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

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

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

Ispirati mid-dikjarazzjoni tal-Isqfijiet Ewropej “Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa”, il-Moviment ta’ Kana, Catholic Voices Malta u l-Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi qed jipproponu dan il-Manifest ta’ 12-il prinċipju gwida għal votanti Kattoliċi fl-għażla tal-kandidati ta’ preferenza tagħhom għall-elezzjonijiet tal-Parlament Ewropew li ġejjin. Aħna nappellaw ukoll liċ-ċittadini biex jinvolvu ruħhom f’dan il-proċess politiku importanti u jużaw il-ħsieb profond tagħhom meta jivvutaw fl-elezzjoni Ewropea 2019.

L-elezzjonijiet tal-Parlament Ewropew mhumiex elezzjonijiet lokali iżda elezzjoni Ewropeja. Mhux vot ta’ fiduċja fil-Partit fil-Gvern jew xi Partit fl-Oppożizzjoni. Il-vot tagħna se jmur għal kandidati individwali, partiti politiċi lokali iżda wkoll gruppi politiċi Ewropej li se jifformulaw il-valur, il-policies u l-azzjonijiet Ewropej.

Bħala ċittadini aħna mitluba nagħmlu dixxerniment dwar kif
•  il-kandidati li qed nivvutaw għalihom,
•  il-partit politiku lokali li se jirrappreżenaw, u
•  il-grupp politiku Ewropew li se jkunu parti minnu
fil-manifest elettorali tagħhom jirriflettu l-valuri u l-policies li nixtiequ naraw fil-bini tal-Unjoni Ewropea ta’ għada.

Aħna imħeġġin li ma naqgħux fit-tentazzjoni ta’ partiġjanniżmu insulari, jew li nivvuttaw biss għal partit mingħajr ma naħsbu fuq l-għażla tal-kandidat. Aħna neleġġu individwi li se jirrappreżentaw partiti, iżda aktar minn hekk, jirrappreżentaw lilna u l-valuri tagħna. Aħna għalhekk inħeġġu lill-votanti tagħna biex jeżerċitaw id-drittijiet tagħhom u jistaqsu x’inhi l-pożizzjoni tal-kandidati fuq dawn it-12-il tema importanti li se jiddefinixxu l-impenn personali tagħhom fuq livell Ewropew la darba jiġu eletti.

Aħna għandna l-obbligu wkoll li nħarsu lejn il-manifest elettorali tal-Gruppi Parlamentari Ewropej rispettivi u niżnu l-għażliet tagħhom fil-konfront tal-valuri u l-policies li nixtiequ naraw jitwettqu.

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.

Dr. Arthur Galea Salamone President Moviment ta’ Kana, Tonio Fenech – Koordinatur Catholic Voices Malta u Daniel Darmanin President Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi

 

Il-MANIFEST

“Nerġgħu nibnu l-komunità fl-Ewropa”
Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew     25 ta’ Mejju 2019

 

Jien inħaddan dawn il-prinċipji fundamentali li ġejjin li se jiggwidaw l-azzjonijiet u d-deċiżjonijiet politiċi tiegħi la niġi elett fil-Parlament Ewropew.

Dinjità umana għal kulħadd

Id-dinjità umana hi xi ħaġa li ma tistax tittieħed. Kull persuna għandha valur inkondizzjonali, li jixraqlu rispett kbir u għandu jkun ħieles minn kull tip ta’ skjavitu’, manipulazzjoni u esplojtazzjoni. Jien se nippromwovi għażliet u policies li huma bbażati fuq ir-rispett totali tad-dinjità tal-bniedem.

Sussidjarjetà

L-istituzzjonijiet Ewropej għandhom jieħdu passi attivi favur l-involviment personali u kollettiv taċ-ċittadini kollha f’djalogu ta’ vera, kreattiv u rispettuż u jagħmlu l-almu tagħhom biex ma jimponux deċiżjonijiet unilaterali.

Identità komuni

L-UE teħtieġ li terġa’ tiskopri l-valuri li kellha meta twaqqfet, l-identità komuni u l-valur tas-solidarjetà, hekk kif tfittex li terġa’ tagħti ħajja lir-rabtiet soċjali li jeżistu bejn u fost il-pajjiżi u l-popli. Jien se naħdem għal UE li tħares il-familji, dawk l-aktar vulnerabbli u l-kulturi.

Għaqda fid-diversità

L-għaqda fid-diversità timplika regoli komuni li jħarsu l-ħarsien leġittimu u l-promozzjoni tal-libertajiet permezz ta’ prattiċi demokratiċi li jsostnu l-kontabilità, it-trasparenza u implimentazzjoni xierqa tas-Saltna tad-Dritt.
Djalogu mal-Knejjes u l-komunitajiet reliġjużi
Skont l-Artikolu 17 tat-Trattat dwar il-Funzjonament tal-Unjoni Ewropea (TFEU), jien se naħdem favur djalogu aktar profond mal-Knejjes u l-komunitajiet reliġjużi.

Familji żgħażagħ

Iż-żgħażagħ Ewropej għandhom ikollhom rashom mistrieħa u megħjuna biex ikunu f’kundizzjoni li jiffurmaw familja. Regoli u prattiċi favur il-familji għandhom ikunu żviluppati fqu livell tal-UE biex jakkumpanjaw l-iżvilupp integrali uman tal-persuni, familji u komunitajiet. Il-benesseri tal-familja umana hi marbuta ma’ Unjoni li taħdem favur ekonomija bbażata fuq is-suq soċjali. Il-familja għandha tkun il-punt tat-tluq li fuq bażi tiegħu għandhom jinħadmu l-kundizzjonijiet tax-xogħol, biex ikun faċilitat il-ħin flimkien fost il-familja u biex jinħoloq bilanċ xieraq bejn il-familji u l-ħajja tax-xogħol.

Demografija

Id-demografija għandha terġa’ tikseb prominenza fil-politika tal-UE. It-tnaqqis fir-rati ta’ twelid fl-Ewropa għandha tkun indirizzata permezz ta’ inizjattivi konkreti li jibdlu l-andament attwali.

Id-dritt tal-ġenituri li jedukaw lill-uliedhom

Jien nikkommetti ruħi li niżgura li l-UE tipprovdi edukazzjoni xierqa għat-tfal u ż-żgħażagħ tagħna. Fil-programmi kollha tagħha l-UE għandha tirrispetta u tippromwovi d-drittijiet tal-ġenituri li jedukaw lill-uliedhom f’konformità mat-tradizzjonijiet kulturali, morali u reliġjużi tagħhom, skont il-Konvenzjoni tan-NU dwar id-Drittijiet tat-Tfal.

Ir-rispett tal-Ħajja mill-konċepiment sat-tmiem naturali

Jien nikkommetti ruħi li nirrispetta d-dinjità ta’ kull persuna umana, fil-fażijiet kollha tagħha mill-konċepiment sal-mewta naturali. Jien se naħdem biex ninkoraġġixxi policies u l-aqwa prattiċi li jipprovdu attenzjoni speċjali għat-tfal, qabel u wara t-twelid, kif ukoll lill-ommijiet kif ukoll lill-familji adottivi jew dawk li jipprovdu foster care. Nikkometti ruħi li nopponi kull tentattivi ta’ leġislazzjoni Ewropea li timponi l-abort fuq xi Stat Membru jew pajjiżi oħra.

Migrazzjoni, ażil u integrazzjoni

Jien se naħdem favur sforz ġdid biex jinstabu soluzzjonijiet effettivi u komuni dwar il-migrazzjoni, l-ażil, l-integrazzjoni u d-demografija. L-integrazzjoni mhix biss għall-persuni li jidħlu fl-UE, iżda wkoll għall-ċittadini tal-UE li jmorru pajjiżi ieħor li mhux tagħhom. Filwaqt li għandhom japprezzaw t-tħassib mill-aspett ta’ sigurà tal-Istati Membri, dawn is-soluzzjonijiet m’għandhomx ikasbru r-rispett tad-Dinjità Umana. Jien se naħdem favur strateġija b’saħħitha u kreattiva biex jinstab bilanċ xieraq bejn il-ħarsien tad-drittijiet taċ-ċittadini tal-UE, biex tiġi żgurata viabilità demografika u sostenbbiltà kulturali għall-Ewropea, filwaqt li niżguraw li l-migranti jkunu megħjuna u aċċettati.

Ekoloġija integrali

L-isfidi ambjentali u ekonomiċi ma jistgħux jinfirdu minn xulxin. Ir-raġuni għaliex l-ambjent sejjer lura mhix it-tkabbir tal-popolazzjoni iżda pjuttost il-konsumeriżmu eċċessiv u l-inġustizzji soċjali globali. Il-qerda tal-ambjent taffettwa bl-aktar mod negattiv lill-ifqar persuni. Bħala l-ħlejjaq li għandna r-responsabbiltà li nħarsu l-ħolqien ta’ Alla, aħna nikkommettu lilna nfusna li nippromwovu azzjonijiet li jpoġġu l-umanità u n-natura f’armonija. Jien se nistinka biex nikkontribwixxi għal politika Ewropea li tagħti għażla preferenzjali lill-fqar, solidarjetà lil dawk l-aktar vulnerabbli, il-ġid komuni u responsabbiltà interġenerazzjonali għall-ekoloġija tagħna.

Id-diġitalizazzjoni għas-servizz tal-poplu

Li nieħdu kontroll lura fuq ħajjitna quddiem ir-realtà tad-diġitalizazzjoni timplika deċiżjoni li jwasslu biex l-ekonomija u l-finanzi jservu aħjar lill-persuni, speċjalment l-aktar vulnerabbli. Id-diġitalizazzjoni għandha impatt fuq kulħadd u kull ma nafu (il-futur tax-xogħol, il-ħarsien tad-dejta personali, l-użu differenti tal-inteliġenza artifiċjali). Jien se naħdem favur il-ħolqien ta’ policies li jiżguraw li t-teknoloġiji emerġenti jħarsu ċ-ċentralità tal-persuna umana u biex dawn l-iżviluppi pożittivi jintużaw fi ħdan qafas etiku b’saħħtu.

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

“Rebuilding community in Europe”

A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019

 

Inspired by the declaration of European Bishops statement “Rebuilding community in Europe”, Cana Movement and Catholic Voices Malta supported by the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Malta propose the following Manifesto of 12 guiding principles that Catholic voters should look for in selecting their preferred candidates for the upcoming European Parliament elections. We also call on all citizens to engage in this important political process and exercise their discernment when voting for the 2019 European elections.

The European Parliament elections are not a local electoral contest but a European one. They should not be perceived as a vote of trust or distrust in a Party in Government or some Party in Opposition. Our vote will be cast for individual candidates, local political parties but also European political groups that will shape Europe’s values, policies and actions.

As citizens we are called to discern the extent to which:
•  the candidates we are voting for,
•  the local political party they will represent, and
•  the European political Group they will form part of
in their manifestos reflect the values and policies that we aspire to see shaping the European Union of tomorrow.

We are also encouraged not to fall into the temptation of inward looking partisanship, or to merely vote for a party without discerning the choice of the candidate. We elect individuals who will represent parties but more importantly, represent us and our values. We therefore encourage voters to exercise their rights and question candidates on these 12 important issues that will define their personal engagement at a European level once elected.
We are also obliged to look at the manifestos of the respective European Parliament Groupings and weigh their choices in line with the values and policies that we would like to see promoted.

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 and protect life from conception to its 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.

Dr. Arthur Galea Salamone – Chairman Cana Movement, Tonio Fenech – Coordinator Catholic Voices Malta and Daniel Darmanin – President Commission for Justice and Peace

THE MANISFESTO

“Rebuilding community in Europe”
A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019

I embrace the following fundamental principles that will guide my actions and political decisions once elected to the European Parliament.

Human dignity for all

Human dignity is something that cannot be taken away. Each and every person has unconditional value, worthy of great respect and should be free from any form of slavery, manipulation and exploitation. I will promote options and policies that are shaped by the total respect of human dignity.

Subsidiarity

European institutions should take active steps to favour the personal and collective engagement of all citizens in a true, creative and respectful dialogue and endeavour not to impose unilateral decisions.

Common identity

The EU needs to rediscover its founding values, common identity and value of solidarity, as it seeks to revitalise the social links that exist in and amongst countries and peoples. I will work for an EU that is protective of the families, the most vulnerable and of cultures.

Unity in diversity

Unity in diversity implies common rules that account for legitimate protection and promotion of freedoms and liberties through democratic practices that exemplify accountability, transparency and a just application of the Rule of Law.

Dialogue with Churches and religious communities

In line with Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), I will work towards a more meaningful dialogue with Churches and religious communities.

Young families

Young Europeans need to feel reassured and supported to be in a condition to form a family. Family-friendly rules and practices should be developed at the EU level to accompany the integral human development of persons, families and communities. The well-being of the human family is linked with a Union that fosters a social market economy. The family should be the starting point from which working conditions are designed, to facilitate family time together and create the right balance between family and working life.

Demography

Demography needs to regain prominence in EU policy. The decrease of the European births rates need to be addressed through concrete measures to change current trends.

The right of parents to educate their children

I undertake to ensure that the EU provides the appropriate education for our children and youth. In all its programmes the EU should respect and promote the rights of parents to educate their children in conformity with their cultural, moral and religious traditions, in line with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Respecting life from conception to natural end

I pledge to respect the dignity of every human person, at all its stages, from conception to natural death. I will work towards encouraging policies and best practices that provide special care to all children, before and after birth, and to the mothers as well as foster care families and adoptive families. I pledge to oppose any European legislative attempts to impose abortion on any Member State and other countries.

Migration, asylum and integration

I will work toward a renewed effort to find effective and shared solutions concerning migration, asylum, integration and demography. Integration is a matter not only for people entering the EU, but also for EU citizens moving to a country other than their own. While appreciative of security concerns of member states, these should never trample upon the respect of Human Dignity. I will work towards a bold and creative strategy that seeks the right balance between protecting the rights of EU citizens, ensuring demographic viability and cultural sustainability for Europe, whilst ensuring assistance to and acceptance of migrants.

Integral ecology

Environmental and economic challenges are inseparable. The cause of environmental degradation is not population growth but rather extreme consumerism and global social injustice. Environmental degradation effects worst the poorer. As stewards of God’s creation, we commit ourselves to promote actions that place humanity and nature in harmony. I will strive to contribute towards a European policy founded on the preferential option for the poor, solidarity with the more vulnerable, the common good and the intergenerational responsibility for our ecology.

Digitalisation at the service of people

Taking back control of our lives in the face of digitalisation implies decisions to make economy and finance better serve the people, especially the most vulnerable. Digitalisation has an impact on all and everything we know (the future of work, protection of personal data, the multiple uses of artificial intelligence). I will work towards the creation of policies that ensue that new emerging technologies preserve the centrality of the human person and channels these positive developments within a solid ethical framework.

Can Nationalism and Globalisation live together? By Tonio Fenech for Catholic Voices Malta

Flemish nationalists attend a protest against Marrakesh Migration Pact in Brussels, Belgium December 16, 2018. Jacket reads “Right, without complexes”. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

While Theresa May and Westminster continue haggling towards a Brexit outcome, the world is awakening to growing nationalistic sentiments. Easy to brush such sentiments as extreme, however it would be wrong to forget that these are born many times from genuine political disappointments and fears, that mainstream politicians prefer to forget.

The global capitalist economic system that globalisation produced failed many people miserably. Those who saw globalisation as a means towards international economic equity and the eradication of poverty, forget that liberal free market thinkers were never concerned with such ideals.

While the global economic model has been left to evolve at its own accord, into an economic system that Pope Francis described it fruits as “Killing”; the EU sought a different path advancing the values of peace and solidarity, and a more social market model, despite some mistakes.

The global economic system remains globally unchecked despite its grave failings. Its fruits include huge income disparities between countries and societies and the culmination of the global economic crises of 2009 that devastated the lives of millions of people around the world.

The price for liberal economic globalisation was also the globalisation of liberal moral philosophies that watered down national cultural values. Despite popular unhappiness, many saw this as the consequential price to pay for the promised economic wellness. However, the global economic crises left many short changed.

Rising global economic disparities, global warming and regional conflicts are fuelling mass migration. Economic failure and unemployment, the weakening of cultural identity and values, compounded with mass immigration is causing a perfect storm, that may not end well.

Globalisation is not the making of some international organisation lurking in the background trying to create a new world order or a super transnational state as some like to conspire. The historian Yuval Noah Harari in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century rightly points out that globalisation is the baby of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.

The first world war did not manage to create a new order because it was more of the same at a bigger scale. The history of mankind was built on tribal wars seeking to extend borders and command greater political and economic influence. Hiroshima changed it all. Peoples now feared the war that would effectively annihilate them completely. Hiroshima awakened Governments to the reality that only peace and cooperation would deter global nuclear destruction. Transnational and global institutions were created such as the UN, the EU, NATO, the Warsaw Pact and so on. Meanwhile the US, Russia, China and other less trustworthy countries build their arsenals. Those who cry US, Britain, Malta first, forget that without a strong system of international cooperation nobody escapes nuclear destruction. 75 years from the Second World War, global cooperation, despite its shortcomings managed to avert the third and final global war. We cannot go back.

While nuclear weapons are harmless if they remain locked in an arsenal and level-headed politicians refrain from pushing the self-destruction button, globally we are facing an equally series threat to humanity’s survival, the threat to our ecology. We are all pressing the self-destructive button with our indifferent or denial of the ecological collapse that surrounds us. While the older generation worries about its pensions, the younger generation worries about the environment and what will remain of it.

The enormous quantities of waste and poison we are dumping is changing the composite of soil, contaminating our food, water and our atmosphere. Rivers, lakes and oceans poisoned with plastics and fertilizers used in over farming. We are losing more natural habitats and seeing the extinction of many animals and plants. Despite all the promises, global emissions are still rising; deserts are expanding, forcing migration to northern cooler regions and ice-caps disappearing, making oceans rise, sinking human coastal habitats, also forcing migration.

The world’s addiction to fossil fuels, like all addictions is bring humanity’s destruction. While nuclear war is a potential, ecological destruction is happening. Can any country stop this ecological time bomb alone? Individual, community, national efforts are important, but no country can save the planet alone. Countries need to look beyond national interests. Let’s take global warming; warmer temperatures make hot regions deserts and cold regions more pleasant. From a national interest view point a colder country is not concerned with CO2s emissions as global warming is suiting it. This country however then cannot protest that people in the hotter regions want to migrate to that country when their home is now in a desert. Without a global and transgenerational perspective our selfishness and national interests will breed the global ecological collapse a not so distant future generation may not survive.

Technological disruption is the buzz word of the modern world. Technological disruption can however also become the next human existential threat. If the global community treats technological evolution with the same laissez affair attitude that it treated the global economic evolution, the risks of an AI “being” going for it alone will not be movie fiction for long. While today various countries impose ethical restrictions especially in the biological sphere, like not allowing EU scientists to genetically modify human embryos, who is stopping the likes of China or Japan from doing otherwise. If some development confers an economic or military advantage to the country that makes the discovery others will follow suit, they cannot be left behind. Today disruptive technologies such as AI and bioengineering are moving towards changing the very nature of humanity and possibly creating a new more powerful specie. What we create may not be as benevolent to its human creator as we might wish. This should come to no surprise; we have not been so benevolent to our own Creator. If mankind fails to impose globally accepted ethical standards, Dr Frankenstein is waiting in the shadows.
While remaining proud of our national identities and history, the world needs to transcend former divisions and collaborate genuinely to forge a common destiny. I am not advocating for a super global government. However, the major challenges the world is facing are global and therefore require global solutions.

We need a different model of globalisation, one founded on values, the concept of a family of nations, to harness the global economy into promoting economic equality and social justice, adopting global social cohesion policies that address the challenges of migration through meaningful economic and ecological interventions like create work opportunities for peoples, in their own villages and cities and reversing global warming. We need multilateral structures that avoid pressing the button of nuclear self-destruction and ensure that technological disruption remains at the service of humanity, rather than at its destruction.

Can Nationalism and Globalisation live together? They cannot afford otherwise.

Tonio Fenech is a member of Catholic Voices Malta

This article appeared on the Newsbook Blogg https://www.newsbook.com.mt/blogg/2019/04/29/can-nationalism-and-globalisation-live-together/?lang=en

The Middle Ground – Tonio Fenech for Catholic Voices Malta

 

Wise Solomon had a very though decision to make when confronted with two women claiming to be the mother of a surviving baby, after one mother lost her newly born at sleep. Solomon sought the middle ground, offering to divide the babies in two, a half each. The mother, terrified of what the middle ground meant offered her son to the lying woman. Solomon recognising the selflessness act of the mother, gave the son back to her.
The call by Dr Andrea Dibben in her article of the 14th April, to explore the middle ground in the abortion debate unfortunately offers no different outcome for the unborn child. Contrary to Dibbens belief, this is not about personal morality, but about the fundamental right to life, that today our laws protect in everyone’s interest.

Urging us to explore abortion from philosophical theories that seek to deny the basic scientific facts that a human is always a human at whatever stage of its development, colour, race, gender, etc., and dehumanising the individual with devastating consequences. Black people enslaved; Jews, ethnic Poles, the Roma, “incurably sick”, gay people and others, exterminated in the Holocaust. Today, societies that deny women legal rights, deeming them lesser legal persons, with husbands granted the right to kill their wives in case of adultery; Brunei just legalised the stoning of gays; the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient, that was exposed to have deliberately killed perfectly heathy bed ridden patients through hunger, without their consent, for budget cuts; Denmark and Iceland boasting that they are 100% down syndromes free, by aborting all diagnosed down syndrome unborn babies. Need we more illustrations of the effects of philosophical dehumanization, as pro-abortionists seek to do of the unborn child to justify its killing.
Dibbens seems to want a debate exclusively on her terms, i.e. excluding any moral and scientific arguments. This indeed makes any middle ground very difficult to find. If we want to find common solutions these need to share in the interest of supporting the mother and the unborn child.
It is science not religion that tells us that from the moment of conception in the womb lives a distinct human being and not merely a bunch of cells, like a cancer that kills you. It is science that tell us that these cells are not a potential, but the start of a life that if left uninterrupted from human intervention, sickness or accident will live till old age allows it to no longer generate further and die.

We appreciate that a pregnant mother may be facing difficulties due to a pregnancy, but as Pope Francis so bluntly put it “hiring a hitman to resolve a problem”, is no middle ground solution.

This leads me to the second point. A discussion needs to be based on honest facts.

Going through the 30 Q&A infographics that Dibbens describes as facts and arguments that seek to dispel myths on abortion, I found these to be nothing more than a sales pitch based on a mix of unfounded statements, fudges and misrepresentations.

Abortion is a health care issue (myth 1), is certainly not the case for the killed unborn child.

Saying that an unwanted pregnancy damages a woman’s health (14) but then denying (myth 2,13) that aborting the child within you, the most unnatural thing to do, has no mental health implication, is a what? The internet is full of testimonies of women who remained traumatised, anguished and regretted their decision to abort a child.

Selling the idea that because most abortions are done before 8 weeks then they are ok (myth 4); begs the question, if after they are not ok at 9 weeks what makes 8 weeks less human? Science is clear, the zygote, foetus, unborn child is human from second one, from conception, not from 9 weeks.
Myth 7 sells the idea that because the foetus up to 24 weeks feels no pain begs the question since when felling pain makes one deserving to live or to die? So if you give someone a pain killer then you can kill him or her?
Myth 8 is an outright deception that keeps being used by pro-abortionists like the Trojan horse. The infographic claims that an abortion done to protect the mother’s life is a crime. False. Maltese Health protocols are clear, if the mother’s life is at risk, a doctor is obliged to save the mother’s life even if the consequence is the loss of the child. We simply do not call this an abortion but a miscarriage.

The article does not allow me space to go into all infographics, but this is the sort of misinformation we are starting to be feed.

Dibbens also misreads as overwhelmingly positive feedback the reach of 180,000 people through this Facebook campaign. Facebook reach is not a sign of overwhelming support, many people reached do not even read the post it merely scrolls in front of them. When I entered the Page verify response the Page had 1,046 Likes at the time of writing, a response rate of less than 0.6% of the Facebook reach, not overwhelming at all.

Thank you Mr. President for the firm message of defence of life you have sent in your inaugural speech. Kudos to the Maltese Government who this month, at the United Nations 52nd Session of the Commission for Population and Development, reaffirmed Malta’s clear and unequivocal position against the interpretation of abortion as a sexual and reproductive health service, stating clearly “the right to heath does not include the right to abortion as this goes against the right to life, which is paramount”.

What we need today is a renewed effort to continue nourishing this beautiful culture of respecting life, agreeing here with the Prime Minister that it needs to include all life, even that of migrants at sea.

Let us discuss the support systems that pregnant mothers in difficulty need, how to create situations where mothers that cannot take responsibility for their child, are assisted to either for so or help them transition the child toward adoption or foster care, in the most discreet and respectful manner. These are the middle ground solutions that together we should work around, solutions that do not pit the mother against the child, or place the unborn child under the knife.

This article was published by the Malta Independent on the 18th April 2019

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-04-18/newspaper-opinions/The-middle-ground-6736206848

 

Successfully completion of the Catholic Voices Malta training course Development of Article Writing Skills

As part of our mission to enable more Catholics to be a relevant voice in society during the months of March and April, Catholic Voices Malta organised a course for four participants keen on being a voice through the written media.    The course dealt with issues like the Communication Triangle i.e.  distinguishing between audiences, the purpose of the article and the Catholic Voices method of communication;  the distinction between editing and revising and learning how to give and receive feedback.   The course also focused on writing for effectiveness and exploring different writing strategies and rhetorical devices,  identifying the article to respond to and formulating the Catholic Voices Reframe methodology.

The course participants found the course a strong learning experience and we all thank Sandro Spiteri for designing and delivery of the course.

Pope Francis Letter to the Youths “Church, world need the gifts, enthusiasm of young people”

The Vatican today published Pope Francis’s reflection on the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people.   The reflection is titled “Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”), and is a letter to young people about their place in the Church and a plea to older members of the Church not to stifle the enthusiasm of the young, but to offer gentle guidance when needed.

The Pope describes the life of a young person and the vocation to which God calls each one of them as “holy ground”.

In the document, released April 2, Pope Francis talked about how the sex abuse crisis, a history of sexism and an overly narrow focus on just a handful of moral issues can keep young people away from the Church.

But he also said many young people want to know and understand the teachings of the Church and, despite what many people think, they long for and need times of silent reflection and opportunities to serve their communities.

“A Church always on the defensive, which loses her humility and stops listening to others, which leaves no room for questions, loses her youth and turns into a museum,” Pope Francis wrote. “How, then, will she be able to respond to the dreams of young people?”

Young people have a natural desire to improve the life of the church and the world around them, the pope said. If older people in the church will let the young people try, it will keep the church youthful, too.

“Let us ask the Lord to free the Church from those who would make her grow old, encase her in the past, hold her back or keep her at a standstill,” Pope Francis wrote. “But let us also ask him to free her from another temptation: that of thinking she is young because she accepts everything the world offers her, thinking that she is renewed because she sets her message aside and acts like everybody else.”

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, holds Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Christus Vivit” (Christ Lives), during a news conference for its presentation at the Vatican April 2, 2019. The document contains the pope’s reflections on the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment. (CNS photo/CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-EXHORTATION-YOUNG April 2, 2019.

The core of the Pope’s message to young people was that they remember they are loved by God and saved by Jesus, who continues to live and act in the world and in their lives.

“His love is so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue,” even when one is angry with God, the Pope said. “He does not get upset if you share your questions with him. He is concerned when you don’t talk to him, when you are not open to dialogue with him.”

Drawing on the final documents from the synod and from a presynod gathering of young people in Rome, Pope Francis urged parishes and dioceses to rethink their young and young adult programs and to make changes based on what young people themselves say they want and need.

“Young people need to be approached with the grammar of love, not by being preached at,” he said. “The language that young people understand is spoken by those who radiate life, by those who are there for them and with them. And those who, for all their limitations and weaknesses, try to live their faith with integrity.”

Directly addressing young people, he said, “Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus!”

And, he told them, reach out to other young people, do not be afraid to mention Jesus and to invite friends to church or a church-sponsored activity.
“With the same love that Christ pours out on us,” the Pope said, “we can love him in turn and share his love with others in the hope that they too will take their place in the community of friendship he established.”

Youth ministry cannot be elitist or focused only on the teens and young adults already active in the Church’s life, he said. It must be “a process that is gradual, respectful, patient, hopeful, tireless and compassionate,” as Jesus was when he walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Parents, pastors and spiritual guides must have “the ability to discern pathways where others only see walls, to recognize potential where others see only peril. That is how God the Father see things; he knows how to cherish and nurture the seeds of goodness sown in the hearts of the young.”

“Each young person’s heart should thus be considered ‘holy ground,’ a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must ‘take off our shoes’ in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the mystery.”

A long section of the document is focused on discerning one’s vocation, which, he said, always is a call to serve God and serve others, but always in a unique way.

Discovering one’s vocation, he said, “has to do with finding our true selves in the light of God and letting our lives flourish and bear fruit.”

For most young people that will mean marrying, forming a family and working, the Pope said.

“Within the vocation to marriage we should acknowledge and appreciate that ‘sexuality, sex, is a gift from God. It is not taboo. It is a gift from God, a gift the Lord gives us,'” he wrote. Sexuality “has two purposes: to love and to generate life. It is passion, passionate love. True love is passionate. Love between a man and a woman, when it is passionate, always leads to giving life. Always. To give life with body and soul.”

Pope Francis also encouraged young people not to dismiss out of hand the fact that God may be calling them to priesthood or religious life.
God’s call to each person is individual, made-to-measure just for him or her, the pope said, so discovering that call can be done only with calm, silence, prayer and the wise help of someone who truly knows how to listen and ask the right questions.

A vocation, he said, is a gift that “will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life; it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you. It will be a perfect fit for your entire life.”

One can read the Letter by pressing the link hereunder:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20190325_christus-vivit.html

‘Low unemployment does not mean adequate wages’ – Malta Independent interview with Tonio Fenech for Catholic Voices Malta

by Kevin Schembri Orland for Malta Independent , Monday, 4 March 2019,

Former Finance Minister Tonio Fenech has issued a warning about Malta’s current economic boom, highlighting that the economy needs better management as while the country registers positive economic growth, a number of negative impacts are also visible and growing.

Recently Fenech, through the group Catholic Voices Malta, highlighted certain concerns about the Maltese economy. Responding to news reports regarding the importation of workers from Turkey to work on construction projects, Fenech asked: “Why are we over-building our country in the name of economic growth and job creation. We are building mega high quality projects as though all the rich people in the world will come to live in Malta, while causing shortages in the housing market that caters for lower to medium income families and first time buyers making prices unaffordable – and the jobs created for whom? Foreign workers paid €800 per month?”

Talking to The Malta Independent on Sunday, Fenech questioned what the impact of Malta’s current economic reality is, which, while having positives such as economic growth, is also having negative impacts.

“Unfortunately, in my opinion, what we are seeing today is an economy growing from sectors which, in themselves, over-expose the country to other pressures. Development was always a component in the country’s economic development. However, injecting a significant pipeline of large projects into the economy which in itself creates economic growth – as construction alone creates such growth – one needs to question what impact this will leave on the economy at large. In order to sustain the economic growth we are seeing in terms of construction, we are simply increasing significant pressure on the need to import labour. We are solving the problem of building all these projects by importing labour which is evidently being brought in at very cheap rates.”

He said that when importing cheap labour to sustain economic growth, in terms of the theory of supply and demand, if supply is meeting demand at a low price, then these low wage levels become the benchmark for the rest of the economy. He said that Maltese workers who aspired to have a better a wage while working in the construction sector are having their ambitions frustrated, “as they will be told they are not needed as workers paid €800 a month could be brought in from abroad to carry out the same work”.

He said that many question why they do not see Maltese working in jobs like construction or in the restaurant industry. “The only reason is that this demand is being satisfied by cheap labour imported from abroad, and the Maltese, aspiring for a better quality of life would most likely be paid even lower than they used to be in those same jobs.”

So in reality, who is benefiting from this economic growth? The country’s economic strategy should have Maltese families as its core focus; in reality, it is not benefiting Maltese workers, but only benefiting the major companies undertaking these major projects, he said.

A second major impact in relation to this reality is the housing required to support imported labour, he said.

“This is a complex situation as we have these mega projects being constructed, not for the average income families, but for foreigners able to purchase or rent at substantially high prices in five-star locations.”

He said that most people coming to Malta for work look to live in more reasonable priced housing. He said he is not just referring to construction workers, but also the much higher paid sectors like the online gaming industry. “We’ve even seen comments from companies in the online gaming sector that the rents are becoming so high that employees they try to bring to Malta are finding it unaffordable. Now everyone knows that the online gaming industry pays good wages. So if these people being paid good wages cannot the rent prices in Malta, what about the families who do not work in the gaming sector?”

“Does this mean we are xenophobic and that we don’t want foreigners? No it doesn’t, any economy needs an element of foreign workers, but when one looks at how an economy evolves, and if the primary purpose is the wellbeing of Maltese families, then we should not take economic measures which overheat the economy and create social problems to families . An economy requires pacing.”

“We are not seeing the pacing of projects and it seems that the authorities have decided to give blanket approvals to massive projects, all coming up at the same time, which in itself is overheating the situation,” he argued.
Asked whether, theoretically, Maltese would go for more well-paid jobs, he said he hopes they will be able to find such jobs, but the rates of say early school leavers is still an issue. “The unemployment rate is low but this does not mean that the level of wages workers are paid is adequate. Unfortunately, with the pricy rise in the property market, people with an average wage are finding it difficult to buy. Even rents are very high. When you talk about paying €1,000 a month for a decent apartment… how many people earn €20,000 to €24,000 a year? There are also many people buying property to rent, and this is also creating an artificial demand. People think that as many foreign workers are coming to Malta, they purchase a property, fix it up and rent it. But this is only sustainable as long as more and more foreign workers continue to come to the islands.” He questioned whether the country’s infrastructure could handle this, and highlighted the environmental impacts such a situation could create.

“At the moment we are attracting a lot of business in the online gaming industry, in blockchain and Fintech, which is all well and good, but they are very volatile industries.”

Asked what could be done in order to minimise the issues he mentioned and the negative impact of the current economic boom, he said there are measures which can be taken, like pacing the projects approval process.
He said that, in terms of the number of foreign workers, the government needs to study the situation in order to ensure that this policy is not having a counter negative impact on housing markets, unreasonable low wage pressures and rights.

“The Prime Minister had said that we need this in order to sustain pensions, but I question this argument as the current party in government, when they were in Opposition, used to say there was no pension issue. So why is this argument being thrown at us as the reason to accept this economic strategy?”

If one looks at what other countries did when it came to importing labour, they were more restrictive, he said. “First of all we have opened our doors to anyone in the world when we are already in the EU. Obviously, contractors would prefer to bring in workers from outside the EU as wages would be lower. If you leave it in the hands of developers and the business community, they will go for the cheapest option as their motivation is, obviously, to maximise profits. That is why we need a government that will balance the drive for profits with other social aspects that meet our economy.
“In reality, with the present economic growth rates wages should also be increasing more meaningfully, because theoretically increased wage demands are met. This is not happening because in terms of cheap labour the sky seems to be the limit, so the demand and supply is distorted. You cannot have an income policy giving a €1 increase per week increase over three years beyond the COLA.”

The benefits of the economy need to be shared and the pressures managed. Even in terms of the number and size of projects we approve each year, they need to be seen in the context of the wider impact on society, Fenech explains. “This is also in the interest of all the developers as at some point supply and demand will kick in, and, if the demand for such apartments does not meet a situation of over-supply, there could be a significant impact. Are we making the mistakes of the countries that crashed before us?”

If you overheat an economy, you could create income disparities and inflation which does not match wage increases, meaning that people effectively become poorer, and that is a problem the property situation is creating, he said. “Who is addressing the issues of medium-income families who cannot afford purchasing their own home? We need affordable housing for people who used to, traditionally, afford such housing. Home ownership needs to remain at the centre of public policy”

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-03-04/local-news/Low-unemployment-does-not-mean-adequate-wages-Former-Finance-Minister-6736204413