Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has strongly suggested he is disappointed at the Archbishop’s failure to clamp down on Mosta cleric Fr. David Muscat over his repeated warnings about foreigners in Malta.
“The Church has a duty to talk about the environment, but I hope it also talks against those within its structures who are expressing hatred against foreigners,” Muscat said at a political rally in Gozo.
“I’ve spoken to the Archbishop and expressed my disappointment that the Church wasn’t strong enough in this regard and is allowing a person from within to legitimise racial hatred. The Archbishop told me his own thoughts and, while I won’t mention them here, I’m convinced that he understands the issue and the sensitivity of it, and I’ll leave it up to him to decide the best course of action.”
Although Muscat didn’t mention Fr Muscat by name, his intervention came two days after the Mosta cleric’s latest public appearance on Xarabank in a debate on migration. During the debate, Fr Muscat clashed with a Maltese woman who has been nicknamed ‘Mama Africa’ due to the integration and outreach programmes she’s been a part of over the last 16 years, asking the priest just how much he’s done to help out.
When challenged at whether he’s ever witnessed the living conditions at open centres with his own eyes, the priest pulled out a photo of himself with a black man who he said he had saved from a tower crane.
During his speech this morning, Joseph Muscat also hailed Archbishop Charles Scicluna for blessing the tombs of a once-unconsecrated part of the Addolorata Cemetery that is commonly known as ‘Il-Miżbla’. During the Church interdiction of the 1960s, six Labour supporters, including former deputy Prime Minister Ġużè Ellul Mercer, were denied a Catholic burial and instead buried in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery.
“What the Archbishop did was symbolic but powerful,” Muscat said, arguing that many PL supporters would have also been buried in the Miżbla had they died in the 60s.
“Time must allow us to recognise that the Bishop’s blessing of the tombs was courageous, we should thank him for it and we must always be ready to extend a hand of friendship. He must still talk clearly about that person [Fr David Muscat] though.”