Credit: knisja.mt/ritratti

 

Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Auxiliary Bishop Galea Curmi are appealing to Maltese people to change their attitudes about foreigners and to not to see them as, ‘our enemies’

The religious leaders of the Archdiocese of Malta, say that Malta is adopting its default defensive position on outsiders which it has used throughout Malta’s textured centuries of history, the fear of attack, enslavement and destruction.

Thus, they fear that this position is being maintained when it comes to foreign nationals coming to live and work in Malta. Instead, they believe that the Maltese should demonstrate strong Christian morals towards foreigners living in Malta.

‘People coming to live among us looking for a better life are not our enemies but become a part of our prosperity and cultural heritage. Foreigners living in our country are human beings like us who have the same human dignity and the same fundamental rights we enjoy.’

The two religious leaders say that it is important that we are able to welcome them and treat them as we wish to be treated.

‘If these people have not yet met Jesus Christ, what are they going to say when they meet us, the family of Jesus, and they hear us talking about Him? What are they going to say when they see how we live the blessings Jesus himself taught us? What are they going to say when they see how we celebrate our faith? And above all, what are the foreigners coming to live here going to say when they see how we treat them, how we pay them as a living, what we offer them when it comes to dwelling places?’

Feast of Pentecost

Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Auxiliary Bishop Galea Curmi deliver their message on inclusion in a Pastoral letter ahead of commemorations on Sunday for the Feast of Pentecost. The event marks 50 days since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday and the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the disciples united in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

They state that in celebrating Pentecost, ‘we are commemorating the fact that the gift of the Holy Spirit brings together people speaking different languages who come in contact with those who witness to Jesus. As a result of this, they can see the power of Jesus. In this way we can see how the shameful divisions between people can be eliminated.’

Golden opportunity

Scicluna and Galea Curmi say that in light of such situations involving exclusion and xenophobia, it is time to reacquaint ourselves with the importance of celebrating diversity and loving one another.

They state that this was a ‘gift from God’ and is fundamental to the creation of inclusive societies, ‘where the fundamental rights of every human being, whoever he is, are respected and protected.’

Through this, it is possible to examine ourselves and then begin to build connections with people that will overcome our differences.

‘Instead of pointing at others, we Catholics should start by looking at ourselves and continue building bridges which, starting from our hearts, go forth and extend over and above and beyond the depths of racism, all kinds of prejudice and fear of all that is foreign, that is all forms of xenophobia.’

The two representatives add that inclusion and diversity are gifts from the Creator, ‘As a community of faith, hope and love, it is necessary that we as Catholics examine those aspects of our religious practice that owe their origin to rivalry, envy, a superiority complex, pride, arrogance, prejudices, hatred and fear. This sour fruit does not come from the hand of God. As St Paul teaches us, “the fruit of the spirit” is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:23). These human qualities which are God’s gifts create in us a sense of respect towards the dignity and integrity of every person we meet.’