Cover photo: Matthew Grech
As of 2016, nearly 90% of the Maltese population is considered to be Catholic. But more and more people are taking issue with the fact that they were never given the choice of choosing to join the Roman Catholic religion, and forced into a faith not of their choice. Alex Caruana is one of a growing number of people who want to leave the church - but as he explained to Lovin Malta, it wasn't so easy.
I've wanted to leave the Church for many years, but I didn't really know how to
If you want to leave the church, you need to get your baptism certificate from the parish where you were baptised, and then you need to sign a letter and go to the Curia and speak to a specific Monsignor.
The Monsignor wasn't the easiest to deal with. He acted like he didn't know what he needed to do, and constantly beat around the bush. He told us things like the bishop wants to meet with people who want to leave the church, assumedly to see why we wanted to leave, u ħafna kummidji.
Either way, we never ended up meeting the bishop.
Eventually we told him that we needed to leave to go to work - we were two people. We left, and after about a month a friend sent two emails in the meantime to confirm that the Curia had taken a note of our request
And just today I received a PDF file with our original request letter - which is now officially stamped.
I wanted to leave the Church for a number of reasons
The first thing is: no-one ever asked us if we wanted to enter into this institution.
Secondly, as a trans person, I feel irritated by the comments of the church towards the LGBTQI community - and I invite everyone to join us on the 15th September for the Malta Pride March.
Thirdly, I hate the history of the church. I mean, the church worked hand in hand with the Fascists in Spain for example, so I don't want to be part of this thing.
Fourthly, all the pedophiles within the church and the abuses committed on minors, and instead of taking action they try to silence victims and defend the priests and nuns. It's too much...
Pictured: Alex Caruana
The way my mother and grandmother spoke about the Church contributed to me reconsidering being Catholic
When I was young I would hear my mother say that the church would say that whenever a man wants to have sex with his wife she needs to serve him, and my grandmother had 18 little boys and girl... and then once my grandmother had gone to a priest for money because she only had a few cents left and he told her "don't return here"... in my head all I could think was 'what the hell man'.
Apart from that, I think the church is a super sexist and patriarchal organisation, that also did everything it could to destroy Dom Mintoff's social reforms instead of helping him.
The church should have been there to fight the rich and colonialism so the Maltese working class would get back on its feet, not throw spokes in the wheels of this country's social progress.