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Monday, June 15, 2015

The Pope to Italian magistrates: justice is not an abstract concept, it is centred on the person

Vatican City, 15 June 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Clementine Hall the Pope received in audience the two hundred members of the newly-recomposed High Council of the Italian Magistrature (CSM). During his address, Pope Francis spoke about the complexity of legislation in current times and the variety of cases which must be responded to, bearing in mind the phenomenon of globalisation that may at times be a vehicle for concepts and norms far from the roots of a given social fabric.

“In this context of deep shocks to cultural roots, it is important for the public authorities, including those of a legal nature, to use the space allocated to them to provide stability and to make the foundations of human co-existence more solid through the recovery of fundamental values”.

Starting from these bases, it is possible to effectively counteract phenomena such as “the spread of criminality, even in its economic and financial forms, and the scourge of corruption, which affects even the most evolved democracies”. Therefore, “it is necessary to intervene not only at the moment of repression, but also in an educational way, addressing in particular the new generations, offering an anthropology and a model of life able to respond to the highest and most profound aspirations of the human heart”.

All those in legal office “contribute to this work of construction, on the front line”, the Pope continued. “Although magistrates are required to intervene in the presence of a violation of the law, it is also true that the reaffirmation of the rule is not an act directed solely at the single person, but rather goes beyond the individual case to affect the community as a whole. In this sense, every judicial pronouncement goes beyond the single procedure, opening up to become an opportunity for all the community ('the people', in whose name the sentence is pronounced) to assume this rule, to reaffirm its value and in this way, even more importantly, to identify with it”.

“In our times, and rightly so, particular emphasis is given to the issue of human rights, which constitute the fundamental nucleus of the recognition of the essential dignity of man. This must be done without abusing this category, for instance by allowing practices and forms of behaviour that, instead of promoting and guaranteeing human dignity, in reality threaten or even violate it. Justice is not done in an abstract sense, but rather by always considering the person in terms of his or her real value, as a being created in the image of God and called upon to be, here on earth, His semblance”.

The Holy Father concluded by mentioning Vittorio Bachelet, the deputy president of the CSM assassinated by the Red Brigades in 1980, and he invited the magistrates to follow his example “as a man, as a Christian and and a jurist in serving justice and the common good”.

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