PN MP Edwin Vassallo has come out in staunch defence of Father Patrick Pullicino, the author of a controversial opinion piece asserting that homosexuality was wrong, claiming the priest is falling victim to hate speech.
“We do not have the Equality Law yet and already a priest speaks out and expresses his view and gets attacked. The agents of equality politics forget what equality means and end up trying to eliminate those who disagree with them.”
“Look at how Father Pullicino is being attacked and by whom he is being attacked. I ask the government to show it is serious and really wants equality and deplore this attack on a priest expressing his view.”
“If the government does not consider this attack on Fr Pullicino as hate speech then I am free to conclude that they are doing so with the blessing of the government. Let us see if they have already used the equality law against Fr Pullicino!” Vassallo wrote on a Facebook post.
In response to Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil union, the Times of Malta published an article written by Father Pullicino titled “Homosexuality and the Church”. He claimed homosexual acts are wrong, “contrary to natural law”, and a threat to society at large.
“Same-sex attraction may be experienced by individuals as an involuntary feeling, especially during puberty. Cardinal Burke says that Catholic tradition has always held, however, that it is homosexual acts that are wrong. They are contrary to natural law, “ he said in his opinion piece.
Pullicino is a trained surgeon living in the UK since the 1970s and his views do not represent the Maltese Curia.
The highly problematic piece has spurred criticism online from prominent LGBT+ figures and organisations in Malta who pointed out the obvious dangers the article poses.
LGBT+ NGO Allied Rainbow Community took it a step further and called for businesses to reconsider advertising on the news platform.
Pullicino was not the only religious figure to face criticism this week after Imam Mohammed El Saidi said that religious vilification should be made illegal in response to the recent beheading of Samuel Paty in France, arguing that provocative comics or satirical pictures. Paty was murdered after showing his classroom a picture of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
He has since backtracked and condemned the incident.
Vassallo also came out in defence of the Imam, insisting that National Book Council Chairman Mark Camilleri, who called for the Imam to be deported, to resign.
“Liberal laws and liberalism are only serving to ridicule and suppress the religious freedom of those who decide to believe in this society,” he said.
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