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The contributions of charisms to the encyclical Fratelli tutti

with all humanity

Egidio Canil OFM Conv
Alessandro Partini OFM
Theo Jansen OFM Cap


It is not uncommon to think that some of the unique initiatives Pope Francis has come up with arise from the close attention he pays to current events. Some might be tempted to say that it is almost as if he was trying to win an audience by engaging in topics more alien to the faith than to the ecclesial tradition. But the reality is different. In the wake of the recent encyclical Fratelli tutti, we asked three sons of Francis of Assisi, each of whom belongs to a different Franciscan congregation, to help us understand the profound link between their charismatic heritage and the proposals of Pope Francis. 

Ministry of Pope Francis and Charisms

Before offering our contribution as Franciscans to the reading of the encyclical Fratelli tutti, we consider it opportune to highlight some traits of the pontificate of Pope Francis that is increasingly characterized by a strong and original "charismatic" colouring. Francis is first and foremost the "son" of a charism. With a formation and a life steeped in the charism of Ignatius of Loyola, he became the first Jesuit pope in history. Secondly, he is the first pope in history to choose the name "Francis" for his Petrine ministry. It was a choice which surprised many and with it, as a Jesuit, showed that he intended to be inspired by a further, new charism. Thirdly, in these eight years of ministry, he has repeatedly valued and drawn on other charismatic expressions, "old and new", aroused by the Spirit in the Church. Many people have also been surprised by the