By Francesca Merlo
In his message to the “2019 Fraternity Campaign”, promoted by the Catholic Bishops of Brazil, Pope Francis refers to the start of the Lenten penitential season. This year, the theme of their campaign is “Fraternity and Public Politics”, and their motto is, “You shall be redeemed with justice, and with righteousness”
Pope Francis begins his message by saying that with the start of Lent we are “invited to prepare ourselves, through the penitential practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer” in order to celebrate the victory of our lord Jesus Christ.
In order to integrate these practices as part of the journey towards Easter, which, he says is “both personal and communal”, the “Fraternity Campaign proposes to Brazilian Christians the horizon of ‘public policies’”.
The Pope then goes on to explain what is meant by the term “public policies”: guaranteeing the common good of citizens. This, he explains means that “all persons and institutions must feel that they are protagonists of initiatives and actions which promote” the well-being of everyone and everything, in order for them to reach “the fullest attainment of their perfection”.
Concrete love for the other
Inspired by this Fraternity Campaign, Christians, said the Pope, must seek a more active participation in society “as a concrete form of love for the other”.
In particular, continues the Pope, those who are “formally dedicated to Politics” and therefore to the common good.
Finally, Pope Francis expresses his desire that this year’s Lenten season “help all Christians to keep their eyes and hearts open so that they can see in their most needy brothers and sisters the ‘flesh of Christ’ that is waiting to ‘be recognized, touched and assisted with care…’”