Letters: 7th September 2014

The efficacy of relics

I have always mentioned that there are three certainties in life. Taxes, death and Guillaumier’s unstoppable drive to ridicule and make a mockery in the press of anything with a Church/God connotation.

Although the Church takes great care to see that no relic is given public honour unless there is reasonable certainty about its authenticity, it has never guaranteed the genuineness of any particular relic; yet some relics of doubtful authenticity have been given such veneration.
Because of the difficulty of proving them to be certainly spurious, the Church does not discontinue such devotion. Even though relics may be in fact false, God has often seen fit to reward devotion paid them.

Lack of documentation worries the sceptics whenever an event or existence of a person is in doubt. But there’s no need to worry about this. A classic example is whether Malta was bombed in World War Two, there is no need of eyewitnesses or a notarial deed to prove it – a cursory look at shrapnel deposits on walls and bastions or rusty angle iron pieces still jutting out on the seashore are enough to prove it.
The Church exhorts us to venerate the bodies of martyrs and others now living with Christ in heaven, since they were the living members of Christ on earth and the temples of the Holy Ghost.

As Christians we venerate as well the objects connected with these heroic followers of Christ, much in the same way as the Americans treasure the pen of the signers of the Declaration of Independence or the Russians, the mortal remains of Lenin in the Kremlin.
The Church does not teach that there is any miraculous power in the relic itself but rather the attributed intercession of the saints who are thus honoured, and the faith and devotion of the supplicant. It merely says that relics are often the occasion of God’s miracles, as the Scriptures themselves attest.

We read, for example, of the woman who was healed by touching the fringe of Our Lord’s garment (Matt. 19 20) and of the sick who were cured when handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched St Paul’s body were taken to them (Acts 19 12).
Need I repeat that, “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary, for those who do not believe in God no explanation is possible” (Weber)

John Azzopardi, Zabbar

Unabated rape of local culture

What an absolute shame.  What a scandalous and inexcusable act – a 200-year-old farmhouse is being demolished to make way for a concrete block of flats in San Gwann.

The numerous alerts from myself and others have served nothing to raise the conscience of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, its chairman in particular, and I am even more sorry and displeased to say, that of the mayor of San Gwann, who is conspicuous by his continued absence and neglect of this locality’s issues.

My pleas have fallen on deaf ears.  In other countries we would see protest marches and what not to try and save this unique farmhouse. In Malta we are lost on Ice Bucket stupidities.

Shame on all who had a hand in allowing this sorry tale to progress to its black ending.  Shame on those who could have waved a wand and stopped this wanton destruction of our ancient heritage.

I hope these words will remain etched in eternity until one day someone will curse the names of those who permitted this barbaric devastation now being wrought on this fair land.
 Stephen Saliba, San Gwann

Does illegality pay?

I read the piece about the Armier squatters (‘Armier squatters likely to get substation after 2012 rejection’, 31 August). It would be scandalous and a disgrace for Enemalta and the present government, if they accommodate these land grabbers.

It was the same for previous Nationalist governments, which never showed any will to evict them.

We speak mainly about Armier because the illegalities are on such a large scale. What about Gnejna and St Thomas Bay, where there are also illegal buildings? And at White Rocks, another shantytown is being built and not a finger is being lifted to stop it.

But the government should provide a caravan site with all the necessary comforts, one in the north of the island and another in the south, and rent places or even sell them to these people as is done overseas.

Surely if people want such facilities, they should pay for them, and not expect them for free?

Do these people realise that the land they grabbed belongs to the people of Malta, and through the 2014 elections they entrusted the government to administer this land for them? Surely they did not vote for losing it to the few because of some political obligation.

I truly regret to tell the truth – I never expected this government to behave in this way. The government is acting contrary to what the Prime Minister said it would do before the last election, in everything. I do not want to say that Muscat has no control over his ministers but if he does, then we are being cheated. This is not what we were promised.

Law-abiding citizens do not want to see these things happening in their country. They want to see somebody give them back what is theirs for all to enjoy.

Joseph Muscat, Mosta

Reckless driving

Reckless driving

I have written on this matter several times before and no action has been taken.

The dangerous driving during the day and night at the traffic lights in Tower Road in Sliema, near the Fortizza restaurant, is threatening the safety of individuals and property.

I therefore appeal to the Commissioner of Police, either to place a policeman on patrol or to install CCTV cameras, in order to bring sanity to the situation of over-speeding and reckless driving.

J Aquilina, Sliema