Mr President of the Republic, Representatives of Religious Communities, All Present,
"Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities. It has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and an aching void that stops everything as it passes by; We find ourselves afraid and lost. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together." With these words, Pope Francis addressed the city and the world on March 27 last year. With these words, he described the feeling of a pandemic and our confrontation with it.
We are here, too, because we are aware that we are all on the same boat. We have gathered for everyone in our country who reverently remember all those who died last year because of the virus infection. In our hearts, we carry their struggle with disease and their lonely dying hurt us. We also carry in our hearts all those who mourn their dead. Their pain is most significant as it remains alive and raw, and it is even stronger because of grief and a sense of deprivation since they could not be with them at the time of their farewell. Moreover, the funerals were curtailed due to restrictions. We also carry in our hearts all health workers who are trained to save lives and restore health but have had to experience helplessness many times in the past year. So often, they were the ones who closed the eyes of the dead. Thank you.
We cannot bring the dead back to life, and we cannot take away the pain. Health workers do not need shallow words. However, we can be there for them, we can sincerely live the same boat's consciousness and pay tribute to the deceased, but we can also pray for the faithful, we can show closeness and compassion to the mourners can express gratitude to the health workers.
At this respectful moment, an invitation to come together must also come from this place. No matter what, we will stay on the same boat, and therefore it is essential to unite and deal with the virus that has not been defeated. Let us come together with the realization that the Pope reminded us of: "that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this."
Msgr Stanislav Zore
The Archbishop of Ljubljana, Metropolitan and President of SBC