During the recent international conference “A Politics Rooted in the People,” sponsored by the Centre for Theology & Community in partnership with Catholic institutions in the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom, Pope Francis spoke to grassroots Catholics, community organizers, and academics to take forward His Holiness’s call for the Church to embrace “a politics rooted in the people,” with a focus on broad-based organizing and “popular movements.”
Pope Francis said during his online address that “the true response to the rise of populism is not exactly more individualism but quite the opposite: a politics of fraternity, rooted in the life of the people.”
The Pontiff went on to cite work of the Keough School’s Contending Modernities research and education initiative: “In his recent book [Inclusive Populism: Creating Citizens in the Global Age, University of Notre Dame Press], Rev. Angus Ritchie calls this politics that you do ‘inclusive populism’; I like to use the term ‘popularism’ to express the same idea. But what matters is not the name but the vision, which is the same: It is about finding the means to guarantee a life for all people that is worthy of being called human, a life capable of cultivating virtue and forging new bonds.”
Inclusive Populism is part of the Contending Modernities book series, edited by Marilyn Keough Dean Scott Appleby and Professors Ebrahim Moosa and Atalia Omer. Contending Modernities is a research initiative of the Keough School’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
Ritchie’s book received a Catholic Press Association Book Award in 2020 for Faithful Citizenship/ Religious Freedom. In the preface, Ritchie argues that “we should be encouraged by the practice of so many citizens in our most deprived and diverse neighborhoods. Their actions show that strangers can indeed become fellow citizens, learning to trust and care for one another, and so to build a more just and peaceful common life.” Read more about Inclusive Populism here.
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A version of this story was originally published at undpressnews.nd.edu on April 15, 2021.