Pope's prayer intention for July: social friendship

01 July 2021

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Dialogue and friendship.  During the month of July 2021 Pope Francis’ universal intention invites us to be courageous and passionate architects of fraternity in the many conflict situations in which we find ourselves today. This is the message of the Encyclical ‘Fratelli tutti’, a text in which the Holy Father looks precisely to friendship and fraternity as privileged ways for the construction of a better world. Many national directions of the Pontifical Mission Societies are also working in this direction. We see this movement in the simplicity and the truth of Romanian children who pointed out the importance of fraternity and the awareness of a common home through their drawings, songs, dances, and small representations. We further see this movement in the commitment of the Apostolic Vicariate of Aguarico in Ecuador, where local missionaries have dedicated their Formation Gathering to a reflection on the Encyclical "Fratelli Tutti". It can be seen in the members of the European Episcopal Conferences (Ccee) and in the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (Secam), who met through webinars to reflect on the encyclical. Let us not forget the bishops of North Africa who were inspired by the encyclical and invited the faithful to "invent a better world" despite the current pandemic context. We can see it in Australia where the team responsible for Interfaith Encounters of Catholic Mission launched a program aimed at celebrating difference, deepening faith, and promoting peace and social cohesion.  All of these examples express a strongly emerging invitation to fraternity. The Pope reminds us in the encyclical: “Dialogue between the followers of different religions does not take place simply for the sake of diplomacy, consideration or tolerance. In the words of the Bishops of India, «the goal of dialogue is to establish friendship, peace and harmony, and to share spiritual and moral values and experiences in a spirit of truth and love».”