Hannah Arendt
"Forgiving… is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly, unconditioned by the act which provoked it and therefore freeing from its consequences both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven."
Donald W. Shriver Jr.
"Forgiveness in a political context is action that joins moral truth, forbearance, empathy and commitment to repair a fractured human relation. Such a combination calls for collective turning from the past that neither ignores past evil nor excuses it, that neither overlooks justice nor reduces justice to revenge that insists on the humanity of enemies even in their commission of dehumanizing deeds and that values the justice that restores political community above a justice that destroys it."
Geraldine Smyth
"Hope is the horizon of forgiveness and reconciliation, for it is grounded in making the impossible possible real – that the human person is capable of change and of being changed in the very place where the hurt or sin imprisons all concerned – in the relationship of enmity. Under the horizon of hope memories of enmity can find econciliation. The hope within forgiveness does not presume prior repentance, but in its gratuitousness, it makes healing and new beginnings possible even though the pain and the wounds remain."
Rasha El-Fangry
"The extent and frequency with which forgiveness is called for has depleted its value and has made it a mere slogan repeated here and there. This is manifest in incidents of conflict restarting even after calls for forgiveness has been accepted. However experiences elsewhere in the continent show how effective forgiveness actually is."
Izzeldin Abuelaish
"Most people assume that forgiveness is difficult, but in the long run it is easier to forgive than to live with hatred or be consumed with revenge, with all the medical consequences. Forgiveness will help you move forward, away from the pain of the past and to be focused on the future, with all its brightness. Indeed, forgiveness opens the door to a future that will not repeat the old tragedies. Sometimes the beauty in forgiveness is to forgive when you do not know whom to forgive, when no one asks you for forgiveness. But whatever the situation, to err is human but to forgive is truly divine"
Riccardo Di Segni
“Forgiveness is a moral repairing of identity, it’s the water erasing the stain of guilt and dousing the fire of resentment.”
Enzo Bianchi
“Forgiveness is not a failure, it is not a defeat, but rather a great victory over oneself, it is a journey of humanization of oneself and the enemy. Forgiveness is not “just letting it go” by someone who is unconscious of the wrong done, nor is it the wise calculation of a just philanthropist: it is a conscious and responsible choice which states that love is stronger than hate so as to break the chain of animosity and vengeance.”
Edith Bruck
“I am a writer-witness who sings about life and peace, who searches and believes in the good of every human being, perhaps buried by layers of sick ideologies of stratified hatred. Good that is unveiled to man himself who transforms it into evil in order to become one of the club, as is done by today’s youth. The only possible instrument is dialogue, removed from politics. Love from human to human which has real and profound civil and spiritual meaning, which is capable of capturing and fertilizing pacifism between individuals, groups, ethnicities and religions.”
Letlapa Mphahlele
“Forgiveness is both conditional and unconditional, depending on the circumstances. If a person slaps you in the face, you may forgive them unconditionally. However, if a person occupies your house, and he pleads with you to forgive him, while making no effort to vacate the house, then forgiveness becomes conditional on him leaving the house. Forgiveness should never be used as a synonym of surrender.”
Fabiola Perdomo
“In my opinion reconciliation does not mean trying to make friends out of victims and perpetrators. Reconciliation means repairing, healing, and freeing the victims from their burden. But it needs to be done from the heart, it cannot be something only for the spotlight, it must be something felt deeply, that comes from the heart otherwise no reconciliation process can work, and incomplete reconciliation can be very dangerous as painful wounds are reopened.”

What is the Ara Pacis Initiative?

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The Ara Pacis Initiative is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the human dimension of peace. Cornerstone of the Ara Pacis Initiative is the Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation, a universal body working in pre-, ongoing and post-conflict realities.

Members of the Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation


Remembering Peacemaker Anne Gallagher

8 August 2013 - The Ara Pacis Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation mourns the loss of one of its Members, peacemaker Anne Gallagher of Northern Ireland who passed away suddenly yesterday after a long illness. Anne will always be remembered for her courageous and tireless work to promote understanding, dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation in Ireland and around the world...Read more

Rape as a Weapon of War

3 July 2013 - Yesterday, "The Necessary Truth:  Processes of Reconciliation in Countries of the Arab Spring" event at the Italian Chamber of Deputies - organized in collaboration with the Ara Pacis Initiative and the Observatory for Gender in Crisis - brought to the fore the issue of rape as a weapon of war - a practice that continues in conflict and post-conflict countries...Read more

The Necessary Truth

2 July 2013 - Giuma Ahmed Atigha, Libya’s first deputy president of the General National Congress, is in Rome today for a special event entitled "The Necessary Truth:  Processes of Reconciliation in Countries of the Arab Spring". Taking place at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the event will center around the testimony of victims of sexual violence from Libya and Syria, who will for the first time share their brutal experiences with an international audience...Read more

Truth & Reconciliation in Arab Spring Countries

29 June 2013 - In just a few days a ground-breaking event, "The Necessary Truth: The Processes of Reconciliation in Arab Spring Countries", will take place in Rome, Italy. An initiative of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized in collaboration with the Ara Pacis Initiative and the Libyan association Observatory for Gender in Crisis, the July 2nd event will feature witnesses, activists and journalists from Libya, Egypt and Syria and will be inaugurated by Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies, and Khalid Chaouki, Head of the Culture Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Union for the Mediterranean...Read more

What The World Needs to Know About Libya

12 May 2013 - Dr. Donna Hicks, Associate at Harvard's Weatherhead Center and Member of the Ara Pacis Council, writes: "What the world needs to know about these remarkable men is that when they were set free, they re-entered the world armed not with hatred or the desire for revenge, but with the wisdom of prophets. Libya has dozens of Nelson Mandela's...Read more

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