The question of “borders” (no. 121, et seq.). For Francis, the “limits and borders of individual states cannot stand in the way of” the arrival of a migrant because he is not a “usurper.” Thus “no one, then, can remain excluded because of his or her place of birth,” since “every country is also that of the foreigner.” It is therefore “For those who are not recent arrivals and already participate in the fabric of society, it is important to apply the concept of citizenship,” and “to reject the discriminatory use of the term minorities.” Indeed, “immigrants, if they are helped to integrate, are a blessing, a source of enrichment and new gift that encourages a society to grow.” - The Pope here ignores the religion of migrants. “The positions of the Pope on immigration, predominantly Muslim, concerns the life, or survival, of Christian nations. A vital question for all concerned.... Immigration is not just a political and economic issue, but a religious one as well” (Nouvelles de Chrétienté, no. 169, Jan-Feb 2018).

2. “Private property” (no.118, et seq.). Francis recalls that it is not exclusive but relative to its “social function” of helping the poorest. There is a “ the subordination of all private property to the universal destination of the earth’s goods, and thus the right of all to their use” [no. 123].

3. The notion of “just war” (no. 255, et seq.). It is no longer thinkable: “We can no longer think of war as a solution, because its risks will probably always be greater than its supposed benefits. In view of this, it is very difficult nowadays to invoke the rational criteria elaborated in earlier centuries to speak of the possibility of a “just war.” Never again war!”

And Jean-Marie Guénois concludes: “Francis is therefore asking to transform the armaments budgets into a ‘global fund’ to fight hunger. And lays down the ‘imperative’ for ‘the total elimination of nuclear weapons’ as an ‘ultimate goal.’ In this spirit, he also calls for the elimination of the death penalty everywhere.”

On the site Liberté politique, on October 5, the columnist Constance Prazel underlines the very “politically correct” discourse of the encyclical, in its form, and its alignment with the policy of world organizations, on the substance: “The horizon proposed by Francis in this text poses a question: very political, too political. The phrase “an inclusive social friendship and a fraternity open to all” (no. 94) sounds like Anne Hidalgo’s campaign speeches, as does her vision of a “culture of encounter” (no. 30).

“Pope Francis does not content himself with laying down vague principles such as this 'inclusive social friendship'; it is in favor of concrete problematic avenues, for example the strengthening of international organizations, or a “global governance with regard to movements of migration” (no. 132), without having the caution to remember that international and supranational bodies are today the best guarantors of global governance at the service of the culture of death. He takes note of the weakening of nation-states, not to call for their renewal, but that they will fade away in favor of the transnational, an idea already contained in Laudato si’.”

Critique of the Encyclical by St. Pius X

Very predictable, the content of this new encyclical drew many critical comments even before its publication. As of September 6, his title, announced in advance in the media, “Fratelli tutti, All brothers,” inspired an article on the Le cronache di Papa Francesco website, entitled: “Brothers of all. And no one.”

This “all brothers,” according to the editor of the Italian site, “unfortunately refers to the humanist slogan of universal brotherhood among all men and to the unique god of syncretistic ecumenism, contained in the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019.

“It is true that the incipit - informs us the Press Office of the Holy See - is taken from the Admonitions of Saint Francis (“Brothers all, let us look at the Good Shepherd who sustained the passion of the cross to save his sheep,” 6 1: FF 155), but the saint of Assisi - whose life has been manipulated by Masonic and Modernist propaganda - addressed his brothers, the members of his order, and his brothers in the faith, the baptized. And he also called to the one true God, the only God that Jesus Christ revealed to us: the Most Holy Trinity.

“We can already imagine the objection of many: but the Lord Himself has said that we are all brothers! (cf. Mt 23:8). Yes, that is true - we answer - but if we read the Gospel carefully, we will see that the divine Master and Lord did not address Himself to all men, but only to His disciples. Only Christians are all brothers and sisters, for they are the only men who can call God - the Creator of all men - “Father,” through the sacrament of baptism (cf. Rom 8:14-15). And Christ gave the new commandment of brotherly love only to his disciples (cf. Jn 13:34-35; 15:9-14).”

“All people have the same Creator, but unfortunately not all have become adopted children in Jesus Christ (cf. Gal 3:26-28). All men are called to love, but only the disciples of Christ can love totally (cf. 1 Jn 4:7-11). This is why Christ gave His Church the command to evangelize and baptize all creatures (cf. Mk 16:15-18).

“The ideological-humanist utopia of universal brotherhood is born and spread with Freemasonry, the foundation of which is the negation of original sin and the rejection of all Christian revelation.”

“How could such an aberration penetrate so deeply into the Catholic Church to the highest chair? With modernism came a new way of thinking about the faith, rather than denying this or that truth, as St. Pius X explained - and unmasked - “the notion of Fraternity… [the modernists] found on the love of common interest or, beyond all philosophies and religions, on the mere notion of humanity, thus embracing with an equal love and tolerance all human beings and their miseries, whether these are intellectual, moral, or physical and temporal,” wrote the holy Pope in his letter Notre Charge apostolique on the Sillon, of August 25, 1910.

“And further on, he added: “there is no genuine fraternity outside Christian charity. Through the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ Our Saviour, Christian charity embraces all men, comforts all, and leads all to the same faith and same heavenly happiness. By separating fraternity from Christian charity thus understood, democracy, far from being a progress, would mean a disastrous step backwards for civilization.” – On this subject, we will refer with profit to the study of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, published on February 25, 2019 on the FSSPX.News site, and entitled: “Document on Human Fraternity – From Utopia to Heresy.”

Before and After the Encyclical, a Constant Program

Already “all brothers.” - On May 14, 2020, during the “Day of Fraternity,” a day of penance and prayer programmed by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity created to promote the Abu Dhabi declaration, the Pope had anticipated the title of the encyclical, recalling in his homily that “St. Francis of Assisi said: “All brothers.” A formula in which the Sovereign Pontiff considered to include the “men and women of every religious confession…uniting themselves today in prayer and penance to ask for the grace of healing from this pandemic [coronavirus].”

It was in the same homily that he dismissed the criticism of doctrinal relativism: “Perhaps someone will say: ‘This is religious relativism and you cannot do that.’ But how can we not pray to the Father of all? Everyone prays as they know how, as they can, according to what they have received from their own culture.”

As Nico Spuntoni emphasized in the Nuova Bussola Quotidiana [The Daily Compass] on September 13: “These are the concerns that, among others, the Vaticanist Aldo Maria Valli had advanced in a speech on his blog Duc in altum (under the title, “If God becomes a relativist”) and the philosopher Josef Seifert, former member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, according to whom, “By attributing to God the will that there be religions that contradict His Divine Revelation... He is transformed into a relativist who does not know that there is only one truth.”

Again “all brothers.” - On September 9, Terra Futura (Future Earth), a book of interviews between the Pope and the agnostic journalist, Carlo Petrini, was released. Accompanied during the presentation by Bishop Domenico Pompili, Bishop of Rieti, Italy, who wrote the preface to the book, and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., director of Civiltà Cattolica, Carlo Petrini underlined the importance the Sovereign Pontiff has accorded to the “human fraternity” and to “social friendship.”

Fr. Spadaro – whom we know has the ear of the Pope - announced that this book was a “good introduction to reading what will be the pope’s third encyclical.” According to him, the interreligious dialogue that the sovereign pontiff should advocate in Fratelli tutti concerns “the pious agnostic” (sic), the non-believer who wishes to exchange with the believer, and who must be distinguished from the “devout atheist.” (re-sic), the one who does not believe dogmatically in the existence of God and refuses discussion. The Pope insists on the need for “dialogue as a method,” affirmed Fr. Spadaro, and this within the Catholic Church, as between the different spiritualities. In the interviews, for his part, Carlo Petrini reported that Francis welcomes the initiatives of “civil synodality” and invites building a dialogue between believers and non-believers. - This is what today in Rome they call, “cultural biodiversity” (re-re-sic), in the past we spoke of doctrinal relativism.

Always “All brothers.” – Mgr. Bruno Marie Duffé, secretary of the Dicastery for the service of integral human development, announced to the Roman agency I.Media that the next message for peace from Pope Francis, to be broadcast on January 1, 2021, would have the theme “Taking care of the other, a path to peace.” This message, explained the prelate, will draw on the principles of the Fratelli tutti encyclical. “Discovering the care of the Earth, of the poor and the most fragile,” this is the principle that the next message for peace will develop, in order to build prospects for peace.

The message for peace will seek to “enhance the text” of the encyclical, “Fratelli tutti (All brothers), on Fraternity and Social Friendship,” in order to “make it known and have everyone appropriate it,” explained Mgr. Duffé, for whom this encyclical will in a way represent the “mature text” and “journal” of his pontificate. And to reveal that if for Laudato si’ Francis had entrusted part of the writing to “a team of scientists and theologians,” this time he is the author of at least 80% of the text.

A Church Aligned with the UN

The pope’s consistent line was also expressed in his video message to the United Nations on its 75th anniversary on September 25. This led Stefano Fontana to deplore, in the Nuova Bussola Quotidiana [The Daily Compass] of September 28, “a Church which becomes the servant of the UN”: “Covid, globalism and sovereignty, vaccines, climate ... The message sent in recent days by Francis at the UN, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its foundation, addresses many recurring themes in the pontifical interventions, linked to the repeated use of many keywords which are always the same, but above all it underlines the tendency to adapt to the prevailing feeling, rather than providing interpretive keys inspired by the social doctrine of the Church.”

“The arguments addressed by the message are really present on the scene today, but the interpretation of the facts is undoubtedly such that the leaders of the United Nations will certainly not be upset, but confirmed in their conduct.”

On globalism and nationalism, Stefano Fontana emphasizes that “Pope Francis is using Covid-19 to call for greater multilateralism and to condemn nationalist and individualist closures. Returning thus to his condemnation without appeal of any sovereignty to which is assimilated any form of patriotism or appeal to the national dimension of the problems… [Yet] the fact of protecting one’s own nation from epidemic contagion is not an act of political selfishness.”

“By pushing in this direction, the Pope is objectively playing the game of financial, economic, and political actors who want the famous globalist ‘new humanism,’ with the great danger of achieving a single universal mindset, a set of principles shared by multinational powers and sovereignly imposed. It is incomprehensible that they do not appeal to the concepts of “people” and “nation” as natural expressions of the sociability of the person, so present in the social doctrine of the Church. Covid-19 cannot be the occasion to send the “borders” to the slaughterhouse.... The Church should show a greater critical capacity on these issues.”