The pope said that Livatino “continues to be an example, above all for those who carry out the demanding and complicated judiciary work … and for all those who work in the field of law.”
He continued: “In a conference, referring to the question of euthanasia, and taking up the concerns that a lay parliamentarian of the time had about the introduction of an alleged right to euthanasia, [Livatino] made this observation: ‘If the believer’s opposition to this law is based on the conviction that human life [...] is a divine gift that man is not allowed to suffocate or interrupt, equally motivated is the opposition of the non-believer based on the conviction that life is protected by natural law, that no right positive can violate or contradict since it belongs to the sphere of ‘unavailable’ goods.’”
The pope recalled that after Livatino’s death, an annotation was found frequently written in the margins of his notes: “STD.” He said that it was soon discovered that the acronym attested to an act of total entrustment that Livatino frequently made to the will of God. The letters stood for “Sub Guardia Dei,” which means “Under the gaze of God.”
“Rosario Livatino left us all a shining example of how faith can be fully expressed in the service of the civil community and its laws; and how obedience to the Church can be combined with obedience to the State, in particular with the delicate and important ministry of enforcing and applying the law,” Pope Francis said.
Mauro Ronco recommended that young lawyers seeking wisdom from Livatino look to his speeches and writings, particularly a speech from 1986 in which the lawyer wrote about how “the purpose of the magistrate is to practice justice, not as an objective closed in on itself, but as a way to the greater purpose of love for God and all humanity, especially that which navigates in the shadows of crime, also capable of recovering from a life that is once again full and happy only if it escapes the poison of selfishness.”