Pope Francis underlined the need to recognize and urgently address the negative effects of the absence of fraternal solidarity experienced by all men and women in the world.
“The negative impact of environmental destruction and social degradation continues to cause immense suffering for a vast number of our brothers and sisters around the globe,” he said.
The Holy Father made the call through a message on February 4 to Mr. Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary-General of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, on the occasion of the 2024 International Day of Human Fraternity.
In response to this alarming issue, the pope invited everyone to draw attention to the principles that can guide humanity “through the dark shadows of injustice, hatred, and war.”
“These include tolerant love for those who are different, a genuine care for the poor and sick, especially children, and a desire to assist in the rehabilitation of prisoners and their reintegration into society,” he stated.
Pope Francis also renewed his gratitude to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyib, and the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, “for their vital support of initiatives aimed at promoting the values of fraternity and social comradeship founded on the truth.”
Furthermore, the pope extended his congratulations to the three joint recipients of this year’s Zayed Award, an accolade honouring individuals and organizations that strengthen human connection and address social divisions.
The Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah Organizations from Indonesia, Dr. Magdi Yacoub from Egypt, and Sister Nelly Leon from Chile received the award in 2024.
“All of the joint recipients, in their distinctive ways, cast important light on the path to greater social solidarity and fraternal love,” said the pope.
He also urged the faithful to draw inspiration from the awardees' admirable deeds, religious insights, and convictions "that inspired in them such generosity of heart."
The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, former ruler of Abu Dhabi and founder of the UAE, established the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity on February 4, 2019.
It was one of the results of the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Dr. Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi, along with the signing of the monumental Document on Human Fraternity.
They named the two religious leaders as honorary recipients of the said award. Luke Godoy
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