A few days were left till spring, on March 16, 1978, when the Italian Christian Democratic politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped and his escort was murdered. That is how the winter of the Republic, its long night, began instead. The moral and civil wound caused by his murder has not healed yet at present. Quite the opposite, it has generated more evils in politics and forty years later, it is still a mystery, an unsolved case. In Terris has talked about it with Maria Fida Moro, the eldest daughter of the President and five-time secretary of the Christian Democrats, a refined jurist, professor at the age of 24, a wise strategist, coach and forerunner of the historical and political “turning points”, but first and foremost a “good and just man”, as Paul VI defined him. We celebrate the centenary of his birth this year. He was killed by the Red Brigades on May 9, 1978, after 55 endless days of captivity. This martyr of democracy was declared a Servant of God in 2012, which is the first step of the process of canonization. Maria Fida was born during the Constituent Assembly. Nilde Iotti told her that they celebrated together with a cup of cappuccino. Ironically, the first one of Moro’s four children comments on the recent “reforms” of the Senate and of the election law as follows: “They’d better go back to drinking caffè latte“. Apparently, what she wanted to say was that we should go back to the time when the Fathers of the Constitution were true patriots, such as Aldo Moro, and recover the same spirit.
Maria Fida, your father’s assassination was a successful “coup d’état”, as you’ve said on several occasions. Who wanted it? Who benefited from it?
“It was desired by those who didn’t want an entirely independent, authoritative, and efficient Europe (from both international power blocks). As to those who benefited from his death, they were people who brought nothingness to power.”
You’ve said that Aldo Moro’s death was designed and ordered in order “to get where we’re now: to non-politics, only business.” Have his murderers won? And how would Italy have been if Moro had been saved?
“His killers may have won here on Earth, but not forever. In an eschatological frame, the truth wins. Not the political or judicial truth, but the truth of the human being and of love, which supports everything. Light will win in the final battle, my father was sure of it and so I am. If Moro had been alive, Italy and Europe would be better, more humane, fairer and freer.”
“I hope that umpteenth parliamentary Commission of inquiry on the Moro case won’t merely raise the dust, then let it fall back on the status quo,” as you’ve said. What’s your opinion about the work the bilateral commission headed by Fioroni has done so far?
“At first, my positive opinion had the shape of anticipation and hope. I’d asked and they heard me, hiding three-quarters of my hearing, and spreading the fourth one through a verbatim report. Some of the words reported there were not my own. Now my appreciation is concrete, it has become a certainty. The Commission’s mid-term activity report has been unanimously approved by the members, and it seems a good thing to me. It has shed light on many events that would have remained unknown otherwise. MP Gero Grassi who strongly desired this commission to be put in place and who knew my father since they were children, publishes on his website all the information that can be spread on the Moro case. In a scenario that not even the most vivid imagination would have been able to create.”
You’ve created the site morovivonellaverita.it (literally ‘‘Moro lives on in our quest for truth’’). There is a quote from the great statesman and martyr of democracy there: “We’ll solve the problem of our times, living up to truth and having patience, humbleness, foresight, and broad vision of the things together…” It is politics, ethics, and faith. The mission of the truth. What does it mean today? And what is the relationship our politicians have with truth?
“I had to close the site because our life is already too difficult to allow us to manage the site, respecting the busy schedule the Internet demands today. Yet, soon we’ll distribute a DVD I’ve produced together with my son Luca. It’s called The Eternal Truth and is dedicated to my father who was an extraordinary person. That is how we would like him to be remembered. Aldo Moro was a good and just man, as Paul VI said, in the light of truth from which we all come and to which all of us will return. Faith in truth, patience, humbleness, foresight, were qualities this man possessed. Today, they no longer exist. There is no more faith, neither for God nor for man, there’s no courage nor love of truth; all those values that should be essential for politics have been lost. The future has been entrusted to young people. Young people need the light of truth. When my son came of age, I gave him a memento with a saying of American Indians engraved on it: ‘Remember to walk in beauty’. The future asks to walk in beauty, and beauty is truth.
If your father were alive, Italy would be better. What is it we miss the most about him, about his style, teaching, service, and prophecy?
“All these things, which come down to one word: kindness. He was a good man. You felt a better person in his presence. A virtue possessed by the saints.”
The so-called “Moro case” is like a Chinese box … once you open one of them, you find many other boxes inside. It seems they never end. How long is it going to take to reach the truth? And what can you and your family do in order to help the investigation?
“Unfortunately, my family doesn’t exists anymore; it existed as long as my father was alive. We are refugees. Me and my son committed to Aldo Moro’s spiritual truth, which was not born on March 16, 1978 and didn’t die on May 9 of the same year. We can bear witness to his extraordinary human qualities of a good, kind, and honest man, of a loving husband and father, a fine jurist and an outstanding educator, with a deep sense of the State and service to the citizens. To affirm this truth, there is eternity. ‘There is more time than life’, says a Russian proverb. And that’s actually the case for those who believe.”
What is Aldo Moro’s most important legacy for you, his eldest daughter, for the new generations, and for understanding and commitment in politics?
“If it were not for my son Luca, I would say that no moral legacy has been left in us, his children. The kindness of my father’s soul, a man who was much more and different from his great kindness and education, deep respect for people, cannot be found in any of us, except for Luca. Aldo Moro’s spiritual and civic legacy we need to pass down to our young people should be precisely the way he walked in beauty and truth.”
Pope Francis opened an extraordinary Year of mercy. What does it mean for you to forgive?
“Mercy means love and forgiveness for those who don’t deserve them, secretly in our heart, away from the public eye. That’s the forgiveness I gave my father’s killers over thirty years ago, away from the cameras. I received death threats because of this. But that is what true forgiveness means to me, not the one used as advertisement, even when it’s done in good faith.”
On September 23 this year falls the centenary of Aldo Moro’s birth. How are you going to celebrate it? Is there a personal message you want to deliver?
“The State has allocated a sum of money, about 250 thousand euros if I’m not wrong, for the celebrations, some of which will take place in May, that is, on the anniversary of his murder instead of his birth. They give alms to memory, from which will benefit also many people who are far from being my father’s friends. These money could have been spent in a more useful way, helping people in difficulty, the unemployed, the victims of the pension reform, the refugees, those whose life condition is rougher than ours, not because of their own fault, but because of us. It would be a nice way to remember my father, doing what he would have done if he had been alive. It would be a most sincere recognition if the State applied the laws in favor of the victims of terrorism. I repeat an appeal I’ve already launched before. If I die in an alleged road accident or in an apparent suicide, me or any of my family members, know that it wouldn’t be an accident, but a murder. Yet, mine is a message of hope: I want to walk in beauty like my dad did.”