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Cardinal: social dimension of mercy at heart of Pope Francis’s teaching

November 30, 2016

Writing on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia described the social dimension of mercy as the “common thread” that links three key documents of Pope Francis: Evangelii Gaudium, Amoris Laetitia, and the recent apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera.

Cardinal Bassetti said that Pope Francis’s teaching builds on the philosopher Jacques Maritain’s call for a Christian humanism in the face of an increasingly secularized society, as well as the teaching of Blessed Paul VI and St. John Paul II on a civilization of love and mercy.

Quoting Misericordia et Misera, the prelate stated that the “five pillars” of Pope Francis’s teaching on the social dimension of mercy are the “rediscovery of encounter with others,” “assiduous prayer,” “docility to the working of the Holy Spirit,” “knowing the lives of the saints,” and “concrete closeness to the poor.”

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