Pope Francis: The Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone

Earlier this week, Pope Francis gave a surprise TED Talk on “Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone.” The pope covered many topics in the seventeen-minute address, including appeals for inclusion and love. Francis said “we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone,” and continued:

Pope Francis Ted Talk“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us. How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word,were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries.”

Pope Francis also called for a “revolution of tenderness,” which is “the love that comes close and becomes real.” He explained what this revolution will require of people:

“In order to do good, we need memory, we need courage and we need creativity. . .Yes, love does require a creative, concrete and ingenious attitude. Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough. Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The ‘you’ is always a real presence, a person to take care of.”

LGBT Catholics, their loved ones, and allies may experience a dissonance reading these words. Pope Francis’ mixed record on issues of gender and sexuality may weaken his strong call for inclusion. But this address could also be the foundation from which Catholics can build greater inclusion of LGBT people.  Catholics, especially church leaders should apply the pope’s principles to the ways they approach LGBT people and topics.

Is Pope Francis’ call for inclusion and equality harmful or helpful? What would you like to see from him on LGBT issues? Leave your reactions in the “Comments” section below.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, April 29, 2017

0 replies
  1. Barry Blackburn
    Barry Blackburn says:

    I listened to the complete TED talk by Pope Francis. It moved me profoundly and resonated with my own Catholic theological education. In short he was speaking classic Catholic Moral Theology (eg. the Common Good vs. Individualism). He spoke this Faith with a Human Face and Heart. BRAVO to Pope Francis.
    I would ask all of us in the LGBTQ community to lobby all and everyone in the Church to make this “Human Face” happen by having removed–(REMOVING!!!) all the negative references to LGBTQ sexuality and Sexual Orientation in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Why is this not happening? Why didn’t this happen years ago? Talk is sometimes cheap and like Ecumenism slow to happen, but I am becoming very impatient for the removal of these vile statements in the Catechism!

  2. Loretta
    Loretta says:

    This message by Francis brought tears. Yes, he missed some grave opportunities, e.g., the criminalization of gay folks, but maybe he too is still converting. That he did a TED talk is adorable, so trendy.


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