"After all they just killed a Jewish boy". In this society where everything flows quickly, someone remembers Willy Monteiro killed in Colleferro after having testified

- Church news -

"IN THE END OF THE ACCOUNTS THEY ONLY KILLED A JEW CHILD". IN THIS COMPANY WHERE EVERYTHING FLOWS FAST, SOMEONE REMEMBER WILLY MONTEIRO KILLED IN COLLEFERRO AFTER WITNESSING THE CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP?

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"After all, they only killed a non-EU citizen". Today, 27 January, day dedicated to the memory of the Shoah, this sentence recalls a sad episode shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, when on the road of a German province a truck hit and killed a child. The response was similar to that of the family members of the Bianchi brothers: "... after all he was just a Jewish boy". It would be reasonable to say: eight decades have passed since then, but unfortunately little seems to have changed in the fetid heart of some men.

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Author:
Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci, o.p.

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The locality of Colleferro, where at the age of 21 Willy Monteiro Duarte died between the night of 5 and 6 September 2020, it is fifty kilometers from Neptune, where at the age of 12 years Maria Teresa Goretti died on 6 July 1902.

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Maria e Willy victims of violence die, either. Maria is killed by Alessandro Serenelli [1882-1970], who, seized by a rush of madness, tries to rape her. Willy dies trying to defend a friend from two well-known violent men in the area, who tries to invite mild advice with common sense. After falling to the ground, Willy is repeatedly kicked by the two attackers, the brothers Gabriele and Marco Bianchi [cf.. WHO]. Rescuers, arrived shortly after, they can't get young Willy alive to the hospital.

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Willy, son of two Cape Verdeans, born and raised in Italy, he was a sunny young man loved by everyone. The people of Colleferro remember him active and committed to Catholic Action and dedicated to football at the local Paliano team. After graduating from the Hotel School, he started working in a local restaurant.

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The Bishop of the Diocese of Velletri, Vincenzo Apicella, he warmly commented:

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«We are all co-responsible […] sitting on a powder keg that can explode at any moment […] Yet another act of ferocious and absurd violence, which we cannot resign ourselves to. Willy was kicked and punched during a fight we don't know why and he was most likely a stranger […] where the viruses of bullying come from, of violence, of cowardice, of contempt for life, of the stupidity that these tragedies generate and throw entire families and communities into despair? Yes, we are daily sitting on a powder keg, which can suddenly explode and of which we are not aware ".

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The news from Willy Monteiro and his murder in Colleferro greatly affected public opinion in that first week of September of 2020 and, all those who have found themselves following the news, I even, they were shaken by the violence with which the 20-year-old boy was overwhelmed.

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This atrocious violence perpetrated by the Bianchi brothers, currently in prison awaiting trial, was so evident and documented that their defender gave up on 22 September to appeal and request their release [cf.. WHO]. The opinion given by the judge for the preliminary investigations was very hard, confirming the precautionary measure for the two Bianchi brothers and for Mario Pincarelli, in the pre-trial detention decree declares their "manifested inability to resist violent impulses" [cf.. WHO, WHO]. It's about the custom misbehavior, expression with which social dangerousness is defined in criminal law characterized by the marked aptitude acquired by the subject in committing crimes in a habitual way. Criminal law provides for two kinds of habituality: the alleged one and the one ascertained by the judge, as in this case.

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Criminal justice will now run its course through the reconstruction of the facts, the work of the experts and then the procedural process. But I don't want to stop only at violence. Because it is true that there was an evil that became incarnate, becoming real and material. But first of all there is the act of courage of a twenty-year-old boy with many dreams and desires that could have come true in his life.. An act of courage and love by Willy who wanted to defend his friend - Federico - from that so absurd evil. And so she gave her life to him. This is a great testimony to us. Willy Monteiro, aware or not of this, he was really the one who showed us, in his gift of self, how God loved us to the end.

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I would like to retrace the sad story which had its tragic deadly ending in Colleferro trying to enter into the perspective of the gift of God's love, reflecting to this end on the Gospel of John, which describes a particular moment in the last days of Our Lord. The last moments, as in any story, as in any life, they are always the ones who remember the most. If we take the entire passage of John 13 we can divide it into two large sections: the first that goes from the verses 1-4 in which thoughts are described, the reflections, in short, the intimacy of Jesus' thought:

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«Before the Easter party, Jesus, knowing that his time had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During dinner, when the devil had already placed it in Judas' heart, son of Simone Iscariota, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given him everything into his hands and that he had come from God and returned to God, he got up from the table, put down the vesti, she took a towel and wrapped it around her waist. Then he poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel he was wearing " [GV 13, 1-4].

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Here we first know that Jesus knows (eidos) because he sees in the heart of the Father and in the heart of Judas; therefore he knows both the thought of the Father that is the maximum of love, truth, hospitality. And he also knows the thought of Judas: the maximum of hate, falseness and fragility. Jesus is true man and true God in the hypostatic union: therefore he knows man and God perfectly. Then, just at that moment, knowing that Judas is the expression, the testimony of how fragile and weak man can be, because of sin, decides to love until the end. Love to the extreme. Jesus responds to hatred, selfishness, to close in on oneself with love, openness and welcome. Here then is the contrast, that Jesus grasps between the thought of the Father and the thought of Judas.

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At that point he takes off his cloak, literally clothes. This recalls the Pauline hymn in which we know that Jesus, despite being God, stripped himself by assuming the condition of a servant [cf.. In II 1, 7-8]. This stripping of Jesus is then taking the cloth, the apron of the service to bend down and serve even that Judas who has hell in his heart. A terrible act, full of love which is the first moment of a last act of love: the greatest love.

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From here then begins the second section: from the thoughts of Jesus to his concrete actions.

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«So he came to Simon Peter and he said to him: “Lord, you wash my feet?”. Jesus answered: “What I do, you don't understand now; you will understand later”. Pietro told him: “you with me”. Simon Peter told him: “Lord, not just my feet, but also the hands and the head!”. Jesus added: “Who took a bath, he doesn't need to wash his feet and everything is pure; and you are pure, but not all”. In fact, he knew who was cheating on him; for this he said: “Not all of you are pure”. When he had washed their feet, resumed his clothes, sat down again and told them: “Understand what I have done for you? You call me the Master and the Lord, and say well, because they are. So if I, the Lord and the Master, I washed your feet, you too must wash one another's feet. I have given you an example, indeed, so that you also do as I have done to you”» [GV 13, 5-15].

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Qhis verses describe many small gestures full of meaning: I propose just a few, because analyzing them all in their entirety would be complex. Foot washing has two senses: first of all he who goes on pilgrimage; the one who walks the way of God. At the same time, Isaiah speaks of how beautiful the feet of God's messengers are [cf.. Is 52, 7]. Here then is that washing the feet is preparing the apostles and being pilgrims and missionaries of the message of Christ. Then be prophets, messengers of a greater message. Peter however refuses: he still fails to enter the Trinitarian perspective; in the perspective that Jesus is God. That God who does not imagine and who built himself in a completely different way. Peter cannot accept that God, Adonai can wash his feet: can raise man from his filth, impurities, weaknesses and sins. It is difficult for his pride to admit a humble God.

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Therefore to the verses 12 – 15 Jesus presents himself as an example, in Greek paradigm or model for all of us: we are all called to try to be and act like him. Jesus is the model of Christian life because he is an example of Charity and Humility. And at the same time he is the one who gives grace to man.

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In that first week of September of 2020 the news of Willy's tragic death aroused the indignation of the moment only to be swallowed up in the great nothing, in the information market that always needs new adrenaline, horror again, or to use a strong expression: of fresh blood.

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Willy's is an event preceded by several other tragic cases, if anything different, but characterized by deadly epilogues: the young Desirée Mariottini who died at just sixteen of a drug overdose after being abused by several people in an abandoned building in the Roman district of San Lorenzo [cf.. WHO], the young carabinieri Mario Cerciello Rega hit with 11 stabbed in Trastevere by the young American Finnegan Lee Elder [cf.. WHO].

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And each time we have witnessed the "ritual" of dismay and popular condemnation, to the flowers placed on the scene of the crime with teddy bears and various hearts. And while the adrenaline quickly dispersed into the blood, with it the memory of certain facts was lost, on hold, from there a short, that another dose of adrenaline renewed the "ritual" of dismay, of popular condemnation, finally of forgetfulness: fresh blood replacing the lost memory of old blood.

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The powder keg we're sitting on it is therefore made particularly dangerous by the fact that after every explosion we forget everything, and then go back to sit on the same powder keg, until the next explosion.

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When after half a century from his death Maria Goretti she was beatified and then canonized, his repentant and redeemed assassin was present at the solemn ceremony in the Papal Archbasilica of St. Peter, which he paid in full 27 years in prison and who almost died with a reputation for sanctity in a convent of the Capuchin Friars Minor of the Marche. The conversion of the murderer touched by grace, in its way it was the greatest miracle of the young Maria Goretti.

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Something different but similar could happen to the two White brothers who killed Willy? God's grace and forgiveness know no limits in the face of man's sincere repentance and repentance. Certain, the sentence pronounced by the family members of the two beasts about Willy's corpse not yet buried leaves us astonished: "After all, what they did? Nothing. They just killed a non-EU citizen " [cf.. WHO].

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Today, 27 January, day dedicated to the memory of the Shoah, this sentence recalls a sad episode shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, when on the road of a German province a truck hit and killed a child. The response was similar to that of the family members of the Bianchi brothers: "... after all he was just a Jewish boy". It would be reasonable to say: eight decades have passed since then, but unfortunately little seems to have changed in the fetid heart of some men.

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From the sentence of the family members of the two beasts it is understood that even God's grace and forgiveness have limits, which are not limits of God, it is clear. Because God is infinite greatness that knows no limitation. These are all the limits set by our freedom. For this, unfortunately, not behind all the young Maria, there is always an Alessandro Serenelli. But this was not understood by Jean Jacques Rousseau at the time, for which man would be born good and, if really wrong, the fault is not to be sought in him but in the society that led him astray. And God only knows, from the beginning of the eighteenth century to today, at what price have we paid this thought of his.

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Rome, 27 January 2021

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About Father Gabriele

Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci Dell'Ordine dei Frati Predicatori Presbitero e Teologo ( Click on the name to read all its articles )