DIFFERENT FROM BEFORE by Valentina Calzavara Daniele Ferrazza
Introduction by Dacia Maraini
Conversations on Covid and beyond with Paolo Cognetti, Silvio Garattini, Marco Bentivogli, Pippo Baudo, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, Sara Simeoni, Silvia Costa, Alessandra Graziottin, Roberto Ferrucci. Helvetia Publishing House
In this book, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has made the following remarks about Covid-19 and its consequences worldwide.
Quotation 1. "Without question globalization, if on one hand it has made enormous progress, on the other hand, when left at the mercy of the market and of the profit alone, and not of democracy and solidarity as well, has increased and aggravated instability in creation and inequalities in humanity. It is obvious that it must be rethought. In line with a new development model that includes the primary and indispensable value of a peaceful coexistence among all peoples. I am more than convinced that the future, the aftermath, will either be built on the primacy of solidarity, social ties, coexistence among all, or we will continue to fall into the abyss. Therefore, we can defeat the Covid-19 emergency only with the antibodies of a solidarity that embraces both creation and the human family. The technical and clinical means for containing the contagion - obviously necessary but not sufficient - must be integrated from now on by a far-reaching and profound complicity with the common good. And nobody is to be discarded. In particular, I am thinking of the elderly who are paying the highest price both in the number of deaths and in people’s appreciation. In short, they are being discarded de jure and de facto ».
Quotation 2. "Instead, we must already overcome the innate tendency to self-referentiality. At all levels. An example that concerns science too: scientists must not give in to sovereignism, to pressure from politics and from the market, without putting on the pedestal the only truth of our time. The pandemic should make us comprehend the indissoluble link between humanity, every man and woman on earth, and the environment, our planet. We are all connected to each other. That is the reason why we cannot "brand" as "environmentalism" or "ecology" the need for careful and in-depth reflection. The destruction of the environment that our extractive economy has been causing for over a century undoubtedly has a common root with this pandemic: we have become the dominant species on Earth, and therefore we are able to break the food chains of all other animals, but we are also the best means for transmitting pathogens. Our reflection must focus on "global bioethics", a reflection on life that includes "lifestyles", the "quality" of human life at all latitudes, in the different phases of personal development, placing life in the living environment. Let's not forget that statement made at the beginning of the Bible: "It is not good for the man (and the woman) to be alone!". Each of us has only one life to live, one humanity to live in, and one planet at our disposal. A planet that is not "ours". We are "keeping" it for the generation that will come after us. We have already degraded it too much. "
Quotation 3. "The rediscovery of our mortality has triggered a survival instinct of which the political classes of the West have become uncritical interpreters: we have moved from underestimating the epidemic, for fear of the economic consequences, to the general lockdown to “save” one’s fellow citizens. The measures have also been partially adopted in those areas of the world that have not in the least changed their life systems in the presence of the causes of death that every year wipe out millions of human beings: malaria, tuberculosis, Ebola, HIV, hunger, famine, conflicts. But in those parts of the world we haven’t seen any images of cities become deserts and populations locked in their houses. Three quarters of mankind continue to be resigned or aware of having much lower life expectancy. This is the opportune time to bring death back to the horizon of human existence: the question of death has in fact been buried, not erased. For those who do not believe this is an opportunity not to deny that mortal horizon. For those who believe this is an opportunity to listen to the voice coming from above. It is a chance to awaken our conscience numb by a self-centered, narcissistic well-being. We are all hearing that ancient warning louder: you are not immortal! "
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