Striving for justice is a personal duty, Archbishop Scicluna says

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that striving for justice is a personal duty, in his message which was read out during the remembrance mass for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The scale down mass service was held at the Bidnija Chapel. The mass was organised by Repubblika and Occupy Justice and was streamed online due to the coronavirus outbreak in Malta. Fr Brendan Gatt delivered the homily during mass.

In his message marking the 30th month since the assassination, Archbishop Scicluna underlined that while one may be tempted to think that justice is an obligation of the government and the authorities or that the fight for truth and justice is just for civil society, it is important to recognise that as individuals we should strive for justice.

Archbishop Scicluna explained that as individuals we should seek the truth. This requires us to recognise our civic duties towards others and our community, he added.

“We shouldn’t place personal interests before the common good,” the Archbishop said. “This requires us to shoulder our responsibilities without fear or favor and to acknowledge that working towards the common good is a collective responsibility,” Archbishop Scicluna added.

The Archbishop remarked that ultimately our biggest test is how we treat those who are marginalized and the vulnerable, those who do not have a vote or a voice.

“The only way one can ensure justice for everybody especially those who are considered to be the most vulnerable is by loving them and ensuring that our institutions are strengthened and independent. The institutions should be adequately resourced and allowed to function.”

“It is everyone’s duty to take action which would bring about a change in mentality,” Archbishop Scicluna said.

The Archbishop reminded that the Church’s teachings is founded on truth, justice, liberty and love. These four values that make up the foundations are interdependent and each value is essential.

A time to plant and a time to harvest

Fr Brendan noted that the remembrance mass was being held during the Octave of Easter. He explained that Easter reminds us that despite death and injustice may appear to dominate, life and good will prevail in the end. For Catholics, Easter is a season of hope, Fr Brendan explained.

Fr Brendan remarked that the mass was being organised to remember the murder of Caruana Galizia who sought to shed light on what others wanted to remain hidden. He added that while Daphne Caruana Galizia paid the ultimate price with her life, her family and friends suffered when they lost her.

“The dark event of her murder has overcome us too,” Fr Brendan said. Referring to the events which happened during the end of last year, Fr Brendan said that at the time one began to hope that justice would be one day served. “We continue to hope and strive so that one day we shall see justice done,” he said.

Speaking about hope he said that one would hope that after tragic and dark events such as the murder of journalist, the nation would grow up and mature. “If Daphne’s assassination was not a wake up call for us, I don’t know what is needed to wake us up,” he said.

Fr Brendan explained that one would hope that with such an event, one is reminded of the fundamental truths. He then referred to the recent events involving asylum seekers which show the same disregard for human life and dignity. “These are indications that we have not really learnt our lesson,” he said.

Referring to the social media comments, Fr Brendan said that they showed that one should not fear trolls but one should worry about those people who are indifferent to what is happening around them that continued with their lives. “In the darkest moments one would conclude not only we are a Catholic nation, but we have also lost our humanity,” he stated.

During the homily, Fr Brendan also quoted an encyclical letter on hope by Pope Benedict XVI who is celebrating his 93 birthday, “the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme. Truth and justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life itself becomes a lie.”

Fr Brendan explained that despite the darkness and the feeling of wanting to give up, one should continue on hoping that one day we will see the results. Like a farmer who hopes that his labour will bear fruit.