Peter Sušnik began his speech at the 34th anniversary commemorative ceremony at the mass grave site beneath Kren in the Kočevski Rog region with the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” The purpose of the annual gathering is to pray for the deceased and promote reconciliation and forgiveness among the Slovenian people.
In addition to the President of the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference, Andrej Saje, who lead the Holy Mass, the ceremony was attended by the President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), Janez Janša, former Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs, and SDS MP Alenka Jeraj. Former President of the country, Borut Pahor, also participated in the event. The gathering was addressed by Peter Sušnik, the former president of the New Slovenian Covenant.
Sušnik stated at the beginning that the aforementioned words of Jesus, after one year of the current government’s rule, cannot be part of hope and optimism: “This short year vividly represents a state that may not yet be a civil war but is already drawing a very clear and uncompromising line of division, which is also becoming a line of exclusion for all those who disagree with the values of the current authorities.”
Sušnik continues by mentioning several questions that arise in society today, such as the optimal environment for raising children, media ownership, freedom of speech, pluralism of worldviews in the judiciary, the question of attitude towards the deceased and totalitarian regimes, and others, which require a “consensual definition based on the same system of values.”
However, the opposite is happening, Sušnik said, as the actions of the authorities demonstrate arrogance and violence, leading people to realise that this is not a state that is “an approximation of the goal for which the victims were killed, and that this is not a state that is an approximation of the goal for which we voted for an independent and democratic country”. Sušnik further criticised the mocking attitude of the authorities, which is breath-taking.
We cannot ignore it!
Sušnik then stated that as a political body and as individuals, we cannot ignore the abolition of the Memorial Day for the Victims of Communist Violence. He recalled the words of the late academic Jože Trontelj, who said that communism and its totalitarianism are history, but in order for them to become part of our collective consciousness, we must first bring them to mind. “And when that happens, we will understand that we must not forget anything, least of all the lives that this system destroyed or damaged.”
Sušnik asked the President of the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference, Andrej Sajet, on behalf of the New Slovenian Covenant and the affected families, to recognise this grave mistake that the current Slovenian government unreasonably made and include this necessary Memorial Day in the church calendar at least in an appropriate manner.
“In this way, at least in the Church, we will experience that with the appropriate Mass formula, all bishops, priests, and the faithful people will gather around the altar in the Holy Sacrifice, and as the Marian people, we will be united on the Slovenian Memorial Day in prayer and contemplation, as encouraged by the late academic Trontelj,” explained Sušnik.
Sušnik called for action against apathy and casual flirtation with the current authorities in legislative solutions and constitutional changes. “There can be no legitimacy in the appointment of judges if someone publicly declares or swears that the plurality of the judiciary is not good.” Sušnik referred to the words of the President of the country, Nataša Pirc Musar, who, after the Constitutional Court’s decision to lift the suspension of the controversial amendment to the RTV law, stated that polarisation within the Constitutional Court is bad and that she will try to eliminate it. More – HERE.
He also called against the division in the political sphere, which shares a common Christian democratic philosophical foundation. He stated that from these resentments, electoral abstention arises, and from this abstention, a stronger, more corrupt, and more malicious majority emerges.
He then recalled the words of writer Drago Jančar: “The last crime of totalitarianism was the indoctrination of entire generations of children and adolescents, which continues to this day. This is indoctrination about the justification of violence.”
In the face of the fervour of the current government, which is directed towards different goals today than those at the end of World War II but is no less powerful, Sušnik asked when the Slovenian people will say, “Enough is enough.”