Pope Francis' Message on 1st International Day of Human Fraternity "Fraternity means listening with an open heart." FULL TEXT + Video



Thursday, February 4, 2021  

Sisters and brothers. This is the word: sisters and brothers.  Affirm fraternity.

In a special way to you, my brother, my friend, my companion in challenges and risks in the struggle for fraternity, Great Imam Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, whom I thank for the company on the journey for reflection and the drafting of the document that was presented two years ago. His testimony helped me a lot because it was a courageous testimony. I know it was not an easy task. But with her we were able to do it together, and help each other. The most beautiful thing is that that first desire for fraternity has consolidated into true fraternity. Thank you, brother, thank you!

I also wish to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for all the efforts he has made to make this progress possible. He believed in the project. He believed it.

And I think it is also right to thank - allow me, Mr. Judge, the word - " the enfant terrible " of this whole project, Judge Abdel Salam, friend, worker, full of ideas, who helped us to move forward.

Thank you all for having bet on fraternity, because today fraternity is the new frontier of humanity. Either we are brothers or we destroy each other.

Today there is no time for indifference. We cannot wash our hands of it, with distance, with carelessness, with disinterest. Either we are brothers - allow me -, or everything collapses. It is the frontier. The frontier on which we must build; it is the challenge of our century, it is the challenge of our times.

Fraternity means an outstretched hand; fraternity means respect. Fraternity means listening with an open heart. Fraternity means firmness in one's convictions. Because there is no true fraternity if you negotiate your beliefs.

We are brothers, born of the same Father. With different cultures, traditions, but all brothers. And in respect of our different cultures and traditions, of our different citizenships, this fraternity must be built. By not negotiating it.

It's time for listening. It is time for sincere acceptance. It is the moment of certainty that a world without brothers is a world of enemies. I want to emphasize this. We cannot say: either brothers or not brothers. Let's face it: either brothers or enemies. Because carelessness is a very subtle form of enmity. There is no need for a war to make enemies. The neglect is enough. Enough with this technique - it has become a technique -, enough with this attitude of looking the other way, not caring about the other, as if it did not exist.

Dear brother Great Imam, thank you for your help. Thanks for your testimony. Thank you for this journey that we have made together.

Congratulations from the Holy Father to the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, winner of the Zayed Prize ]

I wish to congratulate the Secretary General of the United Nations on this award and thank him for all the efforts he is making for peace. A peace that can only be achieved with a fraternal heart. Thanks for what he does.

Congratulations from the Holy Father to Latifa Ibn Ziaten, winner of the Zayed Prize ]

Dear sister, your last words are not spoken by hearsay or convention: "we are all brothers". I am the belief. And a belief shaped in pain, in your wounds. You have spent your life for smiles, you have spent your life for non-resentment and, through the pain of losing a child - only a mother knows what it means to lose a child -, through this pain you have the courage to say "we are all brothers ”and to sow words of love. Thanks for your testimony. And thank you for being the mother of your son, of many boys and girls; to be the mother today of this humanity that is listening to you and learning from you: either the path of fraternity, brothers, or we lose everything.

Thank you thank you!