The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

Provost's fiery homily misinterpretation leads to outrage; priest 'never mentioned gays'

Jeremy Micallef Thursday, 22 August 2019, 18:25 Last update: about 29 days ago

A fiery and arguably divisive homily delivered by Provost Paul Vella last Sunday for Birkirkara’s Feast of Saint Helen led to knee-jerk outrage and condemnation on Thursday partly in spite of it being misinterpreted as a call to violence against members of the LGBT community.

He did, however, say that those who don't want God in their life as a creation made by God need to change, which was widely regarded as a homophobic comment directed at those who subscribe to the legalization of same-sex marriage, or as he put it, the "progressive agenda".

"And what can we say about laws that go against the holiness of the marriage between a man and a woman. Whoever doesn't want God in their life as a creation made by God, needs to change."

He also accused the progressive movement of wanting to exile those guilty of wrongthink from society, and even kill the rest of society.

"Whoever does not agree with their teachings needs to leave society, even if they need to be killed to make sure they don't continue annoying humanity with their continuous agenda that is spreading to the detriment of humanity."

"This agenda, called progressiveness though it is destroying man himself, is denying mankind from its own fundamental and sacred principles - that God created humanity as man and woman."

Prior to the full video being published, Allied Rainbow Communities said that "The call to eliminate gay people, also God's creation, is a call to violence. Isn't that a much graver act than that of what you so call sexual immorality Provost Paul Vella?".

The Provost never called anyone to violence.

They continued by saying that "the experience of LGBTI persons calls us to a deeper search and understanding of everyone's purpose in this life, rather than an interpretation of a creator who is violent and that somehow he/she/they wanted a heterosexual cosmos and anything that does not fit the story has to be eliminated."

They have since deleted the statement from social media and replaced it with the same quote used from Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttiegieg - "If you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

'Sections of the media twisted the words and context'

In a statement, the Ħbieb tat-Tempju Elenjan - Kolleġġjata Bażilika Sant'Elena, Birkirkara said, "We are sorry to note that sections of the media twisted the words and context of Mons. Provost Carmel Vella in such a way that they ended up reporting the exact opposite of what he said during the feast of Saint Helena.

"Nowhere in the homily were gays or same-sex couples mentioned. It is not true that Mons Provost said anything against these people.

"What Mons Vella said was that marriage as God created it is between a man and a woman. This is what the Church teaches on marriage.

"We show respect and value towards everyone, whoever it is. This is what guides the pastoral work of the Church."


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