New Humanity Movement

Social Ethics

Orgosolo1

 

 

 

A community tries to recover from a crime that occurred in Sardinia in 1998, and to improve the face of the city, aiming not at revenge, but at forgiveness, looking for true peace.

From the community of Orgosolo (Nuoro)-Italy

Orgosolo is a city in the Barbagia region at the heart of Sardinia, that is well known for the murals on the houses that illustrate the problems, expectations, hopes of farmers and shepherds who live their lives in fear of the bandits, widespread in this area.

In this city, at dawn on December 24, 1998, the assistant parish priest, Father Graziano Muntoni was killed. A single shot to the chest and the pain of losing him upsets the whole community.

Despite the understandable anger and bewilderment, the locals immediately sense that they cannot limit themselves to condemn, but they feel compelled to do something more. But what can they do in such a situation? The community begins to reflect on the words of the Gospel, that invites everyone to be united and together ask God for anything.  An idea is born: every night at 8.00 PM, even in different places but spiritually united, they will invoke God for the peace with the same prayer: it is the time for peace. This is more complex than originally expected, because peace needs to be generated, preserved and requires a commitment to live as brothers and sisters every day: it is useless to pray for peace if you have disagreements and conflicts with those around you.

With this awareness, various initiatives are started to spread the proposal of the  Time for peace among as many people as possible, even to children, at the high schools in Nuoro, the elementary school at Ghilarza, and in various conferences. It is also televised in major national TV stations.

Orgosolo2
The time for peace brings new hope to the city, many people are reconciled with each other after years of tension,
as G., a woman who once told us: "For the moment I pardon with my heart because I can’t do anything else.  I have to find the strength to forgive those who killed my two children and sent to jail the other two. "

Then, in the next meeting the same G. tells us: "I have forgiven, the prayer of peace that we live has removed the hatred from my heart. During Mass I went up to my enemy and shook his hand."

Since then, others are finding the strength to forgive serious offences and these are attitudes far from obvious.  For example, Anna whose child was kidnapped and killed in 2008, little by little is starting over to live and work serenely and peacefully, notwithstanding this tragedy.  Even after getting to know of a suspect for the killing of her son, she did not ask for his punishment, but for a true encounter with God

The choice of fraternity leads us to share this abyss of pain that some of our people live, and we feel somehow compelled to take the responsability of what we propose, even in front of the institutions.  For example, relying on our experience, a high school has started a project, whose aim is a culture of peace and forgiveness among the students. The results of this project will be collected in a book to be presented to the United Nations.

Our efforts to build peace, even where it seems almost impossible, are leading to specific consequences, that give a new face to our city.

© Photo Copyright Gaspar Torriero e ntn6, Creative Commons License

 

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