Italy: Editorial from Pax Christi Italy warns, "Watch out, do not exult!"


5/12/18 - This editorial appeared in Verba Volant, n. LXXII, November 2018. Verba Volant is the newsletter of Pax Christi Italy.

by D. Giovanni Ricchiuti, National President of Pax Christi Italy

The liturgy of the beginning of Advent invites us to ‘watch out’.

And there is precisely much to watch out for: so much violence, war, the sale of weapons…

I think about Ukraine, of Russia. About the increase of tension, about the meetings cancelled by the U.S. President. About Palestine (on December 1st we actually celebrate in Turin the United Nations Day for the Palestinian people). About the whole Middle East. About Yemen, with Italy's responsibility in the sale of RWM bombs to Saudi Arabia, a scandal which we continue to denounce.

Trump sells arms to Egypt for over a billion of dollars. Italy also has had its own arms sales boom to Egypt: in July 2018 alone, about 2 million euros, more or less equal to all of 2017. Not to mention many other African countries, like Congo, of which Gianni Novello told us about in the last national council meeting.

But together with these rather dramatic and tragic reflections, I cannot not speak of the song of victory of the Minister of Interior for the approval in these days of the Security Decree. 396 yes and 99 no. But what is there to cheer about? One sings of victory on the back of the poor migrants.

I cannot even ignore the call of solidarity on behalf of the Institutions by the Minister himself, who killed a thief within his own company, before any investigation.

Already others, in these days, have commented with competence on this Security Decree, criticising it well and truly, from Caritas, at the Centro Astalli, to Don Virginio Colmegna.

I am worried about the huge consensus within the Parliament which led to the approval of a Decree that I continue to consider inhumane and violent.

And once again there is inhumanity and violence towards migrants.

I am also thinking about the 1.5% taxation on remittances that go through Money Transfer, which will bring about € 62 million to the state. "Speculating on the poor is for vampires" - as written by Tonio Dell'Olio in the magazine Mosaic - and, be assured, the mafia are already there organising to propose the illegal transfer of money at a rate of 1% or more. As Cardinal Bassetti, President of the CEI, said: "Migrants have become the scapegoat of all the evils that are in Italy. "

And on their backs the League builds its own electoral consent.

The Sprar are closing and the conditions of irregularity, illegality and invisibility are increasing, making migrants prey to the authentic evils of Italy that continue to be the mafia, the camorra, the drangheta, the sacra corona unita, the mafia bianca ... etc.

But the mafias are untouchable. One does not talk about them anymore. And they are raging instead on migrants.

No, this is not the road to follow, even when looking at Europe.

And all this while we prepare to celebrate, on December 10th, 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Pope invites us to the World Day of Peace on January 1: "Good politics is at the service of peace". But what is happening even in Italy is definitely not good politics, and it is not at the service of peace.

We cannot keep silent on arms, on wars, on responsibilities of NATO, on our arms sales. But the violation of the dignity of the person is also a denial of peace.

Let’s ‘watch out’ then because the expectant waiting for the Lord, for a New Heaven and for a New Earth, we must anticipate them, by denouncing and announcing.

Look forward to meeting each other at the March for Peace in Matera, and at our convention at the end of the year in Santeramo. I salute you and wish you a good time of Advent and vigilance.


Italy, Advent, Pax Christi Italy, Giovanni Ricchiuti