EUROPE/ITALY - A "penitential celebration of reparation" after the massacre of Cutro

Friday, 24 March 2023 migrants  

(Foto Sandor Csudai / Behance Creative Commons)

Assisi (Agenzia Fides) - The "Pro Civitate Christiana" of Assisi organizes and invites to live, today, March 24, a Penitential Celebration of Reparation in the form that will be deemed most appropriate, after the massacre of Cutro, in which 89 people, according to the latest toll, died on February 26 in the shipwreck of a boat of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, near the coast of Calabria.
"An ancient tradition in the Church", explains the Association, explaining the reason for the choice, "provides for a 'rite of reparation' every time a place of worship, a sacred image, the same Eucharistic species, which for Catholics are the living presence and truth of the body of Christ. Tradition calls them "sacrileges," a category Pope Francis himself has lately reserved for war as well. Well, in the Cutro massacre, and in all those that preceded and followed it, it is man, the holy temple and image of God that has been desecrated by an unjust system that does not allow a welcome to be reserved for those fleeing war, persecution and hunger".
By visiting the website it is possible to download the liturgy booklet of a Penitential Celebration of Reparation that can be used in individual or community form. "The celebration is meant to be an invitation to become aware of the seriousness of the choices that are made at the expense of the poorest", said Father Tonio Dell'Olio, president of "Pro Civitate Christiana", "to ask for forgiveness of a communal sin and to further urge acceptance and to put welcoming policies in place".
Parishes, religious communities, associations and groups are invited to live with intense participation the liturgy penitential moment that at the Citadel of Assisi takes place today, March 24, at 6:30 p.m.
"Faced with situations of suffering, death, hardship of brothers and sisters at war, on a ship, under the rubble of homes and misery, we feel compassion, we wonder where God is, we beg him to intervene, we identify those responsible we judge. There is a kind of 'mechanism of self-absolution' with respect to the choices that each of us makes every day and which, on closer inspection, are linked to those sufferings", notes the "Pro Civitate Christiana", hoping that we can discern, alongside individual responsibilities, "the communal dimension of sin, not as the sum of individual sins, but as an action carried out jointly".
"The strength of we - it is stated - can become the evil of we. An evil that involves everyone, that lacerates, diabolically disintegrates, divides human beings from human beings, human beings from God". "It is necessary to recover, therefore, a communal dimension of penance," proposing "a path of communal conversion, which helps to convert the body (understood as ecclesial, social, political, economic) as 'a whole,' and not only as the sum of individuals," the Association concludes.
The penitential liturgy, then, is meant to be an opportunity to "become aware of our responsibility, of our sin; it is an attempt to listen again to the words of the Master who indicates, once again, that He is in that mother, in that child, in that man, in all situations of margin, suffering, hardship, poverty, diversity." Such an attitude directs the heart to "ask forgiveness from the brothers and sisters we have not seen and to ask God for the courage to repair the injustices of which, as a social, political and ecclesial community, we are the authors and the grace to mend our and their hearts", concludes the statement.
"Pro Civitate Christiana" was born in Assisi in December 1939, when a Milanese priest, Fr. Giovanni Rossi, with a group of collaborators, founded it as an Association of Christian Apostolate for the purpose of "contributing to making Christian the soul of its time, evangelizing in social life, with the spirit of St. Paul the Apostle, our Lord Jesus Christ, in filial obedience to the Holy See and the episcopate" (from the Statute). It soon became a "Cittadella," in Assisi, with a community living in a spirit of service and mission, through "Cittadella Editrice" books, the fortnightly periodical "Rocca," a Contemporary Art Gallery, spiritual formation courses, conferences, seminars, various apostolate and prayer activities. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 24/3/2022)