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Malta archbishop fears ‘Equality Bill’ would undermine religious freedom

November 08, 2016

A proposed “Equality Bill” in Malta would restrict the freedom of the Church, warns Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

The archbishop said that the Church supports efforts to protect the dignity of all people and to eliminate discrimination. However, he said that the proposed legislation goes beyond the existing directives issued by the European Union. Archbishop Scicluna has scheduled a meeting with Helena Dalli, the government’s minister for social dialogue, to discuss his concerns.

Analysts have suggested that the Equality Bill could be interpreted as saying that a person or institution engaged in “harassment” by promoting the view that marriage is a union of one man and one woman, or that sexual activity should be confined to marriage. Particularly because the burden of proof would be on the accused, the bill could infringe on the right to express religious beliefs.

The constitution of Malta ensures that leaders of the Catholic Church have the right and duty to promote the teachings of the Church, and the Catholic faith is taught in all public schools. Catholicism is the established religion of the little island nation, where about 98% of the population is Catholic.

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 09, 2016 4:43 AM ET USA

    I wonder if with the election of Trump leftists and statists everywhere will become even more radical in their hatred of Christ and His Church. The ignorance of truth which is a direct result of government and Catholic education in the West should be stunning, but is mostly a cause for yawning in the modern age. I spoke with the priest of a large parish last week who explained to me how impossible it would be to start a new Catholic school when archdiocesan enrollments are falling precipitously.

  • Posted by: geardoid - Nov. 08, 2016 9:03 PM ET USA

    The directives of the European Union would seem already to put the burden of presumed guilt (rather than innocence) on those accused for their pro-family views, under the cover of 'harassment'. Look for the Association of American States (eg. look what happened in Ireland) and other social engineers to back this move in a stalwart Catholic country, one of the few on Earth still to outlaw abortion.