Day of Tolerance
“At a time when extremism and fanaticism are unleashed too often, at a time when the venom of hatred continues to poison a part of humanity, tolerance has never been more vital a virtue.”— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO on International Day for Tolerance.
The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This imperative lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is more important than ever in this era of rising and violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.
In Fratelli Tutti (238) Pope Francis writes about Peace and Tolerance.
Jesus never promoted violence or intolerance. He openly condemned the use of force to gain power over others: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you” (Mt 20:25-26). Instead, the Gospel tells us to forgive “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) and offers the example of the unmerciful servant who was himself forgiven, yet unable to forgive others in turn (cf. Mt 18:23-35).
Intolerance is popular these days, even among Christians. They often misrepresent tolerance as akin to watching and cheering while the house burns. Tolerance is largely pre-crisis. It sets the tone in small things, and prevents petty annoyances from building into bigger things, like mountains.
Jesus preached for us to avoid lording it over others, and to be proactive in offering forgiveness and mercy to others.
All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
In Fratelli Tutti (On Fraternity and Social Friendship) Pope Francis goes beyond tolerance to encourage dialogue, friendship and encounter. How might tolerance be related to these aspirations? Might it be a steppingstone?
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