A delegation of the Dicastery lead by the Adjunct Secretary Fr. Augusto Zampini took part in a meeting titled "Art 4 Health & SDGs Exhibit". The meeting was organized by the WHO at the UN Palace in Geneva, October 20.
Alessio Pecorario, Official of the Dicastery, intervened at the Opnening Ceremony (here the full text) to speak about the importance to invest in and implement integral human development to reach the SDGs. He focused especially on the concept of dialogue, remembering that "an authentic dialogue requires the exact opposite attitude to the one we normally use, that is, to start from the prejudice of being on the side of reason. The best attitude to keep when we meet someone is to start by the opposite (and unnatural kind) of prejudice, assuming the other has something more or better to say in respect to me!"
"This is a proper expression of love, of universal fraternity - explained Pecorario - as Pope Francis says in his letter encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Indeed, love or caritas is the active love for one’s neighbor which is expressed above all through works of altruism and mercy, especially in the polis, in the cities. Caritas rejoices the presence of the others, listen attentively to others, share the others’ joys and sorrows".
Talking about the link between art, creativity and development, he said: "the Church’s commitment to creativity lies not only in its cultural and artistic output, but also in its pursuits to heal the world’s ills – particularly the virus of injustice, indifference and racism that rage more fervently than even COVID-19".
In fact, "in his recent catechesis series, Pope Francis reasserted the Church’s commitment to the preferential option for the poor, which is central to the Gospel – that is, the need for all our actions to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable. The SDGs are a prime example of an efficacious strategy for this goal".
"For Christians, Pecorario said in conclusion, love is what animates all activity to bring justice for the poor. Love motivates us to care for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, our mother earth included. Love moves us forward universal fraternity, in our personal and political relationship. Love is both the origin and the destination, and creativity is the vehicle. Actually, love is creative. To this end, the Pope instituted the COVID-19 Commission, with the explicit hope that the pandemic would bring an exclusive opportunity to imagine new structures and creatively pursue their fulfillment. Our work, particularly in the task force on security, which I coordinate, revolves around developing unexpected partnerships and pursuing dreams of global peace, justice, and solidarity, through creativity. Pope Francis has encouraged us to use this time for inventing and creativity: «Take care of the now, for the sake of tomorrow. Always creatively, with a simple creativity, capable of inventing something new each day». Indeed, without creativity – without culture, without art – we cannot imagine the fulfillment of the SDGs; we would be hopelessly stuck in the lockdown of our unjust, violent systems. Again, the Pope says: «We have to respond to our confinement with all our creativity. We can either get depressed and alienated — through media that can take us out of our reality — or we can get creative. At home we need an apostolic creativity… with a yearning to express our faith in community». This apostolic creativity drives us towards solidarity, towards the common good, towards a new world".
The art exhibit through 33 artists from over the world (France, Morocco, Peru and United States) presented 5 themes: people, prosperity, peace, relationships, planet.