By Vatican News staff reporter
The Chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Alan McGuckian, has warmly welcomed the first International Day of Human Fraternity.
The Bishop expressed the hope that, on this day, there would be an increase in efforts “toward inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, the promotion of a culture of tolerance and acceptance of others and of living together peacefully.”
Quoting from The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb in Abu Dhabi in 2019, the Bishop said he hoped that this fraternal approach “‘would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity’”.
Unity over division
This document, he said, “shows us clearly that there is more that unites us all as human beings, and as believers in God, than that which is too readily focused on as cause for division.”
Bishop McGuckian said that the text, alongside the most recent Papal Encyclical, Fratelli tutti, “highlights the common bonds of humanity that unite us, and the challenges that face us all, including ongoing injustice in the world, poverty, extremism and environmental degradation.”
The Good Samaritan
He noted that in the face of these challenges, “Pope Francis in Fratelli tutti points repeatedly to the Good Samaritan as the guide for our own actions towards others.”
Bishop McGuckian went on to say that “The Good Samaritan became a true neighbour to the wounded Judean by not passing by, too preoccupied with his own affairs, but by approaching and making himself present.”
In so doing, the Bishop pointed out, “he crosses all cultural, religious and historical barriers to care for his fellow man.”