The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

Opinion: Standing up to fear - Archbishop Scicluna

Sunday, 22 October 2017, 09:30 Last update: about 5 years ago

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna

In these past days we have all been shaken by the barbaric killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. I forcefully condemn the murder of a human being, whoever it might be, or whatever one thinks of him or her. God forbid that we resort to murder when we do not share the same opinion. I also condemn whoever commissioned and carried out this obscene act, whoever it is, wherever he or she may be.

The Lord is judge; he will be the one to judge. Everyone has the opportunity to change his or her life, to ask for the forgiveness of sins. However, we cannot escape the debt of justice, be that with human beings but most of all, with God. God is merciful but he is also just.

I pray for Ms Caruana Galizia's family, for her husband, her three sons, her parents and her sisters.

At this critical moment, we must also show solidarity with all our journalists and we entreat them not to be slaves of their pay masters, but servants of liberty and truth.

We, the people, need the service of journalists in order to remain a free nation. Journalists act in our name when they investigate abuse of power, spending from the public purse, and the general state of our country, irrespective of their allegiance to any political party. Such investigations must be done in the light of truth because their loyalty should lie in the pursuit of the common good and the principles of the Constitution and of the Republic of Malta, that on paper at least, still uphold the fundamental human rights.

The authorities must stop telling journalists: "We will not give you this information because it is sensitive". It is astonishing that we do not have accountability and transparency in this country, but only have them paraded on billboards. We want facts not empty words.

The brutal execution of Daphne Caruana Galizia, irrespective of what she wrote, is a defeat for our country. I was alarmed and saddened to see that the manifestation of solidarity organised on the University Campus was so poorly attended! How is it that only 100 people out of a student body of 10,000, attended the vigil of solidarity for a journalist so brutally killed? What kind of students are we educating? Are they only attending a glorified training college with the fancy title of 'university' or are they young people who are applying their talent and their abilities for the common good towards the future leadership of our country? The University of Malta that I know is different. I grew up alongside other university students fighting for our rights and those of our country. God forbid that this country is saddled with generations of young people that are only interested to obtain a sheet of paper that looks appealing on a CV but are wholly devoid of ethical, social, and political sensibilities.

This also applies to those parents who instill fear in their children by teaching them that they are doing a disservice to society if they express themselves about its shortcomings. This is not the time for silence because we are terrified, but a time to stand up to those who attempt to frighten us.

  Charles J. Scicluna

      Archbishop of Malta

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