So, the scenario of the thirteenth station of this year’s Way of the Cross in the Roman Colosseum was partially changed. Now, in the prayer there were no more “brothers and sisters” and impersonal bombs which, by some unknown person’s will or direct order, “wanted to destroy”. Rather there were the words: “In the face of death, silence is more eloquent than words. So let us stop in prayerful silence, and let everyone pray in their hearts for peace in the whole world.” However, the cross was held jointly by a Ukrainian and a Russian woman, who after many years in Italy have not lived in the realities of their compatriots on both sides of the front line, which for many has become the line of demarcation between Good and Evil.
It seems that one could assume that a compromise has been found, and in general we should welcome such a step towards each other. However, I cannot avoid the feeling that the screenwriters made these changes based on the logic of political compromise, while maintaining their previous thoughts in their hearts. Therefore, some anxiety remains in me that the muted differences may reappear.
Indeed, in recent days the storm in Christendom has been great, and the language of faith has been severely affected. Our hearts are corrupted, and our minds are troubled. We understand that the hearts of many Vatican dignitaries are also troubled. However, now is the time of Easter: tomorrow Easter is celebrated by Western Christians, and a week later by Orthodox and Greek Catholics. Our eyes must be on the figure of the Crucified and the Risen One, and our souls must be freed from agitated passions. For we will not build peace around us unless it is in our hearts.
However, precisely because the subdued differences may reappear, we have one important task ahead of us in the future, which I would like to address to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas. Our shared experience of trial and error, passion and humility should lie in one holistic message of His Holiness to the faithful throughout the world, in which the language of faith would finally prevail over the language of diplomacy. It should be a text that will stand the test of conscience on the graves of the innocent who were murdered, in the hearts of the raped and mutilated, in the souls of those who “gave their lives for their friends.” To create it, one would have to “come to the place where God weeps” (Fr. Werenfried van Straaten’s phrase) and write it together with those “who have come out of great tribulation and have washed their robes” (Rev. 7:14). For they are ones whom it befell to “know the depths of Satan” (Rev. 2:24).
From these days of testing the faith, we all as Christians must come out spiritually stronger.