The Malta Independent 19 October 2018, Friday

Archbishop urges EU migration burden sharing during Independence Day Mass

Friday, 21 September 2018, 12:02 Last update: about 27 days ago

Archbishop Charles Scicluna said today that all European countries should share the burden of migration, saying that when a burden is shared, it becomes lighter to carry.

In his homily during Mass to commemorate Independence Day, Archbishop Scicluna said many populations in Europe and around the world seem to ascribe more value to the individual and national interest over the common interest of the family of nations.

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“Today we need the prophetic voice of solidarity: solidarity between different states and peoples; solidarity in the internal social policies of the state; and intergenerational solidarity, that is solidarity between generations.

As a people, because of our small size and also because of the strategic geographical position of our country, we always understood and promoted international solidarity.

At this juncture of our nation’s history, it is right that the Maltese Government appeals to the principle of solidarity between our fellow members of the European Union in order to find an adequate and efficient response to the phenomenon of immigration.”

The Archbishop said a crisis in solidarity would shake the very foundations on which the European Union is built; it would also undermine the very fabric of the society of nations.

“While we make a heartfelt appeal for solidarity, we acknowledge that we are also committing ourselves to show solidarity to those who are in urgent need of aid; people who are fleeing a cruel environment, a violent contempt of the dignity of the human person, a harsh fate of slavery, even torture and death. Solidarity is also an essential value in the life of Maltese society.

This is expressed in the social policies that the Maltese State has embraced prior to Independence and that have been implemented by all governments from Independence to this day. We can also see this solidarity in the State’s commitment to co-operate and help social partners that promote social action for the common good. Among these we find the Church in Malta, a pioneer in many fields of social and charitable action.

But the Church is not alone in these endeavours. There are several useful initiatives spearheaded by several groups operating in society that are inspired from the necessity and benefits of solidarity.”

Quoting Pope Francis, Scicluna said solidarity ensures that the burden of one is shared with others just as wealth is shared by everyone. “It is understood that when the economy is doing well, as is our case, then solidarity becomes easier. But we also acknowledge that the poor are always with us and the new types of poverty demand of us new expressions of solidarity.”

He emphasized the urgent need for intergenerational solidarity, the solidarity between generations.

“Pope Francis insists on a type of solidarity that does not only consider the immediate impact of decisions but also looks at the consequences that these decisions taken by our generation will have on the quality of life of the future generations that have yet to be born. Among these decisions are those that have an impact on the environmental heritage of our country, on the cultural, historical, architectural and archaeological legacy of this gracious land to which we owe our name.

Every decision we take today will shape our quality of life but it will also shape, for better or for worse, the quality of life of future generations. Thus, we are reminded of our duty and the opportunity to show solidarity with them too. On the solemn day in which we celebrate our independence as a nation, we are reminded that this step brought a great responsibility for us all: the responsibility to live in solidarity with other nations, among ourselves and with future generations.”

The Pontifical Mass was attended by the President, the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, among others.

The Armed Forces of Malta band and guard of honour later marched towards Floriana, where the dignitaries placed wreaths at the foot of the Independence monument. 

Photos: church.mt/photos / DOI

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