Rome (NEV), February 27, 2021 – On February 17 last, more than 250 people followed the webinar “Citizenship, freedom and care at the time of Covid”, promoted by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) on the occasion of the Freedom Week. The debate, which this year took place online due to Covid restrictions, was moderated by lawyer Ilaria Valenzi.
Pastor Luca Maria Negro, FCEI’s president, in his opening greeting, recalled the commitment to “Make February 17 a national day of freedom of conscience, thought, religion”, as well as the start of the new FCEI humanitarian project in Bosnia.
The first speech was that of Professor Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of the Humanitas clinical institute, who defined the gap between poor and rich countries as “unacceptable”, in terms of vaccination, and in particular, of access to drugs. An issue that concerns everyone’s “safety”, in terms of public and global health.
Elena Bein Ricco, professor of philosophy, member of the FCEI Studies Commission, wanted to reflect on the multifaceted concept of “freedom”, understood “as a property of the individual citizen, overshadowing the observance of duties with respect to the community. Today we are witnessing an emphasized vision of liberal freedom, “libertine freedom”, as the psychoanalyst Massimo Recalcati calls it“, se commented.
The relationship between democracy, individual freedom and responsibility towards the community permeates these months, these times of pandemic. “Times that will have repercussions on our idea of freedom, of citizens but also on the care of souls”, according to Daniele Garrone, theologian and member of the FCEI Council. “Those who are intelligent are silent, because these are bad times” Garrone said, quoting the prophet Amos.
Massimo Aprile, Baptist pastor currently serving in the church of Milan, illustrated the document “Taking root in the new”, produced in the light of the experiences of the Baptist communities in the time of the lockdown. Among the many words that emerged, three were those at the center of Pastor Aprile’s biblical reflection: citizenship, care (with the transformation of the patient into a client), freedom (as an ‘undivided’ word).
The last speaker of the event was Francesco Piobbichi, operator of Mediterranean Hope, the FCEI’s migrant and refugee program. “The border, and the crossing of the border by ‘non-citizens’, today allows us to understand who we are” he said.