“When great powers unite for self-preservation, a just pay for all,” Pope Francis said Friday before Italian prosecutors and judges. He received in the Vatican the members of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary – headed by the Italian President Mattarella.
“A noble and meticulous mission”: according to Francis, members of the Italian Supreme Council of the Judiciary are invited to this. The autonomy body of the Italian judiciary is responsible for the appointment, promotion and dismissal of public prosecutors and judges serving in ordinary courts. He therefore guarantees “the independence of judges and prosecutors” who administer justice “in the service of the people,” as Francis also emphasized in his speech: “The people demand justice, and justice needs truth, trust, loyalty, and purity of purpose.” .
“Hearing the cry of the voiceless ‘Demand justice’ is at the same time ‘service to human dignity and the common good,’” Francis praised the work of his guests. But he also cautioned: “When great powers unite for their own preservation, the pay is fair to all.” This was also the case at the trial of Jesus: “People demand the condemnation of the just and the release of the ungodly,” Pilate first questions the wrongdoing of the accused, but then “washes his hands in innocence,” as in the so-called Gospels. Francis gave judges and prosecutors several ways to arrive at fair sentences.
“The credibility of testimony, love of justice, authority, independence from other authorities, and sincere pluralism of positions are the antidote to disallowance of political influence, incompetence, and various forms of dishonesty.”
As an example, Francis referred to Italian anti-mafia judge Rosario Livatino, “the first blessed judge in the history of the Church.” He was beatified by the Pope on May 9, 2021. Levatino brought rigor and consistency to his work on the one hand and humanity on the other, leaving an “authoritative testimony”:
“The pursuit of peace, which presupposes truth and freedom, must always be combined with justice. Ladies and gentlemen, may the sense of justice be nourished by solidarity with the victims of injustice and the desire to build a kingdom of justice and peace in you.”
As Saint Catherine of Siena learned, the Pope said in his address, “In order to reform one must first reform himself,” and for this reason “no political reform of the judiciary can change the lives of those who run it if they do not. He decides first before his conscience.” “To whom”, “how” and “why” do justice to one:
The question of whom he should establish justice always illuminates the relationship with this “you”, this “face” worthy of an answer: the person of the offender who must be rehabilitated, the victim with his sufferings that he must accompany, those who argue about rights and duties, And the judiciary that must act responsibly, and in general every citizen must be informed and sensitized.”
An antidote to revenge and oblivion
For this reason, “restored justice for culture” is “the only true antidote to vengeance and oblivion” because it aims to “restore broken ties” and “allow the land stained with brother’s blood to be restored,” Francis said. Look at the biblical story of Cain and Abel. According to Francis, he had previously referred to this path in the Encyclical Fratelli Totti “as a prerequisite for brotherhood and social friendship”.
Here, too, the Pope related the current era of globalization, in which “humanity has become more interconnected and more divided into a great number of existential solitude”: in this context, it is important to note the biblical vision of the “sister human family,” where “recognizing the other as a brother is an act that must be worked.” upon it together and without interruption”, knowing that “peace is based on justice”.
Fight to stop injustice from growing
In doing so, Francis acknowledged that the question of “how” justice is always connected with reforms: “The Gospel of John in chapter 15 teaches us to prune dead branches without cutting the tree of justice, to fight power struggles, to fight nepotism and various forms of corruption, neglect and income inequality. They are well aware of these problems and situations. Ugly and often have to fight hard not to let it grow.”
When asked ‘why’, Francis referred to the importance of the virtue of justice: this represented ‘an undergarment for judges’, but ‘not as an apparel to be changed or a role to be overcome.’ The actual meaning of personal and social identity.
(Vatican News – CS)