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Heart for Mission Episode 7: Dr. Robert Fastiggi

Dr. Matthew Gerlach is joined by Dr. Robert Fastiggi to discuss Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Fratelli tutti.

by Editorial Team

Dr. Matthew Gerlach is joined by Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Professor of Christology and Introduction to the Catholic Church, to discuss Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Fratelli tutti.

“Our outreach and universal love comes from the Gospel. Those of us who are sinners and have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness should reach out in love.”

Show notes:

(2:00) Opening prayer

(3:00) Dr. Fastiggi gives updates on his recent accomplishments, mentioning his recent book Virgin, Mother, Queen available from Ave Maria Press. He also discusses his methods and approach when beginning to study the encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

(6:02) Dr. Gerlach and Dr. Fastiggi discuss the public reception of the encyclical. Dr. Fastiggi shares the favorable reception among the clergy and bishops. Dr. Gerlach refers to the document’s emphasis on “openness” and its theological impacts, and Dr. Fastiggi responds, citing the openness we require as human beings and the common human values of natural law.

(10:20) Dr. Fastiggi reflects on the beginning of the encyclical with a reflection on St. Francis, and mentions the significance of Pope Francis, a Jesuit, taking the name of “Francis” for his papacy. He addresses the need for encounter and evangelization and the importance of sharing the love of God among people of other religions.

(13:40) Dr. Fastiggi discusses a document Pope Francis shared in conjunction with a prominent Imam about the role of religions as a source of peace in the world. He reflects on this as a significant achievement in social friendship and unity.

(14:52) Dr. Gerlach addresses the Pope’s concern with increased polarity and friction in all religions currently, even Christianity. They discuss the need for a peaceful way of receiving each person in their common humanity and the importance of Fratelli Tutti in inspiring people to evaluate how they achieve this.

(17:21) Dr. Fastiggi emphasizes that our outreach and universal love and friendship comes from the Gospel. He mentions our calling to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors and that, at times, that may feel idealistic, but that this comes from the Gospel of peace and fraternity. He addresses Francis’s clarity about promoting Jesus’s trust in the human spirit and our calling to forgiveness.

(25:05) Dr. Gerlach and Dr. Fastiggi discuss practical takeaways and steps to read and understand the encyclical, such as the recognition that all human beings are made in God’s image and our common humanity. Dr. Fastiggi also addresses the need for a culture of welcoming and personal recognition.

(29:54) Closing and prayer.

Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.