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Malta’s bishops defend marriage but warn against ‘crusade’

Catholic World News - August 31, 2010

Malta’s bishops issued a statement on August 29 defending the indissolubility of marriage but warning against embarking on a “crusade” in marriage’s defense. The Maltese legislature has begun to debate the legalization of divorce.

“We ask everybody who contributes to this debate not to distort the love for each person ingrained in the Christian message by embarking on some kind of crusade, even in the case of clear signs of provocation,” the bishops said. “We urge committed Church members, both on a personal level, according to one’s state in life and responsibility in society, and in ecclesiastical groups, to contribute positively to this debate.”

“It should be a great privilege for every committed member of the Church to say before the Lord that he has done his part in promoting and defending these values that Jesus insisted so much upon in His teachings,” the bishops said in defending the indissolubility of marriage.

94% of the nation’s 433,000 inhabitants are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. When Pope Benedict visited the nation in April, he urged the nation to continue to uphold the indissolubility of marriage. “Your nation should continue to stand up for the indissolubility of marriage as a natural institution as well as a sacramental one, and for the true nature of the family, just as it does for the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death and for the proper respect owed to religious freedom in ways that bring authentic integral development to individuals and society,” he said almost immediately upon arriving in the nation on April 17.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Aug. 31, 2010 7:55 AM ET USA

    "But because thou art either hot or cold, and not lukewarm, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth." Right, Excellencies?

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Aug. 31, 2010 7:03 AM ET USA

    Is there a danger of violence in Malta over the issue of divorce? I'm guessing not. If, by "crusade," the bishops literally mean "holy war," only then does their statement make any sense. However, if they mean that the people of Malta should avoid a vigorous campaign against the public evil of divorce, then their statement will neuter the force of their teaching on the issue. As with the US bishops, they will be left to wonder why they had so little effect on the direction of their culture.

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