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Bishop’s Christmas homily calls on MPs ‘not to destroy family’

Charles Scicluna keeps up opposition to gay unions in homily that warns of ‘troughs’ filled with ‘food of folly and rat poison put by our enemy’

Matthew Vella
26 December 2013, 12:00am
Mgr Charles Scicluna


Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna's Christmas Day homily did not fail to send yet another strong message to politicians, in which he called on the Christian faithful and MPs "not to destroy the family based on the lasting bond between one man and one woman" - a reference to the forthcoming legislation that will introduce gay unions.

Mgr Scicluna, 54, has been vocal in his opposition to civil unions for homosexual couples and gay adoptions, albeit a lone voice in the otherwise muted response from the Maltese Catholic archdiocese.

'I will not be silenced' - Charles Scicluna

Scicluna used the story of Baby Jesus in the manger, the bedrock narrative of Christmas celebrations for Christians, in a homily where he called on the "Sweet Baby of Bethlehem" to grant MPs grace and wisdom "not to destroy the family".

"The message of Christmas remains always a current message. It beckons and invites us to seek and recognize the true Wisdom that the manger of our Lord Jesus embraces," Scicluna said in his homily.

"Around the manger of baby Jesus there are also a woman and a man: the mother who gave him birth and her husband Joseph whom God chose to bring up, along with the mother, the child of Mary.

"God, who generated his Son as a human being without the participation of a man, did not want his Son as man to be brought up without the participation of a man. The silent and essential mission of Joseph was to ensure that the boy Jesus, in his upbringing as a man, was not deprived of a father's affection and example.

"In the upbringing of his Beloved Son, God himself ordained and chose to be subjected to the wisdom and law of creation according to which a baby should be reared by a mother and father, by a couple made of a man and a woman and not by a couple made of woman and woman or a couple made of man and man."

In one of the more controversial tracts of his homily, Scicluna questions whether Christians were "looking for nutrition of mind and heart" from the Lord's manger, or from other mangers and troughs that had "the food of folly and the rat poison put by our enemy".

Scicluna was formerly the Vatican's chief prosecutor on child and sex abuse crimes by members of the clergy, and for years stood by the side of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

He has described a bill to legalise civil unions for gay couples as "deceptive" because the draft law states that its object is equate unions and marriage. "If the government wants gay marriage, it should say so. I understand the party in government did not promise gay marriage, so it doesn't feel it has this mandate. But that is something that should be discussed in parliament: why is government introducing gay marriage under a convenient label?"
Matthew Vella is editor of MaltaToday.com.mt.

After graduating in a...
joe cassar
It is clear that from these comments, Maltese society has changed and is not willing to accept all that is said by the church authority clad in medieval garments, although it will accept the "pilgrim" church and "suffering" church. We do live in an age of "doubt" where all is under scrutiny, including political and ecclesiastical authority, and the individual right to choose has been extended from the supermarket to morality.
xprun
Bishop Charles "Gonzi 2013" Scicluna should concentrate more on how best for the local church to start showing more humility and tolerance in line with Pope Francis's teachings. These Gonzi-like diatribes are doing more harm than good.
Angelo Vassallo
What Bishop Scicluna is saying is merely the same teachings of Pope Francis on the subject. Pope Francis's stance on LGBT people is against gay marriage, and he’s really, really against gay adoption. So this is not a show off at all.
Mario Costa
Isn't there a strange inconsistency that God (according to Mons. Scicluna) wanted that Jesus be raised with the participation of a human father when that same father was excluded from participating in the child's generation? One cannot bring in the argument from nature at one point and exclude it at the other. The more I ponder on Catholic doctrine, the harder I find it to believe. What's wrong with the sexual act, other than the fantasises of cantankerous Church fathers? If, for the sake of the argument, one accepts that "original sin" was truly committed, how can the guilt be transmitted genetically through the sexual act? How many still believe this? And then, if we had to accept the doctrine of the immaculate conception designed to avert such transmission, why was not Joseph also begotten by means of immaculate conception and he would then have been able to father Jesus through the sexual act? I think that bringing in Catholic dogma to justify one's objections to the proposed legislation is really treading on paper-thin ice. It would be far better to base one's arguments on science instead.
Alf Galea
Dear bishop, I challenge you tell us. 1) If around that manger, the real father was around. 2) If Joseph and Mary ever bothered to get married,
Kevin Mallia
The Church has every right to express its teachings and the comments below only denote intollerance, keep it up Mons, you are a breath of fresh air, much needed from the local Church.
Kevin Mallia
The Church has every right to express its teachings and the comments below only denote intollerance, keep it up Mons, you are a breath of fresh air, much needed from the local Church.
joseph gerardi
This Cow and Gate faced man is not humble at all. Since his arrival he is constantly overshadowing Bishop Cremona.
joseph gerardi
I dare not think what would have been the outcome had Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna had a say in accepting a young illiterate unmarried girl claiming she knew no man but was pregnant with the son of God after being visited by an angel at night. Would he have stoned her killing Jesus?
Alexander Galea
To all below, when you have your own children out of a normal family - then you can comment about what the bishop is saying. He is correct, a natural family is the only form of family which is normal for children. There is no issue with other forms of unions, but children's rights are not to be compromised. As for pjg's comments, the church did not destroy any families, its homes give shelter to children without a family - because a member of the church has done wrong, it does not mean that all the church institution is guilty.
P G
grant MPs grace and wisdom "not to destroy the family". What about the victims of abuse from St Joseph's orphanage. Their life was ruined by priests and yet the Catholic Church REFUSES to pay the damages. Mons. Scicluna should look more closely around him to realize who is destroying families.
Joe Borg
Bishop Charles Scicluna says: "Around the manger of baby Jesus there are also a woman(Mary his Real Mother) and a man(Joseph NOT his Real Father): the mother(the Real Mother) who gave him birth and her husband Joseph(the Real Husband BUT NOT the Real Father) whom God chose to bring up, along with the mother, the child of Mary."(BUT NOT the Child of Joseph!) So is this the Model Family Mgr Scicluna is recommending? OH, He must have forgotten that ideally there should also be a donkey and a cow around the manger to complete the Model Family. The thing about this Family Model is that humanity would be able to survive without Males! Now that could make Mgr Scicluna popular with NCW :)
Joe Borg
Bishop Charles Scicluna says: "Around the manger of baby Jesus there are also a woman(Mary his Real Mother) and a man(Joseph NOT his Real Father): the mother(the Real Mother) who gave him birth and her husband Joseph(the Real Husband BUT NOT the Real Father) whom God chose to bring up, along with the mother, the child of Mary."(BUT NOT the Child of Joseph!) So is this the Model Family Mgr Scicluna is recommending? OH, He must have forgotten that ideally there should be a donkey and a cow around the manger to complete the Model Family. Well at least its not a case of Unknown Father as one can say it is documented in the scriptures! Would the scripture testimony be enough to claim child allowance nowadays?
Joe Borg
Bishop Charles Scicluna says: "Around the manger of baby Jesus there are also a woman(Mary his Real Mother) and a man(Joseph NOT his Real Father): the mother(the Real Mother) who gave him birth and her husband Joseph(the Real Husband BUT NOT the Real Father) whom God chose to bring up, along with the mother, the child of Mary."(BUT NOT the Child of Joseph!) So is this the Model Family Mgr Scicluna is recommending? OH, He must have forgotten that ideally there should be a donkey and a cow around the manger to complete the Model Family. Well at least its not a case of Unknown Father as one can say it is documented in the scriptures! Would the scripture testimony be enough to claim child allowance nowadays?
emmanuel grech
is this guy for real ???????????
George Azzopardi
This nothing but a show off. He just wants to look good from his friends in Rome.
Andrew Bezzina
This guy makes me want to vomit. He is the epitome of what is wrong with the church. He should follow the popes example and preach love not hatred.
Ramon Casha
Can't the church just send him back to the Vatican? The last thing that Malta needs right now is for the church to devolve further into a hate group. The biggest threat to the family right now is none other than the Catholic Church. How many young LGBT people ended up on the streets after being thrown out by their parents, acting on these Catholic messages? How many were driven to suicide by the church's teachings? The traditional family is no more at risk from same-sex marriages than right-handed people are threatened by the availability of left-handed scissors
Edward Farrugia
Mgr Scicluna,First I think you better try to find some of your lost sheep! as your herd is continuing to diminish and you continue to hide your head in the sand from the real problems affecting your clergy. You won't solve anything by pleasing certain parts of the media with your comments
Joseph Bonello
I start by saying that I am no big fan of the PL. But the PL government was democratically elected and has a right and duty to govern. This bishop and the church in general are not, and don't even have a single vote. It is best to shut up and leave the government to do what is needed to be done and what it promised.
Mario Attard
Mill-Kliem ghal fatti hemm bahar jikkumbatti. Tafu x'jigiefieri ghaliex inthom kissirtu partita familji fis-snin 60. Illum l-istrina u dawk li farku u kisru iridu l-ghaqda ghal llum. Ibdew inthom nehhu il-hdura (qed nghid kemm ghal Knisja Maltija u l-politikanti specjalment). Jien ghaliex illum turu kemm inthom IPPOKRITI u qatta oqbra imbajda.
malcolm azzopardi
and then the maltese church in their Christmas message urged the people to live life without prejudices and help the emarginated....A classic example that they do not practice what they preach and that talk is cheap !!!
mf
dear clergy unless you clean up your act , your words mean only folly or as we say whitewashed tombs !
Anthony Busuttil
Tixwix !!!!!!!!!!! hallina mons. issa naraw kemm se jobghduk
W Cassar
This matter does not concern you. Please focus on your sheep and let others love and be together as one and as they wish.