This book — a collection of 14 essays mostly by academics — doesn’t solve any problems, but it shows that divisions and culture wars are nothing new in a society where religion and politics often combust.
Work has begun on sections of the document that pertain to church teaching while the section on eucharistic coherence will not be drafted until after a series of regional meetings among the bishops concludes by the end of August.
The encyclical takes its title from St. Francis of Assisi and is inspired by his “fraternal openness,” which, the pope said, calls on people “to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity, regardless of where he or she was born or lives.”
“It is an understatement to say that political polarization in our communities is intense. Some people are close to despair that they will ever be able to have a fruitful conversation with a person of another political party.”