The Malta Independent 3 December 2023, Sunday
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Daphne’s funeral: We need unshackled journalists – Archbishop Scicluna

Friday, 3 November 2017, 13:37 Last update: about 7 years ago

Archbishop Charles Scicluna said Malta needed unshackled journalists who are free, intelligent, inquisitive, honest, serene, safe and protected.

In his homily during the funeral Mass for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Scicluna also had a message for Daphne’s killers: “Whoever took part, in one way or another, in Daphne’s murder, I have this to tell you: However hard you try to evade from the justice of men, you will never escape from the justice of God.”


Malta is observing a national day of mourning as the funeral of Daphne Caruana Galizia takes place in the Malta’s largest church. As Caruana Galizia's coffin was carried outside, people inside the church filed into the parvis while chanting "justice" and "Daphne". People could be seen queuing up to pay their respects to Caruana Galizia's three children and husband. The crowd erupted into applause several times. 

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani attended the funeral Mass, which is being celebrated in Mosta, near Caruana Galizia's village, by Archbishop Charles Scicluna. Top government and opposition figures, including President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Opposition leader Adrian Delia have said they will respect the family's wishes and stay away.

Among the people attending the ceremony are President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami and former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.

Caruana Galizia was killed on 16 October by a car bomb, but investigators have yet to make arrests in the case. The FBI and Europol are helping the Malta police, while Dutch experts were also brought in to assist in seeking clues from forensic evidence lifted from the scene of the crime, a few hundred metres from Caruana Galizia's home.

There was a heavy police presence outside the Mosta church, where a few hundred people gathered on the perimeter of the square to watch the proceedings. Inside, the church was filled with family, friends and many others who may not have known Daphne but who admired her courage and followed her blog religiously.

The Archbishop’s homily in full is below:

For God alone my soul waits in silence.” This verse from Psalm 62 articulates the faith of the Church and of every Christian when faced with the profound mystery of death. Our presence here today is the expression of this faith. “I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.”

We are gathered here today to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the soul of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The prayer of the Church is marked by an insightful realism about the human condition. As time passes, each one of us, with his strengths and weaknesses, draws closer to death. The heartfelt prayer by Saint George Preca: “Have mercy on me before judging me”, applies to all of us. As we pray to God to grant eternal rest to Daphne, we will also pray that he will have mercy on her.

In the course of our lives, the dramatic struggle between good and evil occurs repeatedly, as we heard in the Second Reading from the Book of Revelations: “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.” The victory of good over evil is well expressed in the name of the Archangel: Michael – ‘Who is like God?’. On the other hand, the enemy of good is called “the Dragon”, “the Devil and Satan”, “the deceiver of the whole world”, “the accuser of our brethren”. He is also called “the Father of lies” and a “Killer”.

We are gathered here today to pray for Daphne, the victim of murderous violence that cut short the life of a woman, a mother, a journalist. Our presence must also be a message of solidarity with her husband Peter, with her sons Matthew, Andrew and Paul, with her parents and her sisters, her relatives and friends.

We still do not know who killed Daphne. Whoever took part, in one way or another, in Daphne’s murder, I have this to tell you: However hard you try to evade from the justice of men, you will never escape from the justice of God. Repent before it is too late.

To you journalists, Daphne’s colleagues, I repeat what I have already told you: do not be afraid. I encourage you never to grow weary in your mission to be the eyes, the ears, and the mouth of the people. Do this without fear and with full respect of the truth. Dear journalists, we need you. We need people in your profession who are unshackled, who are free, intelligent, inquisitive, honest, serene, safe and protected.

To Daphne’s sons, Matthew, Andrew, and Paul, I would like to give a message of courage. As you know, whenever your mother was abroad, she had a habit of lighting a candle in church for each one of you: the silent prayer of a mother for her children. Remember the words of the Gospel proclaimed today: “He who does what is true comes to the light”. Your beloved mother died a cruel death by the hidden hand of someone that valued darkness over the light for his actions are evil. See that you will always be the children of the light.


Daphne Funeral from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

To my fellow Maltese brethren: I tell you to always take care of each other. I pray that the hard and contemptuous words with which we demonise and denigrate each cease once and for all. May we enjoy true freedom and prosperity in solidarity. Ħares, Mulej lil din l-art ħelwa. (Guard, O Lord, our dear motherland). “Ħares, Mulej, kif dejjem Int ħarist”. (“Guard her, O Lord, as you have always guarded her”).

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