Djalogu ma’ soċjetà li qed tinbidel

    It-Tnejn 16 ta’ Ġunju, kelli l-opportunità nkun preżenti għal okkażjoni organizzata mis-Segretarjat għall-Komunikazzjoni Soċjali tal-Arċidjoċesi. Kienet opportunità sabiħa li niltaqa’ ma’ diversi ġurnalisti u personalitajiet li jaħdmu fil-qasam tal-media. Okkażjonijiet bħal dawn joffru opportunità importanti ħafna għalina l-Isqfijiet, għaliex il-kuntatt personali huwa essenzjali biex bejn l-Isqfijiet u n-nies tal-media, kif ukoll mas-soċjetà kontemporanja, ikun hemm djalogu sinċier, apert u rispettuż.
    Ħadt pjaċir ninnota l-kwalitajiet umani u spiritwali tal-kelliem mistieden, il-Professur Douglas Kmiec: l-esperjenza kbira tiegħu fil-qasam kostituzzjonali tal-Istati Uniti, l-imħabba kbira li għandu lejn il-Mediterran u lejn l-esperjenza li kellu fostna bħala ambaxxatur tal-Istati Uniti, u l-imħabba kbira li għandu wkoll lejn il-fidi Kattolika. Elementi li biex tiġborhom f’sinteżi trid sforz mhux żgħir li hu iżda, irnexxielu jagħmel b’kapaċità kbira. Fl-għerf tiegħu semma punti importani ħafna dwar il-pedament tar-relazzjonijiet bejn Knisja u Stat. Tkellem ukoll dwar sitwazzjonijiet fejn l-ambjent huwa ostili għal kull reliġjon. Semma t-traġedja ta’ kefrija u ta’ ostilità ibbażata fuq twemmin reliġjuż li jinċita iżjed il-mibegħda milli l-imħabba u li jagħmel isem ħażin ħafna lil kull twemmin. Insista li l-vokazzjoni tal-Insara hija li nkunu xhieda għall-imħabba bejn il-bnedmin, għar-rikonċiljazzjoni u għall-paċi. Spjega wkoll li l-garanzija ta’ rikonċiljazzjoni fost il-ġnus hija fuq kollox ir-rispett lejn id-dinjità ta’ kull individwu, kif ukoll lejn il-libertà reliġjuża ta’ kull wieħed.
    Il-Professur Kmiec għamel distinzjoni bejn sekulariżmu u sekularizzazzjoni. Is-sekularizzazzjoni għandha aspetti pożittivi kbar għaliex hija l-espressjoni tal-awtonomija bejn Knisja u Stat, bejn reliġjon u soċjetà ċivili. Awtonomija ma tfissirx li jkun hemm ħajt bejniethom li jifridhom. Is-sekularizzazzjoni tfisser li jkun hemm awtonomija ġusta bejn iż-żewġ naħat, li jinfluwenzaw lil xulxin imma ma jindaħlux wieħed fl-isfera tal-ieħor.
    Is-sekulariżmu huwa tentattiv biex ir-reliġjon u kull aspett ta’ twemmin jitwarrab mill-ħajja tal-bniedem, b’mod speċjali mill-ħajja soċjali tiegħu. Din hija ħaġa inġusta għaliex kull twemmin għandu mhux biss aspett indvidwali imma wkoll aspett soċjali. Barra minn hekk, il-politika u l-ħajja soċjali tiftaqar ħafna jekk ma jkollhiex pedament reliġjuż, etiku u morali. Diffiċli ħafna tippreżenta etika morali mingħajr it-twemmin f’Ħallieq li jiggarantixxi d-dinjità ta’ kull bniedem li jgħix, hu min hu, twieled fejn twieled, u twieled f’liema kundizzjoni twieled.
    Anke fis-sistema edukattiva tagħna, wieħed irid joqgħod attent meta jintroduċi kategoriji bħall-etika, li ma jipprovax jikkommunikahom mingħajr riferiment għall-Ħallieq. Mhux qiegħed ngħid li kull etika trid tkun bilfors espressjoni tal-morali tal-Knisja Kattolika, imma jekk qed nipprovaw ngħaddu valuri fundamentali tal-ħajja soċjali morali, ma nistgħux ninsew li l-ikbar u l-aħħar garanzija tad-dinjità tal-bniedem hu l-fatt li huwa maħluq xbieha ta’ Alla. Id-dinjità ta’ kull bniedem mhijiex xi ħaġa li l-Istat jikkonċedi, imma li l-Istat jirrikonoxxi bħala fatt li huwa aqwa mill-istess eżistenza tal-Istat.
    Fid-djalogu bejn il-Knisja u l-mezzi tal-kommunikazzjoni soċjali hemm rifless id-djalogu tal-kommunità li temmen u s-soċjetà ċivili. Esperjenza bħal dik tat-Tnejn 16 ta’ Ġunju kienet pass importanti biex fis-soċjetà tagħna, il-vuċi ta’ min jemmen ma titpoġġiex fil-ġenb jew tiġi imwarrba, imma jibqa’ jkollha r-relevanza ta’ min jixtieq jagħti xhieda ta’ messaġġ ta’ rikonċiljazzjoni mibni fuq ir-rispett reċiproku.
     
    ✠ Charles J. Scicluna
          Isqof Awżiljarju u Vigarju Ġenerali ta’ Malta

    English Translation:

    Dialogue with a society which is changing face
    On Monday 16th June, I had the opportunity to be present at an event organized by the Secretariat for Social Communications of the Archdiocese.  This event gave me the chance to meet several journalists and other people who work in the field of the media. Such occasions serve as a golden opportunity for us Bishops, since personal contact with members of the media as well as contemporary society is essential to establish a dialogue which is sincere, open and respectful. 
    I was also pleased to observe the human and spiritual qualities of the main speaker, Prof. Douglas Kmiec: his vast experience with respect to the Constitution of the United States, his enormous fondness for the Mediterranean, his experiences as Ambassador of the United States and his great love for the Catholic faith.  It is no mean task to embrace all these elements, however Prof. Kmiec has managed to do this very capably.  In his wisdom, he made some important observations on the foundations of the relations between the Church and the State.  He also spoke about situations in which the atmosphere is very hostile towards all religions.  He said that it is very tragic when religious belief leads to cruelty and hostility, because this incites hatred rather than fosters love and gives a bad reputation to any belief system.  He insisted that Christians have a vocation to be witnesses of love between mankind; they should serve as a vehicle of reconciliation and peace. He also explained that the only guarantee of reconciliation between the nations is above all, the respect for the dignity of every human being, as well as religious liberty for all.
    Professor Kmiec drew a distinction between secularism and secularization. Secularization has many positive aspects because it is an expression of autonomy between the Church and the State, between religion and civil society.  Autonomy does not imply that there is a wall which separates them.  Secularization implies that autonomy is fair between both sides: they have an influence on one another, yet one does not meddle in the sphere of the other. 
    Secularism is an attempt to do away with any form of religion or belief in a person’s life, particularly from his social life.  This is very unjust because every belief system has a social aspect and not only an individual dimension.    Besides this, politics and social life are diminished when the religious, ethical and moral aspects are absent. It is very difficult to put forward moral ethics without belief in a Creator who guarantees the dignity of every person who exists, whoever he is, wherever and in whatever condition he was born.
    Even in our education system, a subject such as ethics needs to be introduced with caution. Ethics cannot be communicated without any reference to the Creator. I am not necessarily saying that every form of ethics should be an expression of the morals of the Catholic Church, however if we are to pass on fundamental values of social life, we cannot forget the greatest and most important guarantee that every person’s dignity is dependent upon the fact that he is created in the image of God.  A person’s diginity is not something which the State concedes; rather the State recognizes that it is greater than the existence of that same State. 
    The dialogue of the believing community and civil society is reflected in the dialogue between the Church and the means of social communications. An experience such as the one of the 16th June was an important step in order that the voice of those who  believe is not brushed aside or ignored.  Rather, those who wish to give witness to a message of reconciliation founded upon reciprocal respect, must remain relevant.
     
    ✠ Charles J. Scicluna
    Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of Malta