The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Ecclesial censorship

Alfred Sant Thursday, 31 May 2018, 07:39 Last update: about 4 years ago

I was at a loss for a reply when asked for my opinion concerning the censorship applied to Mark Montebello. I am not a religious person and disagree totally with censorship. However...

On the one hand, when one becomes a member of a religious order, I guess it’s like joining the army. Indeed as of their very title, dominican friars feature as the Lord’s guard dogs. Given the overall logic of how a religious system is organized, can a guard dog acting on his own, contest the strategy of the regiment’s generals? or give them unsolicited advice in public? This has special relevance given too that the “guard dog” in question chose to be in that situation – not like “real” dogs, who have been born or sold into a “military” way of life.


On the other hand, I stand one hundred per cent against censorship!                      

To be sure, my dilemma was compounded by the fact that when it arose, I happened to be rereading a Cervantes story about the hounds Berganza and Scipio. In it, they discuss among other subjects, governance issues related to the life of dogs. They do this reflectively and submissively, in a way that throbs with a sense of cunning. Beyond censorship, in their conversation Berganza and Scipio could conceivably have been more subversive than Montebello’s theses. 


In Ireland

The result of the abortion referendum in Ireland was quite clear. It should serve as a warning to the fundamentalists of this country who have yet to learn that when you wage straw wars, the likelihood is that you will lose them not from the direction at which you aim your fire, but from your rear.

In Ireland itself though, the main problem that the future holds remains unresolved. All I hear and see about what should happen post Brexit seems to indicate that a serious solution still needs to be discovered as to how the Irish can retain today’s status quo, by which they are separated and yet united, as well as in peace, after decades of blood letting and hate mongering.

Water tight technical solutions by which the island’s north and south can live on without frontiers are still inexistent – even if it is said that more or less, the political will to find them is there, among “all” concerned. There is not much time left.


European foot

A friend said: European uniity will not get stronger with what goes on in the European Parliament... or in the councils and commissions you’re all the time mentioning. Football will do the trick.

He explained how an initiative is being proposed to convert the European champions competition into a league between teams from different countries. It would last for a whole season as teams strive to get to the top. Such a competition, he claimed enthusiastically, would stimulate huge popular and commercial interest, and would surely mobilise the attention of Europeans around a common cause, as no European election has ever succeeded in doing. Even Agnellli of Juventus is in favour of such a development...

I guess my friend could be right. But what will happen to those countries which will not be playing in the European league that he views so enthusiastically? Will they not feel like they’re second or third grade, as with Eurovision? ... in a Europe which according to him, will feel that at last it is truly united...


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