The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

Bishop Emmanuel Gerada Passes away

Malta Independent Saturday, 22 January 2011, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

Bishop Emmanuel Gerada passed away at Mater Dei Hospital early yesterday morning.

Bishop Gerada, who had retired in Malta in 1995, died at the age of 91.

He was well-known for his pivotal role in the clashes between the Church and the Malta Labour Party in the 1960s after he had been sent to Malta forming part of a Vatican’s diplomatic contingent, to come up with a long-term resolution on the issue between the MLP and the Church. After lengthy discussions between both parties, an agreement signed by Mgr Gerada himself had been reached.


Born in Zejtun in 1920, he was educated at the Lyceum, the Archbishop’s seminary and University. He was ordained priest, by bishop Emmanuel Galea in 1 August 1943 and in 1964, he was awarded a licentiate in theology. He then furthered his studies at Nottingham University College in 1944.

Mgr Gerada obtained his doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian University in 1952 and pursued a course leading to diplomatic service with the Holy See at the Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica in Rome.

He was then appointed attaché to the apostolic internunciature in Egypt in 1952 and private chamberlain to the Pope in 1953. He was transferred as secretary to the apostolic internunciature in India, and appointed secretary to the nunciature in Dublin in 1956 – upon the death of the nuncio, he also performed the duties of chargé d’affaires. His next appointments were those of auditor of the nunciature and chargé d’affaires in Tokyo between 1960 and 1964. He was later posted to the apostolic delegation in Mexico.

In 1965 he was appointed counsellor of the nunciature and domestic prelate by Paul VI and in 1966 chargé d’affaires at Kigali, Rwanda.

On 18 June 1967, Mgr Gerada was consecrated titular bishop of Nomentum by Archbishop Mgr Michael Gonzi and appointed as his auxiliary. After a year, he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Malta.

In 1973 Mgr Gerada resumed his career in the Holy See’s diplomatic service, on his appointment as apostolic nuncio to El Salvador and Guatemala.

Mgr Gerada had been posted as apostolic nuncio in Pakistan in 1980 and in Ireland in 1989.

Funeral arrangements

On Monday, a cortege will leave Mater Dei Hospital at 4pm. At 4.30pm, the coffin will be accompanied by Zejtun’s religious groups and NGOs, from Carlo Diacono Square to the locality’s Oratory beside the parish church.

The public can pay their final respects from 4.30 to 7.30pm on Monday at the Oratory and from 11am to 2pm on Tuesday, at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, where bishop Gerada shall be lying in state.

On Wednesday, a cortege will take Mgr Gerada’s coffin from the Oratory to St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta where funeral Mass will be said by Archbishop Paul Cremona at 3pm. After Mass, the funeral will proceed to San Girgor Cemetery for a private burial. He will be buried in the family grave at San Girgor’s Cemetery in Zejtun.

The PL expressed its condolences to the Gerada family and highlighted Mgr Gerada’s contribution towards the national unity of Maltese society.

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