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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Marina Cantacuzino

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

Peace negotiations carried out by people in authority as a blanket policy or instruction, with the best will in the world, will not have a dramatic effect on sustaining peace unless they take place alongside concerted efforts at a community level to help former enemies live side by side and come to accept each other’s differences. Victims need to be heard, perpetrators need to be rehabilitated. It is a horrendously complex dynamic since victim and perpetrator may be one and the same person. Unless genuine reconciliation is sought and found (that is to reconcile with the trauma of what has happened) then people become stuck with the past events, sometimes for years and even decades, and violence can spill over again. Real and peaceful progress under these circumstances is unlikely to be achieved. So how do you help people reconcile with their past? To give them a platform to tell their stories (restorative justice conferences, truth and reconciliation commissions etc), to be heard, to talk to the enemy, to tell the world about how it was and how it is? Only through sharing stories can empathy develop, only through empathy can people stop wanting to hurt one another.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

uch a process can only be achieved through the direct involvement of participants – those who have been hurt and those who have hurt others. Justice is important and forgiveness does not preclude justice. I believe that forgiveness is not a word to use, not a virtue to strive for, when in the midst of violent conflict. Rather it should be part of the peace process, part of repairing the harm and a means to mending broken communities. Sometimes justice can never be done. In Rwanda for instance how do you punish someone who has killed and raped dozens– in the end if prison is neither a feasible or financial option, then these people must be reintegrated into their communities. The crucial factor here is how to avoid re-victimizes the victims who often feel that all international efforts go toward rehabilitating the perpetrators. These victims and communities need to hear from the perpetrators why they acted in the way they did and to acknowledge who was hurt, and vow to make amends in whatever way possible. Remorse and apology is a huge healer and an important peace broker.

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

Forgiveness is not an essential dimension of reconciliation, but it is a useful one. Reconciliation is about relationship – the repairing of a community/ past enemies. It does not require forgiveness, but it does require a willingness to understand and to be understood, to explore what can be done to build bridges of peace, a willingness to put the past behind you. The Forgiveness Project, and myself as its founder and director, do not speak from a religious standpoint. The Forgiveness Project tells and shares the stories of people from all faiths and none, and I believe it is very important to bring forgiveness into the secular world. However, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is our patron and his words are very true in essence to the vision and mission of The Forgiveness Project: “Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what has happened seriously and not minimising it; drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens to poison our entire existence”. Equally, Solzhenitsyn’s words lie at the heart of what The Forgiveness Project (and myself) believe in: “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being and who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart.

4. Il perdono richiede qualche forma di pentimento da parte di coloro a cui il perdono viene offerto? Il perdono ha condizioni o è senza condizioni?

Forgiveness is entirely personal and for some it requires repentance, a willingness to atone for their sin, and for others it does not. This is conditional forgiveness. Those who believe it requires repentance, think that forgiveness is not possible without the offender/perpetrator apologising: a condition of forgiveness is therefore reparation and restitution. For these people, forgiveness is a social contract – similar to restorative justice it requires some kind of relationship between victim and perpetrator. For others, to wait and to expect the offender/perpetrator to apologise and show remorse, once again lays the power in the hands of the ‘other’ person. They also believe that if you lived your life according to the first conditions, then it would be impossible to forgive people who had died. These people believe in unconditional forgiveness. For them forgiveness is entirely about self-healing, a means of letting go of all idea of a better past, of letting go of the pain and letting go of ‘the story’ which keeps you forever linked to the trauma. I have met many people who say that perhaps remorse is simply not possible for some people – they just don’t have that muscle – and so to wait for them to feel sorry is a pointless endeavour. Also, where did we ever get the idea that NOT to forgive someone mean that person will suffer. Often times they don’t even know or care.

5) I believe it would need body of experts who met once or twice a year. The important thing would be for it not JUST to be a talk shop with published data and views. These things so easily get lost. The reason why The Forgiveness Project has a very high profile for such a small organisation is that we tell the real stories of people who have been hurt, or those who have hurt others. Real stories touch people’s heart.

The council would need to have a strong gender and racial mix, made up of ‘experts’ from all over the world.

Il sito della Fondazione Pax Humana è in arrivo!