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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Vartan Gregorian

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?

One of the foundational principles of reconciliation is tolerance of “the other,” but that tolerance must be based on deep and genuine understanding and acceptance rather than be imposed by a legal framework. Such a system often relies on punitive enforcement and as such, it is often distrusted both by those it is meant to punish and those it seeks to protect. Hence, merely legislating tolerance of other peoples, other societies, other beliefs and other cultures without true understanding of them is not enough because most often doing so incorporates the notion of keeping groups and individuals separate from each other and encourages isolationism. This is especially true in the case of religion. Different religions, while speaking in the language of peace, brotherhood and common values oftentimes stress their superiority to and exclusiveness over—not along with— other beliefs, In this connection, religion, nowadays, is prone to using secular institutions to further religious goals. Maintaining the separation of church and state, mosque and state, synagogue and state, temple and state, is one way that societies have been able to achieve a balance in this area and such efforts should be encouraged and promoted for the sake of both minority and majority rights

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?

Ending hostilities between and among nations and peoples is a process that must begi long before a specific conflict becomes uncontainable. The ability —the necessity—to treat all
members of humanity with fairness and dignity can only begin with education and understanding that leads to a true acceptance of global multiculturalism, To promote such understanding, perhaps through the UN, or more specifically, through UNESCO, every year a diverse group or council could choose a number of great literary works in a range of different languages and translate them into several languages, where need be, so they could be read around the world. For example, on the issue of human dignity, one could begin with the Oration On the Dignity Of Man by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the Italian Renaissance philosopher and include similar works from every age, every nation and every society in order to demonstrate the universality of men’s and women’s concern with human dignity and equality and the shared destiny of our civilization. These materials could be disseminated in print and put online, as well. In the Unite( States, a number of cities have instituted projects that involved asking everyone in a given city t read and discuss one book throughout the year in order to build a common vocabulary and common understanding. Why couldn’t the whole world do the same thing? Another example might be the matter of justice. We are all familiar with the biblical proclamation that “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord,” but certainly, we also need earthly justice. To bring relevance to current societal challenges that we face, why not discuss historical miscarriages of justice where, for instance, major established religions have prosecuted and condemned to death innocent “heretics” such as Galileo, a case in which the Papacy has admitted error. Reviewing and analyzing the context and tenor of the times that led to such mistakes would humanize the
protagonists, whose struggles might be seen as representative or modern-day quandaries, and perhaps provide an important lesson about the importance of knowledge and the timelessness of humility.

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

When I was a student, I read the work of the 17th century French scientist and religious philosopher— and inventor of the first calculating machine — Blaise Pascal, For me, he summed up, in a poetic way, the question human beings have asked about their existence from the days they first gathered around Stone Age campfires: Why are we here? To what end? Let me paraphrase what Pascal wrote: I know not who put me into the world, nor what the world is, nor what I myself am. I am in terrible ignorance of everything. I find myself tied to one corner o this vast expanse of the universe without knowing why I am put in this place rather than in another, or why the short time I have to live is given to me now rather than at any other time in the whole of eternity, I see nothing but infinities on all sides, which surround me as an atom an as a shadow that endures only for an instant and returns no more. The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me. Since Pascal wrote those words, science and its reasoned progress have opened up many of the secrets of the natural world to us, from the DNA of our cells to the depths of the oceans to the vastness of outer space, Still, nothing we have learned has displaced faith and religion, which strive to give meaning to the billions of people who continue to seek o an answer to Pascal’s ultimate question, To what end? The fact that we are all searching for that answer underscores our common humanity: however we understand our Creator, however we worship and whatever we believe, we must try to make room in our hearts and minds for the idea that men and women everywhere, no matter how different their beliefs and practices may seem to us, are walking with us on the same road and they are on the same quest.

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?

In answering this question, I am reminded of a book that affected me deeply when I was younger: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I was so touched by the experiences of Jean Valjean — how the kindness and generosity of a priest changed his life. When the priest covers i the theft of valuable silverware carried out by Valjean, it was a true act of Christianity, the personification of Jesus’ commandment that if a man should take your coat, give him your cloak as well. For me, that is the ultimate illustration of forgiveness: it is not simply given without strictures it is offered with unconditional love.

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