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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — A “Fratelli tutti Foundation” attached to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome was launched on Wednesday by Pope Francis who signed a decree that officially established the new entity. It aims at encouraging “fraternity and dialogue” among pilgrims and tourists visiting the Vatican. 

The document was signed on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and released to the Vatican Press office on Wednesday, together with the news of the nomination of its president, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, archpriest of the Basilica, vicar general for the Vatican State, and president of the Fabric of Saint Peter. It is in this last capacity, as the head of the institution tasked with the conservation and maintenance of the Basilica, that Gambetti has now been given a free hand for the cultural and spiritual animation of the church itself and Saint Peter’s Square, within the “embrace” of the colonnade of Bernini, as the papal decree put it. 

Cardinal Gambetti, it should be said, was the initiator of the new Foundation; he presented his brainchild to the world last October, describing it as a “dream” that was born in Assisi even before Fratelli tutti was written, but adding that the Encyclical is “the vision for which we should be striving globally.” 

The example of what is afoot at Notre Dame of Paris immediately springs to mind: as LifeSite readers know, plans for a makeover of the Gothic jewel’s interior include creating a “discovery trail” for people of all religions, leading through chapels dedicated to the five continents and messages of the Old and New Testaments and culminating with Laudato si’. The revamping of Notre Dame is set to include benches with modern lighting systems, elements of “contemporary art” and music and light projections in the side-chapels, “creating the conditions for an experience” that would appeal to the cathedral’s many non-Catholic visitors. 

The revamping of Notre Dame wants a clear break from traditional liturgy, as the designer of the revamp, Father Gilles Drouin, a staunch promoter of Traditionis custodes, has made clear. In interviews he has rejected what he says is a “Tridentine” conception of the liturgy as a “theater,” instead favoring an “active participation” that blurs the limits between the priest and the faithful attending Mass. 

No practical details of upcoming changes or “animations” to St. Peter’s Basilica have been given yet, but a parallel can surely be drawn regarding Cardinal Gambetti, a 52-year-old Franciscan hand-picked by Pope Francis last year to receive the red hat. Gambetti has banned the traditional Latin Mass from the nave and side-chapels of Saint-Peter’s, relegating individual priests and groups to the Crypt and insisting that Masses within the central church of Christendom be in the vernacular, preferably Italian, and concelebrated. 

He is certainly a perfect fit for presidency of the new “Fratelli Tutti Foundation” based on Pope Francis’ eponymous Encyclical. Fratelli tutti has already borne fruits such as the relativistic Abu Dhabi Declaration proclaiming that the “diversity of religions” was “willed by God in his wisdom.” 

How this will play out in and around the Basilica of Saint Peter, where Catholics venerate the tomb of Saint Peter, the “rock” on whom the Church was built, can already be sensed in the few elements of the Foundation’s statutes that have been quoted by the Italian media. Key words and phrases are “humanism,” “building social alliances,” and, of course, “bridges,” the creating of “events,” “trails,” “experiences” and “spiritual exercises,” and “promoting dialogue with cultures and the other religions based on the themes of the Pope’s last Encyclical.” 

In a communiqué published on Wednesday by the Holy See, the language is even more revealing: ten “purposes” are quoted in detail, and they certainly deserve to be reproduced in full. Here is our translation of the statement: 

The Foundation’s mission areas are: 

  1. to support and design pathways of art and faith;
  2. to invest in cultural and spiritual formation through events, experiences, paths, and spiritual exercises;
  3. to promote dialogue with cultures and other religions on the themes of the Pontiff’s latest encyclicals to build a “social alliance.”

The purposes of the Foundation are included in Article 3 of the Statute: 

“The Foundation has purposes of solidarity, training, dissemination of art and particularly sacred art; it promotes synodality, the culture of fraternity and dialogue. To this end, the Foundation: 

  1. promotes a holistic formation, attentive to the spiritual and cultural levels, to the community dimension and to the commitment of service in the world;
  2. encourages tourists to live the experience of pilgrims through spiritual, cultural, and artistic itineraries in St. Peter’s Basilica and in the spaces made available bythe Fabric of St. Peter;
  3. organizes itineraries, events, and experiences to promote fraternity and social friendship between Churches, different religions, and between believers and non-believers; 
  4. promotes the culture of peace in the various spheres of life, from the personal to the social and political dimensions;
  5. promotes “new encounters” nourished by social dialogue, by the sense of social forgiveness, by the purification of memory, by the promotion of restorative justice as an alternative to social revenge;
  6. nurtures initiatives aimed at fostering the development of fraternal humanism, through the promotion of the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity, conditions for building a “universal love” that recognizes and protects the dignity of persons;
  7. encourages projects for the care of creation, the protection of environmental resources, international solidarity, and social responsibility; 
  8. promotes social alliance, responsible entrepreneurship, social investment, human and sustainable forms of work; integral ecology, sustainable development, ecological transition, health and scientific and technological research, in light of the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church; 
  9. supports responsible communication, the truthfulness of sources, and the credibility and reliability of those committed to building bridges;
  10. takes charge of, in the symbolic embrace of the colonnade of St. Peter’s Basilica, the weakest people, the stranger and the foreigner, the different and the marginalized, and the cultural and social frontiersto reinterpret the sufferings of the world and offer solutions in the light of the Gospel and the papal Magisterium”.

To carry out its activities, the Foundation will be chaired by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, a nine-member Board of Directors, a single Auditor, and a General Secretary. The future guiding bodies of the Foundation will be: the General Council composed of members of the Vatican Dicasteries to which the Foundation’s mission themes pertain, and the Sustainability Committee in which the Foundation’s benefactors are represented.” 

References to God, the Holy Trinity, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Beloved Mother are totally absent from this catalogue of politically correct “values,” among which environmentalist concerns and “fraternity between believers and non-believers” are, of course, paramount. 

For French observers, the mention of “liberty, equality, and fraternity” in objective VI, together with a nod to “fraternal humanism,” has obvious Masonic overtones. A carbon copy of the motto of the French Republic, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, the words point to the French Revolution that allowed “no liberty for the enemies of Liberty” and understood the concept as the right to think and do what one wills, without regard for the superior right of truth and divine law. 

“Equality” would soon degenerate into collectivism, socialism, or communism, and the overthrowing of natural hierarchies, while “Fraternity” is not so much a desire for true love and friendship among human beings as a rejection of paternity and its God-given authority. 

Of course, all these words have their true value but, taken together and made absolute, they contradict each other and, improperly defined, they were the basis for the revolutionary “Terror” of 1792 and the following years when the Vendée region of France underwent a legal genocide as ordered by the Parisian revolutionaries. 

The Pope’s chirograph (i.e., papal decree limited to the Roman Curia) was also devoid of any obvious Catholic references, being content to refer to “religion” and “spirituality:” 

I have learned with satisfaction that the Fabric of Saint Peter, together with some of the faithful, wish to join together to establish a Foundation of Religion and Worship intended to collaborate in spreading the principles set forth in my recent encyclical, Fratelli tutti, in order to encourage initiatives linked to spirituality, art, education and dialogue with the world, around Saint Peter’s Basilica and in the embrace of its colonnade. 

I therefore gladly accede to the request expressed to me to establish in the State of Vatican City an autonomous foundation for the above-mentioned purposes. 

By virtue of my apostolic power in the Church and my sovereignty in Vatican City, I establish the Fratelli tutti Foundation as a public canonical juridical person and as a civil juridical person with its headquarters in Vatican City State. 

The Foundation will be governed by the canonical laws, in particular by the special norms that regulate the Bodies of the Holy See, by the civil norms in force in the Vatican City State, and by the attached Statute which I simultaneously approve. 

From the Vatican, 8 December 2021 


The Foundation’s first public initiatives are expected to take place early next year. Cardinal Gambetti gave an interview to Vatican News last October in which he said the new Foundation will be a “polyhedron” (one of Pope Francis’ stock words) made up of “formation and dialogue, sacred art and economy, young people, and startups.” All will be welcome there “to find the direction of a common road towards the future… in harmony with the magisterium of Pope Francis,” he said. 

Much of his interview is made up of variations and repetitions on this theme of a “common road.” But beyond the glib Newspeak, there is a clear, political objective that smacks of global spirituality and global governance. As Gambetti puts it: 

We already have in mind, probably at the beginning of next year, some initiatives linked to the dual theme of art and spirituality, which are the first,and also the simplest, to activate. But then we are also thinking of something on formation, and it is probable that we will begin with young people, although this is not yet decided because we need to study it well. In any case, the idea is to have a few weeks of residential meetings to allow people to get together, to share, to think about some issues and then try to bring out something new or a new way. For example, if we think of young people, it could be a startup in some segment of the economy, mobility, climate, and environmental issues. Or if we turn to the world of business, putting together people who have managerial roles, or in any case important ones, we could look at the theme of new models of development.

Are we also looking at politics?

We could also think about new ways of doing politics, which are perhaps a bit tired or suffocated by the problems that exist, problems that are obviously real and need to be addressed. But along with this fatigue, we also need to look beyond, to the future. If we do not help each other imagine the future, or a society in which we wish to live, not just see others live it, perhaps politicsin particular will lose a bit of its own vocation.

This all sounds very ambitious for a Foundation centered on a Basilica and a Square – but so much in tone with the objectives of the global “élite” that it can certainly hope for its support.