The best guarantee for the Church's freedom in Malta is freedom of all religions, Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna said.
Interviewed by The Malta Independent online editor Stephen Calleja on INDEPTH, Mgr Scicluna said he is certainly not happy that the number of people who attend Mass on Sunday continues to decline.
Attending Mass on Sundays is not the only criteria that should be used to gauge a person’s life as a Christian.
But attending Sunday Mass is not to only way through which one could express Christianity. “It is an indication, but it is not the most essential one,” he said.
There are people who go to Mass and recite the Apostle’s Creed (Kredu) but who do not follow Christ, he said, quoting from a recent homily delivered by Pope Francis.
Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna says he is not a politician, but what he says is politically relevant.
“Politics is the art of managing society,” he said. Pope Francis has said that politics is one of the best expressions of love towards the common good.
“If the Church’s message is interpreted as being politically partisan then I would consider it as a battle which I would have lost,” he added.
Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna says he has to accept that in a dialogue with society there will be people who are irritated with what he says and react in the only way they know by being aggressive.
Asked for a reaction to the criticism levelled against him each time he speaks his mind by blogger Glenn Bedingfield – with Mgr Scicluna interrupting to point out that the blogger “is being paid from taxes you and I are paying” – and the government’s chief communications officer Kurt Farrugia, the archbishop said that one has to factor in such a response when one takes to the social media.
But those people who can only reply by being aggressive are harming themselves more than they harm their target, he said.