Pope Francis greets participants in French Social Week

In a message to participants in this year’s French Social Week, Cardinal Pietro Parolin highlights Pope Francis’s social magisterium, and the need for greater social cohesion, fraternity, and reconciliation.

By Christopher Wells

“Today, more than ever, we understand the relevance of integral ecology, according to the Magisterium of Pope Francis, which addresses the social environmental crises simultaneously and urges us not to separate what is intimately linked,” says Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

In a letter to participants in the Social Week of France, the Cardinal notes that this year’s event takes place “against the backdrop of a very worrying situation of international instability, which… demonstrates the need for social cohesion, fraternity, and reconciliation between groups and communities.”

Citing the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum, Cardinal Parolin says that, while a personal commitment to the care of creation is important, it is also necessary “to initiate a new process that is radical and intense, and relies on the commitment of all.”

He notes that Pope Francis’ invitation “to build a society animated by feelings of friendship and fraternity becomes a concrete proposal for exploring new forms of cooperation” in the encyclical Fratelli tutti.

Similarly, the Pope’s decision to participate in the upcoming COP28 in Dubai “is a testimony to his commitment that encourages all Catholics to mobilize with clear-sightedness and determination in the social sphere.”

Cardinal Parolin concludes his letter with the hope that participants in the Social Week might “support the Church of France in its mission” through their appraisal of contemporary realities “enriched by the convergence of diverse skills and perspectives.”

Emphasizing that “only the newness of the Lord Jesus is radical,” the Cardinal Secretary of State says, “May your hope also be radical!” while assuring participants of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Blessing.