Pope Francis says pandemic can be a ‘place of conversion’ – Catholic Voices Malta and Newsbook.com webinar

Newsbook.com.mt has teamed up with Catholic Voices Malta to further reflect on the Pope’s message of conversion, the dangers of populism and indifference, the need to be mindful of consumption and to have economies which serve humanity not use it. Sylvana Debono leads a discussion with Austen Ivereigh, Catholic Voices Malta Coordinator and former Minister for Finance and the Economy Tonio Fenech and Episcopal delegate and Moral Theologian Nadia Delicata.

We are Christians first – Press Statement issued by 35 Maltese and Gozitan Catholic Movements, Groups, and Organisations

The mere notion that as a Nation we have even considered, let alone have left distressed migrants adrift without aid and risking to drown at sea, shakes us. These migrants have now been found dead, are missing or have been returned to the unacceptable detention conditions in Libya.

These are not the values that guided our nation and made us who we are. As Christians we need to be reminded that Jesus is on those boats.

While we commend the work of the Government, front line health care professionals and workers and other professionals and workers supporting in combatting this spread of the Covid-19 disease, as well as the efforts of so many voluntary initiatives are being organized to support the front-liners, and those who are marginalized as a result of the pandemic.

And while we also acknowledge the concern of many with the limitation of our nation’s size and the risks associated with an uncontrolled influx of migrants.
We need to remember the story of the Good Samaritan. We cannot allow these concerns to be a justification for leaving our brothers and sisters in hardship and mortal peril, even more so when these fall within the search and rescue responsibilities of our country.

We are therefore shocked at the decision taken by the Government to deny support to migrants in distress in our search and rescue area, merely on the pretext that our ports have been closed for everyone due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emergencies require special solutions to ensure that while we protect public health from the potential of further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also fulfil our legal and moral obligation to save lives in distress. If an airplane in difficulties were to request permission for an emergency landing, would this be denied?
How can we call ourselves Christians and then leave people drowning at sea? Saved immigrants should be quarantined for the recommended 14-day period. Then in collaboration with the EU Commission Malta should pursue a burden-sharing arrangement similar to those applied in the recent months. We appeal also to the EU and Member States to be more forthcoming in this humanitarian crisis, that is bound to continue, and not offer to share the burden only after an unaided member state suffering a disproportionate burden resorts to brinkmanship.

These are challenging times. Our leaders need to make daily difficult decisions, decisions they never imagined they would have to deal with. As we pray for our leaders, we also appeal to them to ensure that their decisions in future are truly guided by life-centred values.

Augustinian Youths
Azzjoni Kattolika – Ghawdex
Azzjoni Kattolika – Malta
Bahrija Youth Group
CAMYouths Malta
Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Catholic Voices Malta
Centru Katekezi San Lawrenz
Centru taz-Zghazagh ta’ Warda
Couples for Christ
Grupp Żgħażagħ Gudja
Malta Catholic Youth Network
Moviment ta’ Kana
Moviment tal-Fokolari,
Christian Life Community
Fraternità Sekulari Charles de Foucauld
Grupp “Madonna ta’ Pinu”
Jesuit Youth Network
Koinonia Charismatic Prayer Group Birkirkara
KDŻG
Legion of Mary
MYMA (Malta Youth Minister’s Association)
Sixth Form Chaplaincy St Aloysius College
Soċjetà MUSEUM – Nisa
STEPS Project Malta
TAB
The Call
Eucharistic Youth Movement
YouthReach
Youth 4 Jesus (Y4J)
ZAK (Zaghzagh Azzjoni Katolika)

Following the issue of the Press Statement four other organizations contacted us to endorse the Statement:

CFC
Oratorju Marija Immakulata
Seminary Vocations Centre
We2#Young Swatar

 

Papa Franġisku jgħid li l-pandemija tista’ tkun “post ta ‘ konverżjoni” minn Austen Ivereigh

F’intervista esklussiva għal TheTablet — l-ewwel pubblikazzjoni tiegħu fir-Renju Unit — il-Papa Franġisku jgħid li dan ir-Randan u Żmien l-Għid straordinarji jistgħu jkunu mumenti ta’ kreattività u konverżjoni għall-Knisja, għad-dinja, u għall-kreazzjoni kollha.

Lejn l-aħħar ta’ Marzu, issuġġerejt lill-Papa Franġisku li dan jista’ jkun mument tajjeb biex jindirizza lid-dinja Anglofona: il-pandemija li tant kienet affettwat l-Italja u Spanja issa kienet riesqa fuq ir-Renju Unit, l-Istati Uniti u l-Awstralja. Mingħajr ma wiegħed xejn, talabni nibgħat xi mistoqsijiet. Jiena għażilt sitt temi, kull waħda b’serje ta’ mistoqsijiet li seta’ jagħżel li jwieġeb jew le skont kif iħoss xieraq. Ġimgħa wara, irċevejt komunikazzjoni li kien irreġistra xi riflessjonijiet bi tweġiba għall-mistoqsijiet. L-intervista saret bl-Ispanjol; It-traduzzjoni hija tiegħi.

L-ewwel mistoqsija kienet dwar kif kien qed jesperjenza l-pandemija u l-lock-down, kemm fir-residenza Santa Marta kif ukoll l-amministrazzjoni tal-Vatikan (“il-Kurja”) b’mod usa’, kemm prattikament u kemm b’mod spiritwali.

Il-Papa Franġisku: Il-Kurja qed tipprova tkompli bil-ħidma tagħha, u tgħix normalment, billi torganizza ruħha f’xiftijiet tant li mhux kulħadd ikun preżenti fl-istess ħin. Ġiet maħsuba sew. Qed nirrispettaw il-miżuri ordnati mill-awtoritajiet tas-saħħa. Hawnhekk fir-residenza ta’ Santa Marta issa għandna żewġ xiftijiet għall-ikliet, li jgħin ħafna biex itaffi l-impatt. Kulħadd jaħdem fl-uffiċċju tiegħu jew mill-kamra tiegħu, bl-użu tat-teknoloġija. Kull persuna qed taħdem; hawnhekk m’hawnx min qed jitlajja.

Kif qed ngħix dan il-mument spiritwalment? Qed nitlob iktar, għaliex hekk inħoss li għandi nagħmel. Meta naħseb fin-nies inħossni kkonsagrat, jagħmilli tajjeb, ma nibqax moħħi fija nnifsi. Ovvjament għandi l-oqsma tiegħi ta’ egoiżmu. Nhar ta’ Tlieta jiġi l-konfessur tiegħi, u nieħu ħsieb ta’ l-affarijiet hemm.

Qed naħseb dwar ir-responsabbiltajiet tiegħi issa, u dak li se jiġi wara. X’se jkun is-servizz tiegħi bħala l-Isqof ta’ Ruma, bħala kap tal-Knisja, wara dan? Dawk il-konsegwenzi traġiċi u diffiċli qed jibdew jiġu żvelati, u huwa għalhekk li rridu naħsbu dwarhom issa. Id-Dikasteru tal-Vatikan għall-Promozzjoni ta’ l-Iżvilupp Uman Integrali qed jaħdem fuq dan, u qed jiltaqa’ miegħi.

It-tħassib ewlieni tiegħi — għall-inqas dak li ġej mit-talb tiegħi — huwa kif għandi nakkumpanja u nkun eqreb il-poplu ta’ Alla. Għalhekk, l-istreamjar ‘live’ tal-quddiesa tas-7 a.m. (jien niċċelebraha kull filgħodu) li ħafna nies isegwu u japprezzaw, kif ukoll l-indirizzi li tajt, u l-avveniment tal-27 ta’ Marzu fi Pjazza San Pietru. Għalhekk, ukoll, iż-żieda fl-attivitajiet ta’ l-uffiċċju tal-karità tal-Papa, li jieħu ħsieb il-morda u dawk bil-ġuħ.

Qed ngħix dan iż-żmien bħala waqt ta’ inċertezza kbira. Wasal iż-żmien għall-invenzjoni, għall-kreattività.

Fit-tieni mistoqsija tiegħi, irreferejt għar-rumanz tas-seklu dsatax tant għal qalb il-Papa Franġisku, li huwa semma dan l-aħħar: I Promessi Sposi ta’ Alessandro Manzoni. Ir-rumanz idur mal-pesta ta’ Milan tal-1630. Hemm diversi karattri li huma saċerdoti: il-kurat beżżiegħ Don Abbondio, l-isqof cardinal qaddis Borromeo, u l-patrijiet Kapuċċini li jservu fil-Lazzarett, tip ta’ sptar fejn dawk infettati huma sseparati b’mod riġoruż minn dawk f’saħħithom. Fid-dawl tar-rumanz, il-Papa Franġisku kif kien jara l-missjoni tal-Knisja fil-kuntest ta’ Covid-19?

Il-Papa Franġisku: Il-Kardinal Federigo [Borromeo] verament huwa eroj tal-pesta ta’ Milan. Madankollu, f’wieħed mill-kapitoli, huwa jmur biex jagħti merħba lil villaġġ iżda bil-tieqa tal-karozzella tiegħu magħluqa biex jipproteġi lilu nnifsu. Dan ma niżilx tajjeb man-nies. Il-poplu ta’ Alla għandu bżonn ragħaj miegħu biex ikun viċin tiegħu, li ma jipproteġix lilu nnifsu żżejjed. Il-poplu ta’ Alla jeħtieġ li r-rgħajja tagħhom li jkunu lesti jissagrifikaw lilhom infushom, bħall-Kapuċċini, li baqgħu qrib.

Il-kreattività tan-Nisrani teħtieġ li tintwera fil-ftuħ ta’ orizzonti ġodda, il-ftuħ ta’ twieqi, il-ftuħ ta’ traxxendenza lejn Alla u lejn in-nies, u l-ħolqien ta’ modi ġodda ta’ kif wieħed ikun id-dar. Mhuwiex faċli li tkun imsakkar f’darek. Dak li jiġi f’moħħi huwa vers mill-Enejde f’nofs it-telfa: il-parir mhuwiex li taqta’ qalbek, iżda biex issalva lilek innifsek għal żminijiet aħjar, għax f’dawk iż-żminijiet meta niftakru minn xiex għaddejna, dak se jgħinna. Ħudu ħsieb tagħkom infuskom għal futur li se jiġi. U f’dak il-ġejjieni, li tiftakar f’dak li ġara jagħmillek tajjeb.
Ħu ħsieb tal-preżent, f’ġieħ il-ġejjieni. Dejjem b’mod kreattiv, bi kreattività sempliċi, li kapaċi tivvinta xi ħaġa ġdida kuljum. F’darna mhux diffiċli tiskopri dan il-kreattività, iżda taħrabx, tintilifx f’eskepjiżmu, li f’dan iż-żmien m’għandekx bżonnu.

It-tielet mistoqsija tiegħi kienet dwar il-politiki tal-gvernijiet b’reazzjoni għall-kriżi. Filwaqt li l-kwarantina tal-popolazzjoni hija sinjal li xi gvernijiet huma lesti jissagrifikaw il-benesseri ekonomiku b’risq persuni vulnerabbli, issuġġerejtlu li dan kien ukoll qed jesponi livelli ta’ esklużjoni li qabel kienu kkonsidrati bħala normali u aċċettabbli.

Il-Papa Franġisku: Huwa minnu li għadd ta’ gvernijiet ħadu miżuri eżemplari biex jiddefendu l-popolazzjoni abbażi ta’ prijoritajiet ċari. Iżda qed nirrealizzaw li l-ħsieb tagħna, irridu jew ma rridux, idur madwar l-ekonomija. Fid-dinja tal-finanzi kienet ħaġa normali li tissagrifika [l-poplu], biex tipprattika politika tal-kultura tal-iskart, mill-bidu sal-aħħar tal-ħajja. Qed naħseb, pereżempju, dwar is-selezzjoni ta’ qabel it-twelid. Dawn il-ġranet tassew mhux tas-soltu biex niltaqgħu ma’ nies bis-sindromu ta’ Down fit-triq. Meta dawn jiġu skoperti waqt it-tqala, jintremew. Din hija kultura tal-ewtanasja, legali jew moħbija, li fiha l-anzjani jingħataw medikazzjoni iżda biss sa ċertu punt.

Tiġini f’moħħi l-enċiklika tal-Papa Pawlu VI Humanae Vitae. Il-kontroversja kbira f’dak iż-żmien kienet fuq il-pillola [kontraċettiva], iżda li ma rrealizzawx in-nies kienet il-forza profetika tal-enċiklika, li pprevediet in-neo-Maltusjaniżmu li kien għadu kemm beda madwar id-dinja. Pawlu VI qajjem l-allarm fuq dik il-mewġa ta’ Neo-Maltusjaniżmu. Narawh fil-mod kif jintgħażlu n-nies skont l-utilità jew il-produttività tagħhom: il-kultura tal-iskart.

Bħalissa, min hu bla dar għadu bla dar. Deher ritratt ftit ilu ta’ parkeġġ f’Las Vegas fejn daħħlu l-kwarantina. U l-lukandi kienu vojta. Iżda n-nies bla dar ma jistgħux imorru f’lukanda. Dik hija l-kultura tal-iskart fil-prattika.

Kont kurjuż biex inkun naf jekk il-Papa rax il-kriżi u d-devastazzjoni ekonomika li se tħalli warajh bħala opportunità għal konverżjoni ekoloġika, għal bidla fil-prijoritajiet u stili ta’ ħajja. Staqsejtu b’mod konkret jekk kienx possibbli li fil-ġejjieni naraw ekonomija li — biex nuża l-kliem tiegħu — kienet aktar “umana” u inqas “likwida”.

Il-Papa Franġisku: Hemm espressjoni bl-Ispanjol: “Alla dejjem jaħfer, aħna naħfru xi drabi, iżda n-natura ma taħfer qatt.” Ma nweġbux għall-katastrofi parzjali. Min issa jitkellem dwar in-nirien fl-Awstralja, jew jiftakar li 18-il xahar ilu bastiment seta’ jaqsam il-Pol tat-Tramuntana għax li l-glaċieri kienu nħallu kollha? Min jitkellem issa dwar l-għargħar? Ma nafx jekk dawn humiex il-vendetta tan-natura, iżda ċertament dawn huma t-tweġibiet tan-natura.
Għandna memorja selettiva. Nixtieq nieqaf ftit fuq dan il-punt. Stagħġibt fis-sebgħin anniversarju tal-kommemorazzjoni tal-iżbarki fin-Normandija, li attendew għaliha persuni fl-ogħla livelli tal-kultura u l-politika. Kienet ċelebrazzjoni kbira. Huwa minnu li dan l-anniversarju kien il-bidu ta’ tmiem id-dittatorjat, iżda ħadd ma deher li qed jfakkar fl-10,000 ġuvni li baqgħu fuq din il-bajja.

Meta mort Redipuglia għal għeluq il-mitt sena tal-Ewwel Gwerra Dinjija rajt monument sabiħ u ismijiet imnaqqxa fuq ġebla, iżda daqshekk. Bkejt, jien u niftakar fil-frażi ta’ Benedittu XV “massakru bla sens”, u l-istess ġrali f’Anzio f’Jum l-Erwieħ kollha, jien u naħseb f’dawk is-suldati kollha Nord Amerikani midfuna hemmhekk, li kull wieħed minnhom kellu familja, u kif kull wieħed minnhom seta’ kien jien.

F’dan iż-żmien meta fl-Ewropa qed nibdew nisimgħu diskorsi populisti u qed naraw deċiżjonijiet politiċi ta’ dan it-tip selettiv, trid jew ma tridx tiftakar fid-diskorsi ta’ Hitler tal-1933, li ma kinux tant differenti minn uħud mid-diskorsi ta’ xi politiċi Ewropej ta’ issa.

Jiġini f’rasi vers ieħor ta’ Virġilju: “forsi għad jasal il-jum meta jkun tajjeb li wieħed jiftakar f’dawn l-affarijiet ukoll”. Irridu nirkupraw il-memorja tagħna għaliex se tkun il-memorja li se tgħinna. Din m’hijiex l-ewwel pandemija tal-umanità; L-oħrajn saru sempliċement aneddoti. Jeħtieġ li niftakru fl-għeruq tagħna, it-tradizzjoni tagħna miżgħuda b’memorji. Fl-Eżerċizzji ta’ Sant Injazju, l-Ewwel Ġimgħa, kif ukoll il-“Kontemplazzjoni kif tikseb l-Imħabba” fir-Raba’ Ġimgħa, huma kompletament meħuda bl-att tal-memorja. Din hija konverżjoni li sseħħ permezz tal-att al-memorja.

Din il-kriżi qed taffettwa lilna lkoll, sinjuri u foqra, u qed tixħet dawl fuq l-ipokrisija. Ninsab imħasseb bl-ipokrisija ta’ ċerti personalitajiet politiċi li jitkellmu dwar il-bżonn li naffaċċjaw din il-kriżi, tal-problema tal-ġuħ fid-dinja, iżda li sadanittant jimmanifatturaw l-armi. Dan huwa żmien ta’ konverżjoni minn din it-tip ta’ ipokrisija funzjonali. Dan huwa żmien ta’ integrità. Jew aħna koerenti fit-twemmin tagħna jew nitilfu kollox.

Qed issaqsini dwar il-konverżjoni. Kull kriżi fiha kemm il-periklu kif ukoll l-opportunità: l-opportunità li noħorġu mill-periklu. Illum nemmen li għandna nnaqqsu r-rata ta’ produzzjoni u konsum tagħna (Laudato Si’, 191) u biex nitgħallmu nifhmu u nikkontemplaw id-dinja naturali. Jeħtieġ li jkollna rabta mill-ġdid mal-ambjent reali tagħna. Din hija l-opportunità għal konverżjoni.
Iva, jien nara sinjali bikrija ta’ ekonomija li hija inqas likwida, aktar umana. Iżda ejja ma nitilfux il-memorja tagħna ladarba dan kollu jkun fl-imgħoddi, ejja ma npoġġuhiex fil-ġenb u mmorru lura fejn konna. Dan huwa ż-żmien biex jittieħed il-pass deċiżiv, biex nimxu mill-użu u l-użu ħażin tan-natura, għall-kontemplazzjoni tagħha. Tlifna d-dimensjoni kontemplattiva; Irridu nerġgħu nakkwistawha f’dan iż-żmien.

Waqt li kien qed nitkellem dwar il-kontemplazzjoni, nixtieq nisħaq fuq punt wieħed. Dan huwa l-mument fejn tassew nagħrfu lill-foqra. Ġesù jgħid li se jkollna l-foqra magħna dejjem, u dan huwa minnu. Dawn huma realtà li ma nistgħux ninnegaw. Iżda l-foqra huma moħbija għaliex il-faqar huwa mistħi. Dan l-aħħar f’Ruma, f’nofs il-kwarantina, wieħed pulizija qal lil raġel: “Ma tistax toqgħod fit-triq, trid tmur id-dar.” It-tweġiba kienet: “M’għandix dar. jien ngħix fit-triq.” Li niskopru numru tant kbir ta’ nies li jgħixu fil-marġini tas-soċjetà… U ma narawhomx, għaliex il-faqar huwa mistħi. Dawn qegħdin hemm iżda ma nagħrfuhomx: Saru parti mill-pajsaġġ; saru oġġetti.

Santa Teresa of Kalkutta għarfithom, u kellha l-kuraġġ timbarka fuq vjaġġ ta’ konverżjoni. Li “naraw” il-fqar ifisser li nirrestawraw l-umanità tagħhom. Mhumiex oġġetti, mhumiex żibel; huma bnedmin. Ma nistgħux nikkuntentaw irwieħna b’politika soċjali bħalma għandna għall-annimali li jiġu salvati. Ħafna drabi nittrattaw il-fqar bħal dawn l-annimali. Ma nistgħux nikkuntentaw irwieħna b’politika soċjali parzjali.

Se nazzarda noffri parir. Wasal iż-żmien li mmorru taħt l-art. Qed naħseb dwar in-novella qasira ta’ Dostoyvsky, ‘Noti minn Taħt l-Art’. L-impjegati ta’ dak l-isptar tal-ħabs tant kienu xrafu li kienu jittrattaw lill-imsejknin priġunieri bħala oġġetti. U meta jara l-mod kif ittrattaw wieħed li kien għadu kemm miet, dak li kien fuq is-sodda ħdejh jgħidilhom: “Biżżejjed! Hu wkoll kellu omm!” Għandna ngħidu lilna nfusna dan ta’ spiss: dak l-imsejken kellu omm li rabbietu b’għożża. Aktar tard f’ħajjithom, ma nafux x’ġara. Iżda ta’ min niftakru fl-imħabba li darba rċieva permezz tat-tama ta’ ommu.

Aħna nneżżgħu lill-foqra minn kull poter. Ma nagħtuhomx id-dritt li joħolmu b’ommijiethom. Ma jkunux jafu x’inhi l-imħabba; ħafna jgħixu fuq id-drogi. U meta narawhom nistgħu nerġgħu niskopru l-miżerikordja, il-pietas, li tipponta lejn Alla u lejn il-ġar tagħna.

Inżel taħt l-art, u għaddi minn dinja iper-virtwali u bla ġisem, għall-ġisem magħdur bit-tbatija tal-fqir. Din hija l-konverżjoni li rridu ngħaddu minnha. U jekk ma nibdewx minn hawn, mhux se jkun hemm konverżjoni.

Qed naħseb f’dan il-ħin fil-qaddisin li jgħixu maġenbna. Huma eroj: it-tobba, il-voluntiera, is-sorijiet, il-qassisin, il-ħaddiema tal-ħwienet — kollha jaqdu dmirijiethom sabiex is-soċjetà tkun tista’ tkompli taħdem. Kemm mietu tobba u infermiera! Kemm mietu sorijiet! Kollha waqt li qed jaqdu…, niftakar xi ħaġa li qal il-ħajjât, fil-fehma tiegħi wieħed mill-karattri bl-ikbar integrità fil-Promessi Sposi. Dan qal: “Il-Mulej ma jħallix l-mirakli nofs leħja.” Jekk nintebħu bil-miraklu tal-qaddisin li jgħixu maġenbna, jekk nistgħu nimxu fuq il-passi tagħhom, il-miraklu se jintemm sew, għall-ġid ta’ kulħadd. Alla ma tħallix l-affarijiet f’nofs triq. Dak aħna nagħmluh.

Dak li qed ngħixu llum huwa l-ispazju ta’ Metanoja (konverżjoni), u għandna l-opportunità li nibdew. Mela ejja ma nħalluhiex tiżżerżaq minn idejna, u ejja nimxu ‘l quddiem.

Il-ħames mistoqsija tiegħi kienet tiffoka fuq l-effetti tal-kriżi fuq il-Knisja, u l-ħtieġa li naħsbu mill-ġdid dwar il-ħidma tagħna. Jara li joħroġ minn dan Knisja li hija aktar missjunarja, aktar kreattiva, anqas marbuta mal-istituzzjonijiet? Qed naraw tip ġdid ta’ “knisja domestika”?

Il-Papa Franġisku: Inqas marbuta mal-istituzzjonijiet? Iktar ngħid li inqas marbuta ma’ ċerti modi ta’ ħsieb. Għax il-Knisja hija istituzzjoni. It-tentazzjoni hija li ssir ħolma ta’ knisja deistituzzjonalizzata, knisja gnostika mingħajr istituzzjonijiet, jew waħda li hija soġġetta għal istituzzjonijiet fissi, li tkun Knisja Pelaġjana. Huwa l-Ispirtu s-Santu li jagħmel il-Knisja, li la hu gnostiku u l-anqas Pelaġjan. Huwa l-iSpirtu s-Santu li jistituzzjonalizza, b’mod alternattiv u kumplimentari, il-Knisja, minħabba li l-Ispirtu s-Santu jipprovoka d-diżordni permezz tal-kariżmi, iżda mbagħad minn din id-diżordni joħloq l-armonija.
Knisja li hija ħielsa m’hijiex knisja anarkika, għaliex il-libertà hija rigal ta’ Alla. Knisja istituzzjonali tfisser Knisja li hija istituzzjonalizzata mill-iSpirtu s-Santu.
Tensjoni bejn id-diżordni u l-armonija: Din hija l-Knisja li trid toħroġ mill-kriżi. Irridu nitgħallmu ngħixu fi Knisja li teżisti fit-tensjoni bejn l-armonija u d-diżordni pprovokat mill-Ispirtu s-Santu. Jekk tistaqsini liema ktieb tat-teoloġija jista’ jgħinek tifhem aħjar dan, dan ikun l-Atti tal-Appostli. Hemmhekk se tara kif l-Ispirtu s-Santu jiddeistituzzjonalizza dak li m’għadux ta’ siwi, u jistituzzjonalizza l-ġejjieni tal-Knisja. Din hija l-Knisja li għandha bżonn toħroġ mill-kriżi.

Xi ġimgħa ilu ċempilli isqof Taljan, kemxejn imħawwad. Kien qed idur mal-isptarijiet biex jagħti l-assoluzjoni lil dawk fis-swali mill-intrata tal-isptar. Iżda kien tkellem ma’ xi avukati kanoniċì li kienu qalulu li ma setax, għax l-assoluzzjoni setgħet tingħata biss f’kuntatt dirett. “X’taħseb, Papa?” kien talabni. Għedtlu “Isqof, wettaq id-dmir saċerdotali.” u l-Isqof qalli: ”Grazzi, fhimtek”. Iktar tard, skoprejt li kien qiegħed jagħti l-assoluzzjoni kullimkien.
Din hija l-libertà tal-Ispirtu f’nofs kriżi, u mhux il-Knisja magħluqa fl-istituzzjonijiet. Dan ma jfissirx li l-liġi kanonika mhijiex importanti: hi importanti, u tgħin, u ejja nagħmlu użu tajjeb minnha, għax tagħmel il-ġid. Iżda l-aħħar klawżola tgħid li l-liġi kanonika kollha qiegħda hemm biex issalva l-erwieħ. Dak hu li jiftaħ il-bieb meta nkunu f’diffikultà biex inwasslu l-konsolazzjoni ta’ Alla.
Qed tistaqsini dwar “Knisja domestika”. Irridu nirrispondu għall-għeluq fi djarna bil-kreattività kollha tagħna. Nistgħu jew naqgħu f’depressjoni jew naljenaw irwieħna — permezz tal-mezzi tax-xandir li jistgħu jeħdulna lil hinn mir-realtà tagħna — jew nistgħu insiru l-kreattivi. Fid-dar għandna bżonn ta’ kreattività appostolika, kreattività mingħajr tant affarijiet inutli, iżda b’xenqa li nesprimu l-fiduċja tagħna fis-sens ta’ komunità, bħala poplu ta’ Alla. Għalhekk: Li noqogħdu msakkrin ġewwa, imma b’xewqa qawwija, bil-memorja li tixxennaq u tiġġenera t-tama — dan huwa li se jgħinna naħarbu mill-iżolament li ninsabu fih issa.

Fl-aħħar nett, saqsejt lill-Papa Franġisku kif qegħdin nissejħu biex ngħixu dan il-Randan u żmien l-Għid straordinarji. Staqsejt jekk kellux messaġġ partikolari għall-anzjani li kienu qed jiżolaw lilhom infushom, għal żgħażagħ imsakkrin ġewwa, u għal dawk li qed jiffaċċjaw il-faqar bħala riżultat tal-kriżi.

Il-Papa Franġisku: Inti titkellem dwar l-anzjani iżolati: is-solitudni u d-distanza. Kemm hemm anzjani li t-tfal tagħhom ma jmorrux iżuruhom fi żminijiet normali! Fi Buenos Aires, niftakar meta kont inżur id-djar tal-anzjani u kont nistaqsihom: u kif inhi l-familja tiegħek? Tajjeb, tajjeb! Jiġu? Iva, dejjem! Imbagħad l-infermiera kienet toħodni fil-ġenb u tgħidli li t-tfal kienu ilhom ma jarawhom sitt xhur. Solitudni u abbandun … distanza.

Madankollu, l-anzjani jibqgħu l-għeruq tagħna. U jridu jitkellmu maż-żgħażagħ. Din it-tensjoni bejn iż-żgħażagħ u l-anzjani għandha dejjem tissolva fl-inkontru ta’ bejniethom. Għax iż-żgħażagħ huwa nwar u weraq torja, imma mingħajr għeruq ma jistgħux jagħtu l-frott. L-anzjani huma l-għeruq. Kieku llum ngħidilhom: naf li tħossu li l-mewt hija qrib, u qed tibżgħu, iżda dawru ħarsitkom, ftakru f’uliedkom, u tiqfux toħolmu. Dan huwa dak li qed jitlobkom Alla: li toħolmu (Joel 3: 1).

Xi ngħid kieku liż-żgħażagħ? Għandu jkollkom il-kuraġġ li tħarsu ‘l quddiem, u li tkunu profetiċi. J’Alla l-ħolma tal-anzjani jaqbel mal-profeziji tagħkom — Joel 3:1 ukoll.

Dawk li ftaqqru mill-kriżi huma l-imċaħħda ta’ dan iż-żmien, li huma miżjuda mal-għadd ta’ persuni mċaħħda ta’ kull żmien, irġiel u nisa li l-istat tagħhom huwa mċaħħdin”. Tilfu kollox, jew ser jitilfu kollox. Xi tfisser din it-telfa għalija, fid-dawl tal-Vanġelu? Tfisser li tidħol fid-dinja ta’ min hu fil-bżonn, li tifhem li min kellu, issa m’għandu xejn. Dak li nitlob min-nies huwa li jindukraw lix-xjuħ u ż-żgħażagħ, li jindukraw l-istorja, li jindukraw lil min m’għandu xejn.
Niftakar f’vers ieħor ta’ Virġilju, fl-aħħar tat-Tieni Ktieb tal-Enejde, meta Enea, wara t-telfa ta’Troy, tilef kollox. Quddiemu kellu żewġ mogħdijiet: li jibqa’ hemm jitbekka u jtemm ħajtu, jew li segwi dak li kellu f’qalbu, li jmur sal-muntanja u jħalli l-gwerra warajh. Vers mill-isbaħ. “Ċedejt lid-destin u, b’missieri fuq spallejja, tlaqt lejn il-muntanja”.

Dan huwa dak li għandna nagħmlu issa, illum: li nieħdu magħna l-għeruq tat-tradizzjonijiet tagħna, u nitilqu lejn il-muntanja.

 

Austen Ivereigh is a fellow in contemporary church history at Campion Hall, at the University of Oxford. His latest book is Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis’s Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church, published by Henry Holt. Austin Ivereigh is also a Co-Founder of Catholic Voices.

Pope Francis says pandemic can be a ‘place of conversion’ by Austen Ivereigh

Full interview published by The Tablet on the 8th April 2020

In an exclusive interview recorded for The Tablet – his first for a UK publication – Pope Francis says that this extraordinary Lent and Eastertide could be a moment of creativity and conversion for the Church, for the world, and for the whole of creation.

Towards the end of March I suggested to Pope Francis that this might be a good moment to address the English-speaking world: the pandemic that had so affected Italy and Spain was now reaching the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Without promising anything, he asked me to send some questions. I picked six themes, each one with a series of questions he could answer or not as he saw fit. A week later, I received a communication that he had recorded some reflections in response to the questions. The interview was conducted in Spanish; the translation is my own.

The first question was about how he was experiencing the pandemic and lockdown, both in the Santa Marta residence and the Vatican administration (“the curia”) more widely, both practically and spiritually.

Pope Francis: The Curia is trying to carry on its work, and to live normally, organising in shifts so that not everyone is present at the same time. It’s been well thought out. We are sticking to the measures ordered by the health authorities. Here in the Santa Marta residence we now have two shifts for meals, which helps a lot to alleviate the impact. Everyone works in his office or from his room, using technology. Everyone is working; there are no idlers here.

How am I living this spiritually? I’m praying more, because I feel I should. And I think of people. That’s what concerns me: people. Thinking of people anoints me, it does me good, it takes me out of my self-preoccupation. Of course I have my areas of selfishness. On Tuesdays, my confessor comes, and I take care of things there.

I’m thinking of my responsibilities now, and what will come afterwards. What will be my service as Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church, in the aftermath? That aftermath has already begun to be revealed as tragic and painful, which is why we must be thinking about it now. The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development has been working on this, and meeting with me.

My major concern – at least what comes through my prayer – is how to accompany and be closer to the people of God. Hence the livestreaming of the 7 a.m. Mass [I celebrate each morning] which many people follow and appreciate, as well as the addresses I’ve given, and the 27 March event in St Peter’s Square. Hence, too, the step-up in activities of the office of papal charities, attending to the sick and hungry.

I’m living this as a time of great uncertainty. It’s a time for inventing, for creativity.

In my second question, I referred to a nineteenth-century novel very dear to Pope Francis, which he has mentioned recently: Alessandro Manzoni’s I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed). The novel’s drama centres on the Milan plague of 1630. There are various priestly characters: the cowardly curé Don Abbondio, the holy cardinal archbishop Borromeo, and the Capuchin friars who serve the lazzaretto, a kind of field hospital where the infected are rigorously separated from the healthy. In the light of the novel, how did Pope Francis see the mission of the Church in the context of Covid-19?

Pope Francis: Cardinal Federigo [Borromeo] really is a hero of the Milan plague. Yet in one of the chapters he goes to greet a village but with the window of his carriage closed to protect himself. This did not go down well with the people. The people of God need their pastor to be close to them, not to over-protect himself. The people of God need their pastors to be self-sacrificing, like the Capuchins, who stayed close.

The creativity of the Christian needs to show forth in opening up new horizons, opening windows, opening transcendence towards God and towards people, and in creating new ways of being at home. It’s not easy to be confined to your house. What comes to my mind is a verse from the Aeneid in the midst of defeat: the counsel is not to give up, but save yourself for better times, for in those times remembering what has happened will help us. Take care of yourselves for a future that will come. And remembering in that future what has happened will do you good.

Take care of the now, for the sake of tomorrow. Always creatively, with a simple creativity, capable of inventing something new each day. Inside the home that’s not hard to discover, but don’t run away, don’t take refuge in escapism, which in this time is of no use to you.

My third question was about government policies in response to the crisis. While the quarantining of the population is a sign that some governments are willing to sacrifice economic wellbeing for the sake of vulnerable people, I suggested it was also exposing levels of exclusion that have been considered normal and acceptable before now.

Pope Francis: It’s true, a number of governments have taken exemplary measures to defend the population on the basis of clear priorities. But we’re realising that all our thinking, like it or not, has been shaped around the economy. In the world of finance it has seemed normal to sacrifice [people], to practise a politics of the throwaway culture, from the beginning to the end of life. I’m thinking, for example, of pre-natal selection. It’s very unusual these days to meet Down’s Syndrome people on the street; when the tomograph [scan] detects them, they are binned. It’s a culture of euthanasia, either legal or covert, in which the elderly are given medication but only up to a point.

What comes to mind is Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae. The great controversy at the time was over the [contraceptive] pill, but what people didn’t realise was the prophetic force of the encyclical, which foresaw the neo-Malthusianism which was then just getting underway across the world. Paul VI sounded the alarm over that wave of neo-Malthusianism. We see it in the way people are selected according to their utility or productivity: the throwaway culture.

Right now, the homeless continue to be homeless. A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel. That is the throwaway culture in practice.

I was curious to know if the Pope saw the crisis and the economic devastation it is wreaking as a chance for an ecological conversion, for reassessing priorities and lifestyles. I asked him concretely whether it was possible that we might see in the future an economy that – to use his words – was more “human” and less “liquid”.

Pope Francis: There is an expression in Spanish: “God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives.” We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods? I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.

We have a selective memory. I want to dwell on this point. I was amazed at the seventieth anniversary commemoration of the Normandy landings, which was attended by people at the highest levels of culture and politics. It was one big celebration. It’s true that it marked the beginning of the end of dictatorship, but no one seemed to recall the 10,000 boys who remained on that beach.

When I went to Redipuglia for the centenary of the First World War I saw a lovely monument and names on a stone, but that was it. I cried, thinking of Benedict XV’s phrase inutile strage (“senseless massacre”), and the same happened to me at Anzio on All Souls’ Day, thinking of all the North American soldiers buried there, each of whom had a family, and how any of them might have been me.

At this time in Europe when we are beginning to hear populist speeches and witness political decisions of this selective kind it’s all too easy to remember Hitler’s speeches in 1933, which were not so different from some of the speeches of a few European politicians now.

What comes to mind is another verse of Virgil’s: [forsan et haec olim] meminisse iubavit[“perhaps one day it will be good to remember these things too”]. We need to recover our memory because memory will come to our aid. This is not humanity’s first plague; the others have become mere anecdotes. We need to remember our roots, our tradition which is packed full of memories. In the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, the First Week, as well as the “Contemplation to Attain Love” in the Fourth Week, are completely taken up with remembering. It’s a conversion through remembrance.

This crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike, and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy. I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons. This is a time to be converted from this kind of functional hypocrisy. It’s a time for integrity. Either we are coherent with our beliefs or we lose everything.

You ask me about conversion. Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger. Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption (Laudato Si’, 191) and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion.
Yes, I see early signs of an economy that is less liquid, more human. But let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it. We have lost the contemplative dimension; we have to get it back at this time.

And speaking of contemplation, I’d like to dwell on one point. This is the moment to see the poor. Jesus says we will have the poor with us always, and it’s true. They are a reality we cannot deny. But the poor are hidden, because poverty is bashful. In Rome recently, in the midst of the quarantine, a policeman said to a man: “You can’t be on the street, go home.” The response was: “I have no home. I live in the street.” To discover such a large number of people who are on the margins … And we don’t see them, because poverty is bashful. They are there but we don’t see them: they have become part of the landscape; they are things.

St Teresa of Calcutta saw them, and had the courage to embark on a journey of conversion. To “see” the poor means to restore their humanity. They are not things, not garbage; they are people. We can’t settle for a welfare policy such as we have for rescued animals. We often treat the poor like rescued animals. We can’t settle for a partial welfare policy.

I’m going to dare to offer some advice. This is the time to go to the underground. I’m thinking of Dostoyevsky’s short novel, Notes from the Underground. The employees of that prison hospital had become so inured they treated their poor prisoners like things. And seeing the way they treated one who had just died, the one on the bed alongside tells them: “Enough! He too had a mother!” We need to tell ourselves this often: that poor person had a mother who raised him lovingly. Later in life we don’t know what happened. But it helps to think of that love he once received through his mother’s hope.

We disempower the poor. We don’t give them the right to dream of their mothers. They don’t know what affection is; many live on drugs. And to see them can help us to discover the piety, the pietas, which points towards God and towards our neighbour.

Go down into the underground, and pass from the hyper-virtual, fleshless world to the suffering flesh of the poor. This is the conversion we have to undergo. And if we don’t start there, there will be no conversion.

I’m thinking at this time of the saints who live next door. They are heroes: doctors, volunteers, religious sisters, priests, shop workers – all performing their duty so that society can continue functioning. How many doctors and nurses have died! How many religious sisters have died! All serving … What comes to my mind is something said by the tailor, in my view one of the characters with greatest integrity in The Betrothed. He says: “The Lord does not leave his miracles half-finished.” If we become aware of this miracle of the next-door saints, if we can follow their tracks, the miracle will end well, for the good of all. God doesn’t leave things halfway. We are the ones who do that.

What we are living now is a place of metanoia (conversion), and we have the chance to begin. So let’s not let it slip from us, and let’s move ahead.

My fifth question centred on the effects on the Church of the crisis, and the need to rethink our ways of operating. Does he see emerging from this a Church that is more missionary, more creative, less attached to institutions? Are we seeing a new kind of “home Church”?

Pope Francis: Less attached to institutions? I’d say less attached to certain ways of thinking. Because the Church is institution. The temptation is to dream of a de-institutionalised Church, a gnostic Church without institutions, or one that is subject to fixed institutions, which would be a Pelagian Church. The one who makes the Church is the Holy Spirit, who is neither gnostic nor Pelagian. It is the Holy Spirit who institutionalises the Church, in an alternative, complementary way, because the Holy Spirit provokes disorder through the charisms, but then out of that disorder creates harmony.

A Church that is free is not an anarchic Church, because freedom is God’s gift. An institutional Church means a Church institutionalised by the Holy Spirit.

A tension between disorder and harmony: this is the Church that must come out of the crisis. We have to learn to live in a Church that exists in the tension between harmony and disorder provoked by the Holy Spirit. If you ask me which book of theology can best help you understand this, it would be the Acts of the Apostles. There you will see how the Holy Spirit de-institutionalises what is no longer of use, and institutionalises the future of the Church. That is the Church that needs to come out of the crisis.

About a week ago an Italian bishop, somewhat flustered, called me. He had been going round the hospitals wanting to give absolution to those inside the wards from the hallway of the hospital. But he had spoken to canon lawyers who had told him he couldn’t, that absolution could only be given in direct contact. “What do you think, Father?” he had asked me. I told him: “Bishop, fulfil your priestly duty.” And the bishop said Grazie, ho capito (“Thank you, I understand”). I found out later that he was giving absolution all around the place.

This is the freedom of the Spirit in the midst of a crisis, not a Church closed off in institutions. That doesn’t mean that canon law is not important: it is, it helps, and please let’s make good use of it, it is for our good. But the final canon says that the whole of canon law is for the salvation of souls, and that’s what opens the door for us to go out in times of difficulty to bring the consolation of God.

You ask me about a “home Church”. We have to respond to our confinement with all our creativity. We can either get depressed and alienated – through media that can take us out of our reality – or we can get creative. At home we need an apostolic creativity, a creativity shorn of so many useless things, but with a yearning to express our faith in community, as the people of God. So: to be in lockdown, but yearning, with that memory that yearns and begets hope – this is what will help us escape our confinement.

Finally, I asked Pope Francis how we are being called to live this extraordinary Lent and Eastertide. I asked him if he had a particular message for the elderly who were self-isolating, for confined young people, and for those facing poverty as result of the crisis.

Pope Francis: You speak of the isolated elderly: solitude and distance. How many elderly there are whose children do not go and visit them in normal times! I remember in Buenos Aires when I visited old people’s homes, I would ask them: And how’s your family? Fine, fine! Do they come? Yes, always! Then the nurse would take me aside and say the children hadn’t been to see them in six months. Solitude and abandonment … distance.
Yet the elderly continue to be our roots. And they must speak to the young. This tension between young and old must always be resolved in the encounter with each other. Because the young person is bud and foliage, but without roots they cannot bear fruit. The elderly are the roots. I would say to them, today: I know you feel death is close, and you are afraid, but look elsewhere, remember your children, and do not stop dreaming. This is what God asks of you: to dream (Joel 3:1).

What would I say to the young people? Have the courage to look ahead, and to be prophetic. May the dreams of the old correspond to your prophecies – also Joel 3:1.

Those who have been impoverished by the crisis are today’s deprived, who are added to the numbers of deprived of all times, men and women whose status is “deprived”. They have lost everything, or they are going to lose everything. What meaning does deprivation have for me, in the light of the Gospel? It means to enter into the world of the deprived, to understand that he who had, no longer has. What I ask of people is that they take the elderly and the young under their wing, that they take history under the wing, take the deprived under their wing.

What comes now to mind is another verse of Virgil’s, at the end of Book 2 of the Aeneid, when Aeneas, following defeat in Troy, has lost everything. Two paths lie before him: to remain there to weep and end his life, or to follow what was in his heart, to go up to the mountain and leave the war behind. It’s a beautiful verse. Cessi, et sublato montem genitore petivi (“I gave way to fate and, bearing my father on my shoulders, made for the mountain”).

This is what we all have to do now, today: to take with us the roots of our traditions, and make for the mountain.

Austen Ivereigh is a fellow in contemporary church history at Campion Hall, at the University of Oxford.  His latest book is Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis’s Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church, published by Henry Holt.  Austin Ivereigh is also a Co-Founder of Catholic Voices.

Catholic Voices Malta issues Position Paper on the Human Trafficking & Prostitution Reform Consultation Document

Catholic Voice Malta today submitted its position paper on the Human Trafficking and Prostitution Reform launched by Parliamentary Secretariat for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Processes within the Office of the Prime Minister.

While welcoming the efforts presented by the Reform to combat human trafficking and the need to place the victim of trafficking or the person subjected to prostitution at the centre of each decision being taken. The reform lacks the acknowledgement that prostitution is intrinsically wrong because it violates the human dignity of the person involved when contemplating the notions of “ethical recruitment” as a path not merely to decriminalise the prostitute but rather to regularise some forms of prostitution into regular working activity.

If a prostitute is a victim, and for this reason we agree to decriminalise, the prostitute remains a victim even after we manage to remove the stigma, we regularise prostitution and create so called ethical standards of recruitment. If prostitutes are victims, they are victims whether they have been trafficked or whether they enter prostitution for other circumstances, even if these are purely economic.

The reform states that it seeks to be guided by human rights principles. It is precisely the human right principle of human dignity that prostitution violates.
In making its decision Catholic Voices Malta urges the Government not be subjected by the economic demands of so-called operators of say Gentlemen’s Clubs who claim that Malta’s internationalisation necessitates the availability of such services. Women can never become “perks” for an industry.

We urge the legislator to rethink the orientation of the reform and advocate that our system should be closer to models that have proved to be successful in addressing human trafficking, reduce and reintegrate prostitutes in dignified employment and have full respect for the fundamental human rights principle of human dignity, like the Swedish Model.

The dignity of a person goes beyond providing a way out of prostitution, we need to create a culture of unacceptance of the objectification of a woman’s body, the provision of education and work opportunities that value the contribution of the person and provide a source of fulfilment in the alternative work a former prostitute does, rather than continue facing degradation and humiliation to survive.

Prostitutes should be decriminalised, but prostitution should remain a criminal activity, with heavier sanctions being placed on persons found guilty of trafficking human persons, operators of clubs and outlets that host trafficked persons, pimps and persons seeking the services of a prostitute. This clearly implies that strip clubs and similar operations should not be licenced and the concept of “ethical recruitment” withdrawn.

 

CV Reaction – Human trafficking reform Consultation document – Final

 

Aġġornament 2 – Aktar reazzjonijiet għall-manifest: “Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa” Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew – 25 ta’ Mejju 2019 Mill-Moviment ta’ Kana, Catholic Voices Malta u l-Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi

 

David Stellini – PN

“Wara li xtarrejt fid-dettall il-proposti mressqa, b’wiċċi minn quddiem nagħti l-appoġġ u l-impenn tiegħi favur il-manifest elettorali mressaq mill-Moviment ta’ Kana u Catholic Voices. Filwaqt li nemmen fis-sovranità tal-liġi u r-rispett lejn kull reliġjon, inqis il-proposti mressqa minn dan il-moviment bħala mnebbħa minn prinċipji ta’ etika u morali u rispett lejn il-bniedem, li huma fil-bażi tat-twemmin politiku tiegħi.

Il-prinċipju tas-sussidarjetà, ir-rispett lejn l-ambjent li jdawwarna u r-rwol tal-familja bħala l-pern tas-soċjetà huma tliet aspetti fundamentali li għandhom ikunu fiċ-ċentru tal-ħidma Ewropea.

L-Unjoni Ewropea wasslet għal bosta kisbiet kbar għaċ-ċittadini tagħha, iżda forsi fl-aħħar snin xi kultant iddevjat mill-għeruq tagħha. Nemmen li l-UE għandha terġa’ tfittex x’kienu dawk il-prinċipji li wasslu biex wara gwerra mdemmija bdiet proġett tant importanti u fejjiedi: prinċipji bħall-koeżjoni soċjali u l-ħidma biex ħadd ma jibqa’ lura. Hi din l-Unjoni Ewropea li rrid nara, u l-Unjoni Ewropea li se naħdem għaliha jekk inkun elett.

Dan hu għaliex lest nikkommetti ruħi li jekk niġi afdat mill-poplu Malti u Għawdxi, se nkun qed nara li dawn it-tnax-il prinċipju jkunu dejjem fl-isfond tal-ħidma tiegħi.

Roberta Metsola – PN

Grazzi tal-email tagħkom. Nixtieq nassigurakom napprova bis-sħiħ il-manifest u ser tkompli inkun iggwidata minn dawn il-valuri u prinċipji ġenerali f’kull deċiżjoni li nieħu, kif għamilt għal dawn l-aħħar snin.

Roselyn Borg Knight – PN

Grazzi talli qsamtu dan il-manifest miegħi.

Jiena qrajt il-manifest tagħkom u nagħti l-appoġġ sħiħ tiegħi għalih. Nieħu din l-opportunità biex nirringrazzjakom għax-xogħol tagħkom.

Robert Micallef – PL (kumment fuq Newsbook)

Il-manifest tal-għaqdiet Kattoliċi f’Malta ma rċevejtux izda għadni kif qrajtu issa. Niddikjara li naqbel mal-punti msemmija fil-manifest u se nkun qed navvanzahom fil-ħidma politika tieghi.

L-ewwel grupp ta’ reazzjonijiet

Numru ta’ Reazzjonijiet għall-manifest: “Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa” Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew – 25 ta’ Mejju 2019 Mill-Moviment ta’ Kana, Catholic Voices Malta u l-Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi

Il-Manifest isibu hawn

Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa, Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew 25ta’ Mejju 2019

Update 2 – Further reactions to the Manifesto “Rebuilding community in Europe” A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019 Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace

Further reactions received from Candidates to the MEP elections for the Manifesto: “Rebuilding community in Europe”, a manifesto for the European Parliament Election of the 25th May 2019.  Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace.

David Stellini – PN

Having reflected in detail the proposals you put forward, with pleasure I give my support and commitment in favour of the electoral manifesto put forward by the movement of Cana and Catholic Voices. While I believe in the sovereignty of law and respect for each religion, I consider the proposals put forward by this movement as inspired by ethical and moral principles and respect for human dignity, which are the bases of my political beliefs.

The principle of subsidiarity, respect for the underlying environment and the pivotal role of the family in society are three fundamental values that should be at the centre of European action.

The European Union has led to many major achievements for its citizens, however in recent years the EU has somehow deviated from its roots. I believe that the EU should re-look at the principles that emerged after the war and led to a very important and fruitful project: the principle of social cohesion and ensuring that nobody is left behind. It is this European Union that I want to see, and the European Union I will work for if elected.

This is why I am willing to commit myself, that if trusted by the Maltese and Gozitan people, I will see that these twelve principles are always in the background of my work.

Roberta Metsola – PN

Thank you for your email. Please rest assured that I fully endorse the manifesto and will continue to be guided by these overarching values and principles on every decision that I take – as I have done for the last years.

Roselyn Borg Knight – PN

Thank you for sharing this with me.

I have read through your manifesto and I support it. I take this opportunity to thank you for your work.

Robert Micallef – PL  (comment on Newsbook)

I did not receive the manifesto of the Catholic organisations in Malta, however I have just read it now. I declare that I agree with the values mentioned in the manifesto and I will progress these values in my political work.

For the first group of reactions received press here

A number of reactions to the Manifesto “Rebuilding community in Europe” A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019 Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace

The Manifesto press here

Rebuilding community in Europe, a manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019

Catholic Voices Malta welcomes the arrest of the suspected murders of Lassana Cisse

Statement

Catholic Voices Malta welcomes the arrest of the suspected murders of Lassana Cisse

Catholic Voice Malta welcomes the news of the arrest of two soldiers suspected with the murder of Lassana Cisse, an innocent migrant killed in Hal Far in a shooting which also left two other migrants injured last month.

Catholic Voices Malta thank the police force for their work in identifying the perpetrators of this horrible crime.

It is worrisome that the only apparent reason why Lassana was specifically targeted and murdered was the color of his skin. We condemn this racially motivated crime and hope that more is done to develop a culture that in the words of Pope Francis “Welcomes, protects, promotes and integrates migrants and refugees”.

We take the opportunity to remind ourselves of the important speech given by Pope Francis’ for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 2018.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2017-11/pope-message-world-day-of-migrants-and-refugees.html

A number of reactions to the Manifesto “Rebuilding community in Europe” A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019 Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace

A number of reactions received from Candidates to the Manifesto: “Rebuilding community in Europe”, a manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019.  Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace.

(in the order received)

Micheal Brigoglio – PN

I fully endorse your manifesto.

Carmel Cacopardo – in the name of AD

I thank you

The Alternattiva Demokratika manifesto has been issued some weeks ago and you can find this here link: http://www.alternattiva.org.mt/2point3/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AD_Ahdar-ir-Risposta.pdf

Arnold Cassola – Independent

I note the points that you have emphasised and quote a verbatim: ” Europe needs to rediscover its common identity and be protective of persons, families, and cultures, especially the poor and most vulnerable. We need MEPS that promote the founding values of the EU, committed towards human dignity for all, subsidiarity and active citizen engagement.

Families and demography need to be placed at the centre of mainstream European politics, especially young families. We need MEPs that promote Life from conception to natural end, that address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and foster a culture of integral ecology. We also need MEPs that work towards a renewed effort to find effective and shared solutions concerning migration, asylum, integration and demography.”

I consider myself a lay politician and that there should be a clear political separation between religion and state.

However, when I read the points you listed, I nearly surprise myself in finding that I wholly agree with all of them. This means that when one looks at the common good there is little difference between secular people and Catholics.

Therefore, I openly acknowledge that in the European political group that I will associate myself and work with I will endeavour to promote these mentioned objectives, including the few ones that most of the political group to which I will belongs are not in agreement with me.

In fact, my purpose is to form part of the Greens, as an independent, on the agreed condition that on issues of conscience (e.g. abortion; surrogacy) I will be free to work and to act according to my conscience and views, independent of the views and will of most of the Group.

Godfrey Farrugia – In the name of PD

Thank you for the document.

PD is built on the values of the Maltese and Europeans. We will continue working to strengthen them.

Felix Busuttil – PL

Thank you so much for contacting me – I do come from strong Catholic backgrounds. I myself for two years have had serious intentions to become God’s servant and wish to remain so – in my faults and in my doubts, I have strong faith in humanity and wish to see God placed one more within the realms of politics. I uphold your manifesto and can only wish love, respect, dignity and life for all.

Keep up the good work.

Peter Agius – PN

I strongly appreciate the initiative you have taken which in my opinion is an original contribution to how we can apply Christian values in politics at European level.

I agree without reservation to the 12 values that you presented and that I have reflected upon in detail. I also appreciated the perspective applied in the case of children’s education and the digitalisation that I am sure will be the challenges of the future.

I also believe that we need to apply more effectively article 17 on the freedom of conscience and this actively rather than in a passive manner.

I also believe that we need politicians who make it clear that their political engagement is guided by Christian values. This I have made clear myself on several occasions and in the priority points (that I have called results) of my programme, if elected.

The Manifesto

Rebuilding community in Europe, a manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019

Numru ta’ Reazzjonijiet għall-manifest: “Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa” Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew – 25 ta’ Mejju 2019 Mill-Moviment ta’ Kana, Catholic Voices Malta u l-Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi

Ir-reazzjonijiet li waslu minn numru ta’ kandidati għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew għall-manifest: “Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa”, mill-Moviment ta’ Kana, Catholic Voices Malta u l-Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi.

(skond l-ordni li waslu)

Micheal Brigoglio – PN

Jiena nendorsja l-manifest tiegħkom kompletament.

Carmel Cacopardo – f’isem l-AD

Nirringrazzjakom.
Il-manifest ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li issa ilu xi ġimgħat ippubblikat issibu hawn : http://www.alternattiva.org.mt/2point3/wp-ċontent/uploads/2019/03/AD_Ahdar-ir-Risposta.pdf

Arnold Cassola – Independenti

Qiegħed nara l-punti li enfasizzajtu u nikkwota verbatim: “L-Ewropa teħtieġ li terġa’ tiskopri l-identità komuni tagħha u tħares lill-persuni, familji u l-kulturi, speċjalment lill-fqar u dawk l-aktar vulnerabbli. Aħna neħtieġu MEPs li jippromwovu l-valuri li fuqhom twaqqfet l-UE u li jkunu impenjati lejn dinjità umana għal kulħadd, sussidjarjetà u impenn attiv taċ-ċittadini.

Il-familji u d-demografija jeħtieġ li jitpoġġew fiċ-ċentru tal-politika Ewropea, speċjalment familji żgħażagħ. Aħna neħtieġu MEPs li jippromwovu u jipproteġu l-ħajja mill-konċepiment sat-tmiem naturali tagħha, li jindirizzaw il-bżonnijiet tal-aktar persuni fqar u vulnerabbli, u li jaħdmu favur kultura ta’ ekoloġija integrali. Aħna rridu wkoll MEPs li jaħdmu favur sforz ġdid biex jinstabu soluzzjonijiet effettivi u komuni dwar il-migrazzjoni, l-ażil, l-integrazzjoni u d-demografija”.

Jiena nqis ruhi politiku lajk u sekulari li jemmen li għandu jkun hemm separazzjoni netta bejn politika u reliġjon.

Madankollu, meta naqra l-punti tagħkom elenkati hawn fuq kwazi nissorprendi ruħi kif naqbel magħhom fit-totalita’. Dan ifisser li meta wieħed iħares lejn il-ġid komuni ftit ikun hemm differenza bejn lajċi u kattoliċi.

Għalhekk, jiena nafferma bil-miftuh li fil-grupp politiku Ewropew li nassoċja ruħi miegħu naħdem biex jitwettqu l-għanjiet hawn fuq imsemmija, inkluzi dawk il-ftit li l-maġġoranza tal-grupp li jien nappartjeni għalih ma tkunx taqbel magħhom.

Infatti, il-hsieb tiegħi hu li nifforma parti mill-Grupp tal-Hodor, bħala Indipendenti, bil-kundizzjoni maqbula mill-bidu li fuq kwistjonijiet ta’ kuxjenza (ez. abort; surrogaċy) jien inkun liberu li naħdem u naġixxi skont il-kuxjenza u l-fehmiet tiegħi, indipendentement mill-fehmiet u mir-rieda tal-maġġoranza tal-grupp.

Godfrey Farrugia – F’isem il-PD

Grazzi ferm ta’ dokument.

Il-PD hu mibni fuq il-valuri Maltin u Ewropej. Inkomplu nahdmu biex insahhuhom.

Felix Busuttil – PL

Grazzi ħafna tal-kuntat li għamiltu miegħi. Jien ġej minn sfond Kattoliku qawwi. Jien stess għal sentejn kelli intenzjonijiet serji li insir qaddej ta ‘ Alla u nixtieq li hekk nibqa. Fin-nuqasijiet u d-dubji tiegħi, għandi fidi qawwija fil-umanità u nixtieq nara lil Alla jerġa jipoġġa fir-realita tal-politika. Jiena nikkonferma il-manifest tiegħkom u nixtieq biss l-imħabba, ir-rispett, id-dinjità u l-ħajja għal kulħadd.

Żommu l-ħidma tajba

Peter Agius – PN

Naprezza ħafna li kellimtuna u li ħadtu din l-inizjattiva li fil-fehma tiegħi tati kontribut oriġinali għal kif nistgħu napplikaw il-valuri nsara fil-politika fuq livell Ewropew.

Naqbel bla riserva mat-12 il-valur li xtarrejt fid-dettall. Naprezza wkoll il-perspettiva applikata anke filkaz tal-edukazzjoni tat-tfal u d-digitalizzazzjoni li ċert li ser ituna sfida akbar fil-gejjieni.

Nemmen ukoll li jehtieg nimbuttaw b’aktar sahha l-applikazzjoni tal-artikolu 17 dwar il-liberta tal-kuxjenza b’mod attiv u mhux biss passiv.

Naħseb i importnait li jkollna politiċi li jagħmluha ċarali huma ispirati u gwidati mill-valuri nsara fil-politika. Dan għamiltu ċar anke fil-punti ta’ prijorita’ (qed insejħilhom riżultati) tal-programm tiegħi jekk niġi elett.

Il-manifest

Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa, Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew 25ta’ Mejju 2019