The Malta Independent 23 August 2019, Friday

Archbishop warns against social injustice, intolerance in Sette Giugno commemoration

Friday, 7 June 2019, 13:00 Last update: about 4 months ago

Archbishop Charles Scicluna warned against the perils of social injustice and intolerance at an event marking one hundred years since the events of Sette Giugno 1919.

Scicluna led mass at the Addolorata chapel and later led a corteo to the place where the four victims of the tragedy are buried.

During his homily, Archbishop Scicluna said the Sette Giugno events were a “total tragedy” that risk being repeated.


“A hundred years ago the Maltese had the British to blame, but this time we would only have ourselves to blame,” he said. “Today, as a sovereign country, the responsibility lies solely with us.”

“If a hundred years ago we could tear down the British flag, today we have a Maltese one, and we should understand the responsibility each and everyone has to carry in order to have a just society.”

Scicluna said the Maltese had not actually taken it against the British rulers but rather against the Maltese they suspected had become rich at the expense of the people. In fact most properties that were destroyed belonged to Maltese people.

“The complicity of the Maltese in this tragedy cannot be forgotten. Because the tragedy could repeat itself in a society where there is a big distinction between the few who have a lot and the many who have little.”

A hundred years ago the Maltese were also facing problems with the cost of living, rental prices and hunger. “If we truly want to honour the four men who were killed in 1919, we have to commit ourselves towards a just society.”

The constitution is only a piece of paper if there is no political will to implement and safeguard it, he said. “We must respect the dignity and the fundamental rights of all citizens, and the responsibilities carried by those in government.”

In 1919 there was complicity from all levels of society, including the political class the Church. Some politicians and clergymen had stood by and watched although others had stood with the people, he said.

“Even today we must ask why there were only four victims, why do the poor always pay the highest price? We must have solemn commitment for truth, social justice and solidarity.”

Referring to the recent racially motivated murder, Archbishop Scicluna said we must ask ourselves whether we have become the aggressors. “What will we tell the family of Cisse Lasana, who came to find a better life and whom we killed? Have we become the aggressors? Let us pray that we do create victims through injustice and hatred. This should be the main effort a hundred years from Sette Giugno.”


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