Messy but urgent work | Daniel Darmanin


Malta’s recent history has, in more ways than one, been a success. And yet, the price that has been paid for this success is indeed high. Apart from those who paid with their lives, divisions and lack of peace abound in our small island nation. As we prepare to elect a new government in the coming months, we can expect the partisan anger and polarization, pervasive in our society, to come to a head, despite numerous calls over the years for a process of national reconciliation and unity.

Last month, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta released a document titled Yahad, a Hebrew term that expresses the meaning of unity and community and represents the Commission’s vision for Maltese society. . It is a document of what has been, where we are and where we want to go as a country. The Commission believes that before our society is caught up in the electoral frenzy, it is important to stop for a moment and reflect on how we can act constructively to build peace within our nation.

This document is therefore offered in the hope that it will serve as an aid to our nation on this path of national growth and reconciliation, so that the divisions between us may be bridged, the scars healed and we may truly become one.

Yahad begins by presenting a polyptych of the victims, a symbol of those who have paid a high price and who are, in more ways than one, the victims of our own success. The names and memories of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Lassana Cisse and Miriam Pace shine a light on these broken relationships that need to be renewed and reconciled. The fourth cry that accompanies us on this journey is that of the faceless victim, which represents all those who strive to live a virtuous life, when more often than not it is much easier to go with the flow and adopt behaviors and practices that result in even more victims of injustice.

However, the memory of these victims is not meant to drive us to despair or despair. We believe that as a country and as a community of faith, we have the necessary resources in our toolbox to continue to build together a better society that promotes the common good and enhances integral human development and well-being. of everyone, especially the most vulnerable: Truthfulness, Creative Courage, Temperance and Merciful Patience are therefore offered as virtues and attitudes that we cannot afford to ignore if – each in their own way – we want to engage in the urgent and disorderly work of “politics”, which, as Pope Francis reminds us, is one of the highest forms of charity.

This all leads to the final part of the document, which offers a discerned call to action in response to the urgent needs identified. Faced with the multiple centrifugal forces that keep us apart, through Yahad, the Justice and Peace Commission, dares to propose a path that brings us together. In addition to healing the wounds of the victims, we – members of the Church, politicians and all people of good will – are called to listen to their voices and learn from their stories to seek concrete and creative ways to put sticks in the wheels of underlying evil. injustice in all circumstances.

It is only by listening carefully to these voices that our hearts and minds can be moved. True listening allows us to be authentic seekers of this truth without which justice and reconciliation will forever remain an illusion. Authentic listening will allow us to meet others as brothers and sisters. If we dare to do so, our lives will become, in the words of Pope Francis, “wonderfully complicated” as we intensely experience what it means to be agents of reconciliation and hope in our beloved country.

The document is available online: www.yahad.mt

Daniel Darmanin is President of the Justice & Peace Commission Archdiocese of Malta

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