Stqarrija mill-Kummissjoni Ġustizzja u Paċi


Il-Ħamis, 6 ta’ Ġunju 2019: L-identità Kattolika hija l-imħabba – nirreżistu politika ta’ mibegħda u esklużjoni: Kontronarrativa Kattolika.

Stqarrija mill-Kummissjoni Ġustizzja u Paċi

Il-Kummissjoni Ġustizzja u Paċi tal-Arċidjoċesi ta’ Malta, wara li rat żieda fl-appoġġ lejn movimenti tal-lemin estrem, li wħud minnhom jibbażaw l-argumenti tagħhom fuq il-ħtieġa li tiġi protetta ‘l-identità Kattolika tagħna’ kif ukoll stqarrijiet riċenti mill-Gwardjan għall-Ġenerazzjonijiet Futuri, li ġġustifikaw is-sejħa tiegħu li jiġu esklużi b’mod partikulari immigranti u Musulmani meta wera x-xewqa tiegħu li jgħix u jmut f’pajjiż Kattoliku,1 tħoss il-bżonn li titkellem dwar id-dmir tagħna bħala Kattoliċi li nirreżistu politika ta’ mibegħda u esklużjoni.

Madwar id-dinja qegħdin jinbtu bosta forom ta’ politika ta’ esklużjoni. Kemm jekk qegħdin jinbtu tort ta’ biżgħat u tħassib dwar il-bidliet kulturali u demografiċi mgħaġġla, kif ukoll jekk qed ikun hemm retorika Iżlamofobika, it-tendenza ta’ nazzjonaliżmu konfrontazzjonali li jirrappreżenta lill-barrani bħala theddida soċjali, ekonomika u reliġjuża hi komuni f’kull pajjiż li qed jintlaqat minn din il-politika ta’ esklużjoni. Sfortunatament, Malta ntlaqtet ukoll minn dawn l-influwenzi perikolużi li qegħdin jifirdu soċjetajiet sħaħ.

Din in-narrattiva, li dejjem qed issir iktar b’saħħitha, m’għandha l-ebda bażi filosofika u teoloġika fit-tradizzjoni Nisranija. Anzi għall-kuntrarju, it-tradizzjoni Nisranija għandha narrattiva bbażata fuq is-solidarjetà u l-ospitalità kif ukoll fuq l-umanità u d-dinjità tagħna.

Aktar minn hekk, il-prinċipju tal-ġid komuni, kif maħsub fit-tagħlim soċjali tal-Knisja Kattolika, jisfida fundamentalment kultura li tipprijoritizza l-interess personali fuq is-solidarjetà mal-batut u l-imwarrab, jew li jħares biss l-interessi tal-pajjiż fuq l-interess dinji. Waqt li faċli taqa’ għat-tentazzjoni li temmen li ‘ħitan sodi jagħmlu ġirien tajba,’

1 Il-Gwardjan għall-Ġenerazzjonijiet Futuri jara theddid għal ‘Malta tal-Maltin’: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20190526/local/guardian-for-future-generations-launches-anti- muslim-tirade.710971 l-istorja tgħallimna li “dawk li jibnu l-ħitan jispiċċaw il-priġunieri tal-ħitan li jkunu bnew huma stess”.

2  F’dawn l-aħħar snin, il-Papa Franġisku kien xhieda kontinwa ta’ xi tfisser li tkun Kattoliku u li tħaddan bil-kliem u bl-azzjoni, kultura ta’ laqgħat u solidarjetà li jmorru kontra l-kultura ta’ biża’ u esklużjoni. Miż-żjara tiegħu f’Lampedusa, għall-vjaġġ lura lejn il-Vatikan ma’ grupp ta’ persuni li qed ifittxu l-ażil minn Lesbos, għall-ħasil tas-saqajn ta’ grupp ta’ rġiel u nisa Musulmani, il-Papa dejjem mexxa bl-eżempju.

Fil-fatt skont kif tniżżel fid-dokument dwar Il-Fraternità Umana għall-Paċi fid-Dinja u l-Konvivenza Komuni, ippreżentat mill-Papa u l-Imam il-Kbir ta’ Al-Azhar fi Frar li għadda f’Abu Dhabi: “Min jemmen jara lill-ieħor bħala ħuh li għandu jwieżen u jħobb. Bil-fidi f’Alla, li ħalaq l-univers, il-kreaturi u l-bnedmin kollha – ilkoll indaqs minħabba l-Ħniena Tiegħu. Min jemmen hu msejjaħ biex jesprimi dil-fratellanza umana billi jindokra l-maħluq u l-univers kollu u jwieżen lil kull persuna, speċjalment lil dawk li huma l-aktar fil-bżonn u foqra”.

3  Waqt li kien qed jindirizza Sessjoni Plenarja tal-Akkademja Pontifikali tax-Xjenzi, il-Papa Franġisku riċentament iddikjara li l-immigranti mhumiex theddida għall-kultura, tradizzjoni u valuri tan-nazzjon li jilqagħhom. “Il-Knisja dejjem ħeġġet l-imħabba ta’ niesha, tal-pajjiż … Fl-istess waqt, il-Knisja wissiet lil individwi, nies u gvernijiet dwar devjazzjonijiet minn din ir-rabta meta tkun iffukata fuq l-esklużjoni u l-mibegħda tal-oħrajn, meta ssir ostili, ikun hemm nazzjonaliżmu li jibni l-ħitan, jew saħansitra razziżmu u anti-Semitiżmu. Il-Knisja qed tosserva bi tħassib li madwar id-dinja qed jerġgħu jitfaċċaw tendenzi aggressivi lejn barranin, tipi ta’ immigranti, kif ukoll żieda f’nazzjonaliżmu li jinjora l-ġid komuni”.

Il-Papa fakkar lill-parteċipanti li d-dmir tal-Insara lejn l-immigranti jista’ jingħad permezz ta’ dawn l-erba’ kelmiet: merħba, protezzjoni, promozzjoni u integrazzjoni. B’mod partikulari, u għall-kuntarju ta’ kif ħafna jifhmu l-aħħar kelma, “integrazzjoni ma tfissirx li l-immigranti jaddattaw għalina, imma li jaqsmu magħna l-mod ta’ kif jgħixu huma fil-pajjiż ġdid tagħhom waqt li jibqgħu individwi, bl-istorja bijografika tagħhom.

‘Dawk li jibnu l-ħitan isiru priġunieri’. Il-konversazzjoni tal-Papa mal-ġurnalisti wara t-titjira tiegħu lura mill-Marokk: http://www.osservatoreromano.va/vaticanresources/pdf/ING_2019_014_0504.pdf

Dokument dwar il-Fraternità Umana għall-Paċi fid-Dinja u l-Konvivenza Komuni: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2019/outside/documents/papa- francesco_20190204_documento-fratellanza-umana.html

Il-Q.T. il-Papa Franġisku jindirizza lill-parteċipanti tas-sessjoni plenarja tal-Akkademja Pontifikali tax-Xjenzi: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2019/may/documents/papa-francesco_20190502_plenaria- scienze-sociali.html

B’dan il-mod, l-immigranti jistgħu jippreżentaw lilhom infushom u jistgħu jiġu rikonoxxuti bħala opportunità li tarrikkixxi lin-nies li jintegrawhom”.

Iż-żminijiet tal-lum jitolbu—b’urġenza kbira—għal difiża qawwija tal-identità Kattolika tagħna, identità li għexet f’reżistenza kreattiva, leali u mimlija tama. Hi identità b’għeruqha fl-imħabba. Hi l-unika karatteristika vera ta’ Nisrani tajjeb. “Minn dan jagħraf kulħadd li intom dixxipli tiegħi, jiġifieri, jekk ikollkom l-imħabba bejnietkom” (Ġw 13:35). F’idejna biex nirreżistu din in-narrattiva dominanti ta’ esklużjoni u biża’, u minflok nimmaġinaw u naħdmu għal futur mibni fuq il-ġustizzja, l-imħabba, is-solidarjetà u l-ftuħ. Li tipprova tibni identità nazzjonali—wisq aktar identità Kattolika—fuq biża’, esklużjoni u mibegħda, mhux biss hu tradiment vili tal-Evanġelju, imma żgur hu l-mod ta’ kif timxi fil-mogħdija tal-bniedem l-iblah, “li bena daru fuq ir-ramel. Niżlet ix-xita, ġew il-widien, qamu l-irwiefen u ħabtu fuq dik id-dar, u ġġarrfet; u kbira kienet il-qerda tagħha” (Mt 7, 24–27).

 

Thursday, 6th June 2019: The Catholic identity is love – resisting a politics of hate and exclusion: A Catholic counter-narrative.

Statement by the Justice and Peace Commission

Following an increase in support for far-right movements, some of which base their arguments on the need to protect our ‘Catholic identity’ as well as recent statements by the Guardian for Future Generations, who justified his call to exclude migrants and Muslims in particular by invoking his desire to live and die in a Catholic country,1 the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta feels the need to speak out on our duty as Catholics to resist politics of hate and exclusion.

Across the globe, various forms of politics of exclusion are increasingly taking root. Whether in appeals to fears and anxieties about rapid cultural and demographic changes or more open nationalistic and Islamophobic rhetoric, the pattern of confrontational nationalism that represents the outsider as a social, economic and religious menace is common throughout. Unfortunately, Malta has not been immune to these dangerous influences which are tearing societies apart.

This increasingly powerful narrative has no philosophical or theological basis in Christian tradition. On the contrary, Christian tradition helps shape a counter-narrative based on solidarity and hospitality as well as on our common humanity and dignity.

Moreover, the principle of the common good, as formulated in Catholic social teaching, fundamentally challenges a culture that prioritises personal interest over solidarity with the weak and marginalised, or narrow national interest over global concern. Whilst it might be tempting to believe that ‘good fences make good neighbours’, history teaches us that “those who build walls will become prisoners of the walls they put up”.

Guardian for Future Generations sees threat to ‘Malta of the Maltese’: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20190526/local/guardian-for-future-generations-launches-anti- muslim-tirade.710971

‘Those who build walls become prisoners’. The Pontiff’s conversation with journalists on his return flight from Morocco: http://www.osservatoreromano.va/vaticanresources/pdf/ING_2019_014_0504.pdf

In recent years, Pope Francis has been offering an ongoing witness of what it means to be Catholic and foster, in words and deeds, a culture of encounter and solidarity that counters a culture of fear and exclusion. From his visit to Lampedusa, to travelling back to the Vatican with a group of asylum-seekers from Lesbos, to the washing of the feet of a group of Muslim men and women, he has led by example.

Indeed as expressed in the document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together presented by the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi: “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need”.

Addressing a Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis recently declared that migrants are not a threat to the culture, customs and values of a receiving nation. “The Church has always encouraged love of one’s people, of country … At the same time, the Church has admonished individuals, peoples and governments regarding deviations from this attachment when focused on exclusion and hatred of others, when it becomes hostile, wall-building nationalism, or even racism or anti-Semitism. The Church observes with concern the re-emergence, somewhat throughout the world, of aggressive tendencies toward foreigners, types of migrants, as well as that growing nationalism that disregards the common good”.

He reminded participants that the duty of Christians towards migrants can be articulated around four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate. In particular, and contrary to an all too common understanding of the last verb, “integrating does not mean assimilating, but sharing the way of life of their new homeland, while they themselves remain as individuals, with their own biographical history. In this way, migrants can present themselves and be recognised as an opportunity to enrich the people that integrates them”.

Our times call—with great urgency—for a bold defence of our Catholic identity, an identity lived out in creative, faithful and hopeful resistance. It is an identity rooted in love. It is the only true mark of a good Christian. “By this everyone will know that you

A Document on Human Fraternity for Wold Peace and Living Together: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2019/outside/documents/papa- francesco_20190204_documento-fratellanza-umana.html

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2019/may/documents/papa-francesco_20190502_plenaria- scienze-sociali.html are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). It is up to us to resist the prevailing narrative of exclusion and fear, and instead imagine and usher in a future built on justice, love, solidarity and openness. Trying to build a national identity—let alone a Catholic identity—on fear, exclusion and hatred, is not only a vile betrayal of the Gospel, but also the surest way of following the path of the foolish man, “who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell, and great was its fall” (Mt 7, 24–27).

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