This article is published in number 2 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until January 20, 2021
We had a dream, at Vanity Fair, for the end of 2020: to start the new year with a message from Pope Francis, to entrust him with the task of opening 2021 with hope, with confidence in a better tomorrow. In recent months, we have talked extensively with his collaborators to understand how, when and above all why.
The way you see it on this cover: the peaceful face of the Pontiff reminiscent of a phrase of St. Francis, “All brothers”, a universal invitation addressed to every man and woman to be a big family beyond diversity, indeed by accepting, loving and respecting everyone’s diversity.
The when is this new, very important beginning. In his Pentecost homily, His Holiness recalled that “from a crisis like this one does not come out the same, but better or worse”. I don’t really know if we will come out better, but I know for sure that we must do everything possible not to find ourselves worse. It would be enough, for example, to change. At least for two fundamental issues that the Pope reminds us on page 18, with some passages from his blessingCity and the world Christmas.
And here I come to why. The first question concerns the vaccine. A light of hope, as the Pope defines it, a remedy that must be destined for everyone, especially the most vulnerable and needy, as well as “the closed nationalisms that prevent us from living as the true human family that we are”. Finally, fraternity, a revolutionary and very powerful sentiment: “a fraternity capable of encountering the other who is different from me”.
2021 will not be the myth we have all dreamed of. And 2020 cannot be relegated to just something to forget about as soon as possible. And again: serious, severe, intelligent and above all humane policies will be needed. But this is a complex, long-term task, in many ways independent of us. The Pope’s second recommendation, on the other hand, concerns everyone. And it can make a difference, perhaps even a revolution. To be brothers all, as Saint Francis said. To become brothers and sisters all, as we have translated into so many languages on the cover. Dear Holy Father, thank you for reminding us, once again, that we must be a family. A great human family.
Happy reading and happy new year
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