The Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta, launched a discussion document to encourage Maltese citizens to reflect on how, as a country, we can work to build peace, promote the common good in society and improve the well-being of people, especially that of the most vulnerable.
This document entitled ‘Yahad’ — a Hebrew term which refers to the concepts of togetherness and community — is divided into three sections. The first section refers to the events which exposed the wounds in society, the second part refers to the virtues which can guide us in the journey of reconciliation and renewal, whilst the third section focuses on the calls to action addressed to every citizen to build a society which, in the words of Pope Francis, replaces the “culture of waste” with a “culture of encounter”.
During a press conference held at the Archbishop’s Curia, Daniel Darmanin, President of the Justice and Peace Commission, said that notwithstanding the size of our country, there are plenty of occasions throughout the year during which we observe a serious lack of peace and tranquillity. This happens as a result of partisan politics, religious ideas or support for a particular band club or football team. More than “a simple document, this is a model of the kind of society we can aspire to be, and which can facilitate the process which leads us to overcome our divisions and heal our society’s wounds, especially as the country prepares for a general election”.
Daniel Darmanin said that this involves a process of reflection on what we have experienced as a nation, where our society presently stands and where we are heading. He explained that the document begins with a reflection on the lives of four victims who have paid the highest price, with their lives, as a result of the perceived ‘economic success’ of our country. “The memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Lassana Cisse and Miriam Pace expose broken relationships which need renewal and reconciliation. We are also guided by the plea of the Faceless Victim, who represents all those who are trying their best to live an honest life, when, more often than not, it is much easier to go with the flow and engage in behaviours and practices which create even more victims of injustice,” explained Daniel Darmanin.
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi said that this document is an important contribution by the Justice and Peace Commission towards reconciliation which is based on truth, justice and love. He explained that “the document of the Archdiocese, ‘One Church One Journey’, which is guiding the vision of the Church in Malta and its pastoral choices, strongly emphasises the need for a commitment towards reconciliation which heals the various wounds of the Maltese people. This document gives very valid suggestions and strongly encourages all those who are already giving a meaningful contribution to society, inspired by the social teachings of the Church”.
To further promote this initiative, during the next few months the Justice and Peace Commission will be organising a number of events which will serve as an aide towards national reconciliation. Individuals, families, communities and politicians are encouraged to take part in this discussion by using the hashtag #YahadMT on social media. This document can also be found on yahad.mt.