The Rome Monti Declaration on a Shared Humanity 2022 

Signed on 25th May 2022 at Roma Monti 

Human societies are in crisis. Extreme weather and mass extinction are already upon us. Wars,  climate disasters, and displacements are leading to acute human suffering, especially of those  who have historically been most oppressed, those who carry the burdens of humanity on their  shoulders. We recognize that dignity and material wellbeing are unequally distributed, that  we do not do enough to redress the daily injustices that plague our societies, and that we are  yet to chart a clear path to place the dispossessed and disempowered at the centre of our  service and together enable their emancipation from the structures that oppress them.  

 

1. We declare that human beings, despite being born equal in dignity and liberty,  have allowed for inequality, exploitation, oppression, poverty, and indignity to take  hold of societies, forcing the most vulnerable to live a life of misery and subjection,  while enabling the most powerful to live a life of opulence and excess.  

2. We recognize that it is within our capacity as human beings to dismantle oppressive  scaffoldings and find new paths to equal human flourishing. Trailblazer and  pathfinders, who imagine alternative roads to just societies and thriving ecosystems,  deserve recognition and support.  

3. We declare that the welfare, happiness, and collective wisdom of human beings is at  the centre of just societies that exist in balance with their natural ecosystems.  

4. We recognize that today profit, greed, and individual ambition to possess, compete,  and dominate are at the centre of most societies, which has resulted in immense  human suffering as well as environmental harm. Those who dedicate their lives to  protect people and nature deserve respect and emulation.  

5. We declare of the outmost social value the labour of the working classes —the toil of  those who plant and harvest our food and produce and distribute our basic goods,  who care for others and keep our societies running, frequently performing the most  physically demanding and unpleasant tasks, those who are paid low wages and are  forced to live in precarity. 

6. We recognize that, despite the inherent equality of human beings, we live in a deeply  unequal world, in which half of humanity is dispossessed while a small minority  appropriates more than two thirds of the enormous wealth that all of us —but  especially the working classes— have collectively created (World Inequality Report  2022). Those who labour to feed and nurture the world deserve gratitude, respect,  and adequate compensation. 

7. We declare that poverty is not a natural phenomenon, but a man-made injustice.  Human beings can and must change their conditions, so no one is subjected to living  in poverty that make the fulfilment of one’s path an impossibility, that undermine  human dignity and deprive societies of our contributions.  

8. We recognize that the increase in migrations due to war and climate change will force  many more of our sisters and brothers into untenable material conditions that damage  the dignity of us all. Those who dedicate their lives to empowering the dispossessed  and protecting their wellbeing deserve respect and emulation. 

9. We declare that women are equal to men in dignity and liberty, and that have a crucial  role in the creation of a more just society in which love, care, solidarity, and creativity  replace hate, domination, greed, and sterile discipline.  

10. We recognize that women and girls are systematically discriminated against because  of their gender, being marginalized, humiliated, sexually assaulted, and made  subordinate in most societies around the world. Those who defend gender equality,  empower women and girls, and protect them from harm deserve respect and  emulation. 

11. We declare that love has no boundaries, that human beings must love one another,  regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities.  

12. We recognize that our sisters and brothers from the LBGTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay,  transgender, queer) community have suffered disproportionately from the hate and  violence that accompanies ignorance and intolerance, and therefore deserve special  recognition, support, and protection in these turbulent times.

13. We declare that human beings are born equal and that they all share hopes and  aspirations, paths of fulfilment, paths of suffering, and dreams within a common  journey as human beings. 

14. We declare that human beings share the freedom to follow particular paths of life  within the rights and obligations shared by all and contributing to the common good  of humanity. 

15. We declare our respect and good-will towards all religious traditions that follow a path  towards peace, common cooperation, and goodness. 

16. We share a common path towards the Absolute and as such we recognize the diversity  of paths, texts and traditions that we intend to respect and foster their respect in  others. 

17. “For sentient beings, poor and destitute, may I become a treasure ever plentiful, and  lie before them closely in their reach, a varied source of all that they might need”  (Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva III, 10). 

18. “OM. This eternal Word is all: what was, what is and what shall be, and what beyond  is in eternity. All is OM” (Mandukya Upanishad). 

19. Blessed is the season when I remember You. Blessed is that work which is done for  You. Blessed is that heart in which You dwell, O Giver of all. O my God! You are the  Universal Father of us all. You dwell deep within each and every heart. All share in  Your Grace; none are beyond You. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p, 97).  

20. “Shema Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad – barukh shem kevod malkhuto le’olam  va’ed” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). 

21. “In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful, Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,  the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’ (al-Fatihah). 

22. “May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also  may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me” (John 17:21).

23. We declare that as brothers and sisters we can share our joy, peace, and happiness  with all human beings through our daily prayer and meditation. 

© Mario I. Aguilar and Camila Vergara May 2022

Mario I. Aguilar, Pope Francis: Journeys of a Peacemaker. London and New York: Routledge, 2022.

https://www.routledge.com/Pope-Francis-Journeys-of-a-Peacemaker/Aguilar/p/book/9781032000237

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