The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Show solidarity by following Covid-19 measures, Archbishop says

Albert Galea Monday, 21 September 2020, 11:14 Last update: about 30 days ago

Showing solidarity is a key principle in Malta’s society, and the best way to do so during the current pandemic situation is by caring for each other and following the measures issued by the Health Authorities, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said on Monday.

“The measures demand a modicum of sacrifice on our part, but our respect for these measures is a concrete way of practicing reciprocal solidarity”, the Archbishop said in his homily during the Independence Day Pontifical Mass.

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His appeal comes following a week where seven people have died with Covid-19, the latest passing away on Monday morning.

On the topic of solidarity, Scicluna also said that as a society built on a culture of reciprocal care, we must care for one another not only between ourselves but also with foreigners, and that this extends to the way people express themselves, including towards foreigners and particularly in comments online.

The Archbishop based his homily on the seven principles outlined by Pope Francis in his new series of catheceses called ‘Healing the World’.  These principles are: the dignity of the person, the common good, helping the poor, fair distribution of resources, solidarity, subsidiarity and safeguarding the environment.

Scicluna delved into each topic, firstly emphasizing how the dignity of every person encapsulates the right to life from conception to a natural death, and also includes respect for one’s conscience.

Delving into the principle of the common good, the Archbishop warned that there is the need for “a remedy for every kind of egoism which may contaminate and corrupt an authentic approach to politics.”

“If politics is to serve as an expression of service and love, it needs to be detached from every motivation of personal gain”, he said.

Scicluna also mentioned the plight of migrants, saying that they knock at the doors of Malta’s shores as products of the poverty they have found themselves in, before also noting that the preferential option for the poor is also an option in favour of the sick and vulnerable during this pandemic.

“The preferential option for the poor is the remedy against the temptation of embracing a throwaway culture where a person’s worth depends on his or her strengths or how useful he or she is to society.”

The principle of subsidiarity meanwhile implies that all people share an important role within the state, and that “an excessive centralisation of power in the hands of the few is not beneficial to society.”

“We are called to respect those who hold positions of responsibility, on the understanding that these people are not chosen because they are ‘yes men’ or because they will always toe the line of the powers that be”, the Archbishop said.

Lastly, the Archbishop focused on the care for our common home, delving into the protection of Malta’s environment.

“It is not sufficient to have good laws. What is essential is that the laws are enforced. It is of primary importance that we develop an education that fosters a widespread ecological conscience. The promotion of the quality of life begins in the classroom or online, but also develops by the example given by the State when taking important decisions. These should favour the quality of life of its citizens, and also serve as a prophetic witness to the value of the environment.”

“The awareness of the beauty of our environmental heritage, the gifts of creation that surround us, and the beauty of the built environment inherited from our forefathers, compel us to stop and think before constructing yet another building which is void of any sense of aesthetical beauty or sustainability.”

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