Mark Montebello breaks silence with hit-list of Church’s pressure on believers

Dominican friar says Catholic Church’s behaviour during divorce campaign has been insulting.

The outspoken Dominican friar Fr Mark Montebello has broken his silence in a blogpost on the Church’s role in the divorce referendum campaign, in which he confesses being “humiliated over and over again by the injudicious behaviour of the local Catholic Church in general and of some Catholics in particular.”

Montebello – whose radical views led to the Maltese Archbishop calling on his Dominican superior in Rome to temper the friar’s outspokenness – speaks of his “spiritual and psychological anguish” in writing about the Church’s “stealthy” and “immense pressure” it has placed on people’s consciences.

“Children were frequently used for emotional impact. Religious celebrations, including weddings, were routinely exploited for political propagandistic purposes. The alleged Virgin Mary of Borg in-Nadur was made to campaign with anathemas and threats of her own (with flyers saying as much placed at church entrances). All sorts of printed material were sent to households through parish structures to influence the electorate."

Montebello said people were consistently told that divorce would open the door to abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriages, and increase poverty. "Some were scared into believing that the referendum is part of a sinister ploy to ultimately destroy the Church in Malta and Gozo. Pseudo-religious emails were sent with words and pictures verging on hate-messages."

“Many simple and vulnerable Catholics were repeatedly told (in door-to-door visits, in private conversations or in confession) that voting ‘yes’ or not voting at all would be a grave offence to God. Pressure groups were set up presenting those in favour of the ‘yes’ vote as antichrists or false Christians.

“People were denied Holy Communion or absolution of sins for declaring their ‘yes’ vote. Unusual prayer meetings and live-ins by religious groups were organised to insist on the ‘no’ vote. The head of the pro-divorce main lobby group was banned from practicing at the ecclesiastical tribunals. Members of religious lay groups were told by their spiritual directors that they would have to leave if they voted ‘yes’ or not at all. Posters similar to those of the 1960s were put up at church doors. Partisan politicians were left to make religious arguments without impunity.”

Montebello’s short blog ended with an imploration for forgiveness as a minister of the Catholic Church which he said “was not the Church I believe in and love.”

“My fellow citizens, I am truly mortified by such disrespect and insolence shown to your intelligence and rights as human beings. If you consider me part of this, as I truly am, then I genuinely think and feel that it is my moral duty to implore your forgiveness. For this I will be most grateful.”

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Prisoners' rights are very important. We don't want our prisons to lose their transparency and become like prisons in Libya and Iran, where no one on the outside knows what happens inside, the directors are free to beat and rape prisoners and no one knows whether they'll come out dead or alive (no matter what their sentence was). Maltese prisons used to be like that not very long ago, and there are clearly documented cases of child inmates being raped by the prison directors. But we have short memories and we now say that prisoners' rights don't matter. In developed countries, the courts are empowered to hand out prison sentences and prisons have no mandate to increase that punishment using torture or bullying. Remember also that not all prisoners have committed murder or rape or violent assault, and some are only being held in prison until their case is heard in court - so they are still innocent. Transparent prisons are vital for a healthy judicial system. Mark Montebello does voluntary work that should really be paid for by the state, as the transparency of our judicial system is as important for democracy as the transparency of our elections. For Catholics who don't care much about politics this should still be a straightforward principle, as Jesus requires his followers to visit the sick and the imprisoned.
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@ Haha ma kienx jismu mark? jekk tkun membru ta' klabb jew gewwa jew barra, imma nahseb li komdu jsib l-ikel lest
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I assume that's the only thing we have in common, John..that we support the Yes camp. I suggest you write your comments more carefully; "You rather support criminals like Fr.Montebello" comes across in a very wrong manner. I strongly believe you intented to say; "You, like Fr.Montebello, rather support criminals"...a whole new meaning to it. And for the record, i have been a victim of crime. But if you spent the rest of your life with a heart stuffed with anger, resentment and all sorts of negative emotions the only one to suffer is yourself. BTW, i left the roman catholic church long time ago and i do not need to belong to any religious club to understand what compassion and forgiveness are all about.
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Monique, for the record, I do support divorce as I believe that a partner should not live in fear, especially if they have been beaten. Their way out is a divorce, barring that the spouse does not harass, beat them, or threaten or murder them as we have seen in some cases.
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Monique, just one more comment. I am not one of those people who will turn my other cheek if someone hurts me. I am an eye for an eye person. Criminals belong in jail and murderers deserve to die in jail by having a 100 year sense. If you have not been a victim of a crime, you will never know what victims go through. Why should a prisoner be given a good treatment. Go ask people who have been raped, beaten up, murdered and you will find no sympathy from them as it is their right to feel angry and have justice served. SO yes, anyone who protects prisoners right is a radical to me.
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Monique, I support the victims who suffer and keep on suffering. Who supports them. Obviously not you. You rather support criminals like Fr.Montebello
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when all is said and done and the dust settles, one hopes that the catholic church will embark on a reform plan so that it may remain relevant and a positive force in our country. as it stands, the church looks more moldy than mold.
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And John...to you Mark Montebello is a "radical" man? Because he "support prisoners whatever they did"? So according to you, Jesus was a radical man too since He did exactly the same. Jesus was teaching forgiveness and did not judge criminals of any couleur.
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Jine nahseb li meta mmut u nigi quddiem il-Hallieq mhux se jiggudikani fuq jekk ivvitajtx Iva jew Le ghar-Referendum tad-Divorzju, pero ser jiggudikani fuq kemm ghamilt gid mal-proxxmu, kemm kont ta' ghajnuna ghal haddiehor, kemm ma qasqastx jew immalafamajt lil dak li jkun, kemm hennejt għal holqien t' Alla bħall annimali... Nahseb li dawn huma affarijiet ta' min jarahom sewwa... Nixtieq nghid lil john ukoll li l-habsin jissemmew fil-Beatitudni 'kont il-habs u gejtu zzuruni'... nixtieq nistaqsi kemm il-wiehed zort Mr Azzopardi? Ma rridux nifhu li kulhadd huwa mportanti ghas-socjeta', kulhadd huwa ta' kontribut b'mod differenti, mhux bilfors kulhadd irid jaqbel ma dak li nghidu u ghandna nisimghuh u niznu dak li jkun qed jghid... inkella naghmlu bhan-nghag ta' bendu...
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Well said monique. Prosit tassew.
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@-John Azzopardi; You stated: "..but I don't really want Fr. Montebello to take this as an opportunity to criticize the church." An opportunist is taking advantage of opportunities and circumstances in this way. So i don't see a big difference here but leave this aside for now. More striking is following statement of yours: "If he doesn't like what he sees that the church is doing, then he shouldn't be there." Sorry John, that is exactly why he SHOULD hang on there! It is called constructive criticism and that is what the Catholic Church so badly and urgently needs to arrive in the 21. century.
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mikegold117 taf li kien hemm Papa li kellu harem shih fil-Vatikan u mhux biss kellu tfal illegittimi imma kien anki ghamilhom Kardinali?
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Dear John Azzopardi, You seem to have a problem....and it is not only English...
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to Monique. I said opportunity, not opportunist. I hope all of y ou below know that Fr. Mark is one radical man who support all type of prisons whatever they did. Did you ever hear him support the victims. I don't want to go their, but this priest leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot believe that some people are so naive in Malta.
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to Monique. I said opportunity, not opportunist. I hope all of y ou below know that Fr. Mark is one radical man who support all type of prisons whatever they did. Did you ever hear him support the victims. I don't want to go their, but this priest leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot believe that some people are so naive in Malta.
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to Monique. I said opportunity, not opportunist. I hope all of y ou below know that Fr. Mark is one radical man who support all type of prisons whatever they did. Did you ever hear him support the victims. I don't want to go their, but this priest leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot believe that some people are so naive in Malta.
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to Monique. I said opportunity, not opportunist. I hope all of y ou below know that Fr. Mark is one radical man who support all type of prisons whatever they did. Did you ever hear him support the victims. I don't want to go their, but this priest leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot believe that some people are so naive in Malta.
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" In time of Universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"- George Orwell. Show them the way Fr Mark.
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@Skocciz It is true that in Malta our political parties never learn from past mistakes and this goes also for the church, as you said. As you well said the church is repeating the mistake of the 30’s and the 60’s. It lost ground in those times and now it will loose more ground and followership this time. With the YES or NO vote getting through, the church is going to be the biggest looser.
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@ mark montebello, issa kuntent li pattejta lil Arcisqof. Tiftakar li kont ghidt li l-Papa GPII zmaga, sar beatu. Jekk il-knisja hi daqshekk hazina min qed izzommok.
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Dear Fr. Mark Montebello You are the wind beneath my wings. God almighty keep you and protect you.
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Prosit Fr Montebello. Who knows how many priests want to express the same feelings. . There are many Maltese who are gutted with the attitude that the church has taken. Their reaction is to take it against the Maltese church as it is not easy for any sensible person to accept the same Church mistake three times (1930’s, 1960’s and now). . It is only the Church that will stand to lose in the long term. Its congregation will continue to shrink.
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Certu nies hadu l-okkazjoni tad-divorzju biex jattakkaw il-knisja u din id-darba qed jattakkaw it=taghlim tal-knisja. Li wiehed johrog punti biex jghid favur u kontra kull issue hi tajba; li wiehed jattakka lil dak u lil iehor jien ma naqbelx. Fr Mark bhala religjuz ma nahsebx li ghandu jmur kontra l-knisja u kontra it-taghlim ta Kristu. Disgrazzjatament beix jattakkaw il-knisja dahhlu ir-religjon f'din il-kwistjoni. Jien dejjem nghid x inhuma l-punti kontra d-divorzju (mhux ghax jien komdu ...ghax ma inix komdu xejn) imma ghax nahsen li dawn huma relevanti: id-divorzju ma hux ser ikun ta l-ebda soluzzjoni b'mod generali u l-iva ma qalux kemm ser ikun hawn li jixirqilhom; ghaldawn li nahseb huma ftit hemm soluzzjoni identika ghax hemm mod kif iggibu min barra.. il-perjodu ta erba snin jista jigi abbuzat ghax ma hux ser ikun marbut ma separazzjoni uffficjali imma min irid jista kull ma jrid jaghmel hu li jikkonvinci lil qorti li ilhom erba snin u din thalli lok ta abbuz; m hemmx limitu ta kemm il-darba jinghata d-divorzju. it-tfal ta l-ewwel zwieg ma ghandhom l-ebda protezzjoni; inkluza anqas protezzjoni ta manteniment minn dik ezistenti waqt separazzjoni tal llum.
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duncan abela
My full support and solidarity with Fr Mark Montebello. Unfortunately I expect that his superiors will come harder on him this time than when they exiled him in Mexico. However honest priests like true patriots must in a dignified way challenge authority when they feel that such authority is betraying its true mission. Honesty to the spirit of true faith must transcend even the vow of obedience when one feels that the true spiritual mission of the church is being diminished and sidetracked by the traditional and ongoing controlling and domineering role which the church is maintaining on what is essentially a purely secular divorce issue.
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I would to address all those PL MPs and supporters who intend voting no. It seems that you have forgotten the lessons of history and you are misguidedly falling into their trap with your misguided ideas. The Curia will not help you in any way in your political struggle. The Curia is run by men and not God. How can they speak for God? When the Tsunami hit Japan the Pope replied to the little Japanese girl that God acts in mysterious ways. But the Curia professes to speak for God and decide what is a sin and what is not. The Curia and the PN are working hand in hand to make sure that divorce doesn't make it now. That woould give them the chance to pillory the PL leader in two years time at the general election. Muscat has given his commitment that he will continue to work for the introduction of divorce. At the general election divorce would be a major battle cry and the Curia together with the PN will bring all their guns to bear on Muscat and the PL. A vote for the PL is a vote for divorce would be the battle cry. Divorce is inevitable. Therefore it is better for the PL, for divorce to be introduced now rather than later.
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carmel duca
Love the Oxford Concise Spanish dictionary in the photo. Must have come in handy in Mexico....
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Fra Mark is certainly not an opportunist, John Azzopardi. You are very wrong on that one !
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Wake up, Paul ! Angelik is a fraudster and the whole Borg In-Nadur Saga is an equivalent to the father christmas legend Only acceptable when you are younger than 7 years old. Or so. But everybody is free to live with a truth of choice...or to live an illusion
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I am pro divorce, but I don't really want Fr. Montebello to take this as an opportunity to criticize the church. If he doesn't like what he sees that the church is doing, then he shouldn't be there. There church has a right to speak up what it believes. The only mistake is if some bishop or priest threaten a catholic person when he or she votes it's conscience. I also blame the government as well as the oppostion on all this. THey could have voted on this civil right matter and saved us all this nonsense. Politicians should know better, they only give us a referendum when they have a large block of their own who are against the party politicis. I had enough of all this like the vast majority of all other maltese as well as Gozitans.
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It is not true what Fr Mark Montebello says when he writes that: “The alleged Virgin Mary of Borġ in-Nadur was made to campaign with anathemas and threats of her own.” These claims are irresponsible. They are lies. There are no threats in the alleged messages linked to the divorce referendum. As a matter of fact, the Cenacle Theotokos, responsible for the spreading of the messages at Borg in-Nadur, has issued a declaration stating the following: 1. Divorce has been mentioned in the alleged messages of the Lady ever since the beginning of these happenings. There is no direct link between the commencement of messages that mention divorce with the commencement of the proposal to introduce a law in favour of divorce in our country. 2. There are no alleged messages that directly connect natural disasters with the proposal to introduce divorce in our country. 3. There has not been any alleged message that mentions what might be the result of the referendum on the introduction of divorce in our country. 4. We keep clear of all interpretations of these alleged messages that others give and we do not accept responsibility for what others come up with regarding the alleged messages. We even do not consider ourselves in a position to interpret the alleged messages. We leave their interpretation in the hands of persons within the Church who are competent to do so. Those who want to read the full declaration cans read it on: www.borgin-nadur.org Priests, like Fr Mark, who say they love the Catholic Church, should spread the truth and not tell lies. STOP SPREADING LIES ABOUT BORG IN-NADUR.
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@firilla Jghidilhu sarkazmu siehbi :) tajjeb li ma nehdux lilna infusna b'wisq serjeta. Nahseb li Fr. Mark ma tantx huwa kuntent fix-xoghol tieghu u b'hal divorzju jekk wiehed ma jkunx kuntent jitlaq hux
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@minestra Qisek l-envangelju ta' San Mark u San Mattew ma jaqblux bejniethom dwar id-divorzju.
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il-veru mid-DLAM (l-isqof t'Ghawdex) >>>> ghad-DAWL (Patri Mark)
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Fr. Mark for president!
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@-minestra; Please don't speak for the Maltese population for they will not agree with your opinion. Your voice will hardly be heard amongst those who support Mark Montebello.
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Prosit tassew Patri Mark! Nammira is-sincerita u il kuragg li ghandek. Kellu bzonn il knisja f' Maltija ghandha aktar nies bhalek fi hdana li jifmu sew il htigijiet u il polz ta' min u miguh u qed ibati bis sitwazjoni li jinsab fiha. Facli li tajd LE meta ma tkunx taf min xiex jaddu dawn in-nies. Minhu kontra il ligi ta Divorzju responsabli ghalija huwa EGOIST. Hadd ma ghandu jimponi fuq haddiehor it-twemmin tieghu billi ibezza li dak li jkun. Id-Divorzju huwa Dritt Civili u ghandhu jidhol ghal min tassew irid li jkollu cans iehor fil hajja mizzewga. J'Alla is sens komun jirbah u kullhadd juza mohhu fir referendum u mhux jivvots b'mohh haddiehor!!
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Prosit Patri Mark, naf li forsi taħseb li esseġerazzjoni imma għalija int dixxiplu t'Alla ta' veru u serju. Int kien jistħoqlok tkun ir-ragħaj spiritwali għax għandek it-tolleranza u taf tmiss u tħoss il-feriti tal-poplu u b'mod speċjali tal-batut. Ragħaj tajjeb jidderieġi l-merħla 'l bogħod mix-xfarijiet u jekk tintiliflu nagħġa imqarr waħda, iħalli l-merħla weħidha u jmur ifittex il-mitlufa. Sfortunatament illum qed jiġri bil-kontra. Mhux talli qed jitħallew il-mitlufin imma qed jintilfu oħrajn u ser jintilfu aktar. Ħasra li fuq issue bħal din il-knisja qed tagħmel u tħalli mpatt negattiv. Jien għalhekk illum konvint mit-twemmin tiegħi għaliex Alla mhux ta' ħadd u jħobb lil kulħadd hu min hu, jaf jittollera u fuq kollox iħalli lil kulħadd fil-liberta tiegħu. Minn dak li qed naraw illum mhux veru l-knisja qed tgħallem il-kelma t'Alla, imma qed tuża l-Alla bħala tarka jew il-Qaddis patrun tal-festa. Ibqa sejjer f'din it-triq u taqtax qalbek. Min irid jissilenzjak għax jaf li lilu qed tagħmillu l-ħsara. Pero tinsix, warajk hemm il-kottra Patri Mark.
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@minestra...your nom de plume says it all mate!
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Fr. Mark, you are great, you are bold, you speak your mind, you oppose the church, you are radical. We can only applaud you, admire you, speak about you with glorious words..... well done - you have now achieved your mission of becoming a celebrity! To be honest I think the Maltese population is a bit tired of you now - you are too predictable. Fr. Mark if you are not happy with the institution you form part of why not step aside - i think all of us will breath a sigh of relief (you included)
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Ghaziz Patri Mark, Fi-ftit zmien iehor,u mhux wisq il-boghod tista tlesti ruhek ghall konfront ma bosta qassisin li jhossu li jridu ikomplu izommu lill-poplu sottopost ghall dak kollu li jiddettaw huma. Qisu hadd ma jaf jiehu decizzjoni ghalih innifsu minghajr ma jizbalja.Qisu ghandna bzonn min imexxina min idejna. Jafu dawn l-ipokriti li Gesu Kristu ma impona fuq hadd,izda ghallem dak li hu tajjeb u dak li kien gust,imma halla lill kullhadd fil-liberta? Jiena personalment kontra d-devorzju,ma nibzax mid-devorzju u jista jkun hawn miljun ligi tad-devorzju ghax mhux ser naghmel uzu minnha qatt u qatt. Izda fir-referendum jien ser nivvota IVA,ghax jekk li stess ALLA lili hallieni fil-liberta li niddeciedi jien u minghajr ma impona fuqi,ghax ghandi nkun jien li nimponi fuq haddiehor dak li l-istess ALLA halla lili fil-liberta? Jekk jien meta nivvota IVA,u dan sabiex inhalli fil-liberta lill-haddiehor li jiddeciedi hu dak li jhoss li hu tajjeb ghalieh u li skond il-knisja nkun ghamilt zball, ghallura ha naslu ghall assurdita li nistghu nghidu li GESU KRISTU ghamel zball ukoll ghax halla lili fil-liberta li niddeciedi jien?
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Hawnhekk qed jinghad hafna kliem sabih u ta' kuragg lil Fr Mark, izda hemm bzonn li jekk il-Knisja tipprova terga tibghatu fuq xi safra ohra, ma nibqghux fuq il-kliem biss. Naqbel ma "Haha" li ghandna nibzghu ghal Fr Mark bil-fatti, u jekk ikun hemm bzonn nohrogu nipprotestaw u nsemmghu lehinna kontra din il-falsita u l-ipokresija. L-isqof tkellem dwar lupu mohbi fis-sura ta' naghga... lil isqof nghidlu li iktar ma jghaddi zmien, din ix-xbieha qed issir tixbah dejjem izjed lil knisja tieghu!! Kuragg Fr Mark, ninsabu warajk.
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"Ftakar biss li int tajt kelma lil Alla li tkun fidil lejn il-kelma mqaddsa tieghu, u tkunx showman!!!" Sur Kummentatur: mela lill qassisin / sorijiet pedofoli inti x'issejhilom? Lill Patri Mark sejjahtlu Manuel Dimech. Min jaf kemm intefah......ghax ghamiltlu tassew unur. Taf x'ma' tistax issejjahlu lill Patri Mark: PEDOFOLU. Hudha ma' saqajk!!
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Time and again Fr.Mark signifies the difference between the approach of a loving and understanding God compared to that of an institutionalised hierarchic power hungry church. There again, Fr.Mark did not state that he will be voting Yes or No or if he'll be voting at all, and this is his choice to make. Nonetheless his pointing out - as humbly as can be - that some of the church's actions have been ill-advised (at best), is a credit to the altruistic universal spirit within him. now let us await the backlash on Fr.Mark, from those who proclaim to be guided by the holy spirit, but alas never dirty their hands in striving to effectively heal the physically and morally wounded......
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the church is acting as to what the pharisees preached in times of of a man called jesus. mark you belong to a club that has marred its name with scandal, especially on innocent children. It is not an easy situation for you to analyze. I see in you a new francesco d'assisi. yes times have changed but not the game.
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fr Mark, forgiveness for what ? I believe in God, and i don't believe in any religion precisely because I believe in God. I refuse to believe that God is anything even remotely close to how He is pictured by religions. At the end of the day, the God I believe in is the same One that you believe in. Only I am more lucky than you, as I am not fettered by a Taliban institution in my quest for God. Forgiveness ? I wish I had your courage.
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Prosi patri Mark ghax ghandek l gutz li turi fehemtek Li hu zgur hu li hemm hafna qassisin bhalek li jixtiequ juru fehemthom izda jibzew li jigu vittimizzati .Ma tarax li kull minn tkellem fuq l linji tieghek raw kif ghamlu biex rega hareg xi stqarrija ohra Possibbli li l knisja ma tarafx li qeda terga tiftah l griehi li fethet fis sittinijiet?
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Sur Kummentatur, imissek tisthi tghid hekk lil Mark Montebello. Kun af li sejjaħtlu Manwel Dimech unur għamiltlu għax Manwel Dimech il-Knisja ta' Malta ippruvat teqirdu u sa ċertu punt irnexxilha għax miet barra minn pajjiżnu u ħadd ma jaf fejn jinsab midfun, kif ippruvat taghmel lil Mark Montebello, imma fakru li ż-żerriegħa li żera Manwel Dimech issaqqiet, kibret u llum qed tagtina l-frott li inthom am ridtux li l-poplu Malti jkollu. Imma tista' tibqa' cert li lill-Knisja ta' Maltai lil Mark Montebello mhux se nhalluha taghmillu l-istess ghax jekk hemm bzonn nohorgu nipprotestaw bil-qawwa kollha u halli l-ghanqbut li ilu sekli shah fil-Kbnisja ta' Malta flimkien mal-BRIMB li nisgu u ghadu qed jinsgu jinqered ma' l-ghanqbut.
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the loneliest feeling in the world http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upn9wklYGEI
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Li kieku L-Isqof ta Ghawdex juri l-istess energija u zelu li qed juri kontra is-separazzjoni bejn Stat u Kurja/Knisja/Medjovali, kieku il-gerha pedifolika f'Malta...u f'Ghawdex....kieku din, diga qeghda titfejjaq! Il-Papa Benedittu fetah il-bieb: dawk ta Malta u ta Ghawdex jghalqugh?
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@Kummentatu: Taf xi trid int li l-Knisja tibqa` tiddomina il-hsieb ta dan il-poplu biex xi skozz bhalek jerdghu minn fuq l-injoranza tan-nies. Prosit ghalik kemm taf toffendi...ara tmurx thabbat fuq sidrek illejla halli jarawk.
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Fr. Mark - Thank you for your courage to speak out, especially when others try to shut you up. I agree with your views. The Archbishop at first said that he does not want a crusade, but now that's exactly what his church is doing. It is even worse when we have a situation where there is no distinct separation between state and church - Iran comes to my mind! I am myself a christian but not roman catholic. I admire your determination to speak when others choose to play it safe and think that true roman catholics should be proud to have you in their church.
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At last...someone with whom you can have a healthy and mature debate even though you may not agree with all that he says...but he certainly makes you respect him. Well done!!! Good thing we are not living in darker times cos you'll be burnt at the stake.
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Nixtieq nibda biex nuri l'apprezzament tieghi lil Patri Mark Montebello. Kif spjega tajjeb L-Imhallef Emeritus Dr.Philip Sciberras, hawn Malta l-knisja ghadha tippretendi li tiddomina l'imhuh billi tuza l-biza' u tuza l'innocenza tat-tfal fi kwistjonijiet li huma purament tal-adulti, bhalma kienet taghmel fl'imghoddi. Kemm il-darba f'xi kawza ta' separazzjoni fil-qorti civili, il-gudikant jwissi l'genituri biex it-tfal ma jintuzawx bhala arma fi kwistjonijiet ta' bejniethom, u din il-knisja li taparsi kattolika u li tahdem f'isem Alla l-hanin, qed tghamel propju l'oppost f'dawn l'affarijiet. Ma nistax nifhem kif ghad hawn nies li huma daqshekk fanatici u mohhhom maghluq dwar ir-religjon, u jinsew li jezistu d-drittijiet civili ghal kulhadd. Veru imisshom jisthu dawk il-politikanti li qed ihalltu dritt civili ma' xi haga ta' moralita, meta dawn suppost li jafu jaghmlu definizjoni bejn affarijiet tal-istat u tal-knisja. Veru ghandna ghalxiex ninkwetaw jekk ghandna politikanti li ma jafux jghamlu destinzjoni bejn stat u knisja!!! Veru li flok ma morna l'quddiem morna 200 sena lura, basta dahhluna fl'Ewropa b'hafna gideb u weghdi miksurin, ghax l'anqas jitwemmnu l-kummenti li qed jinghadu dwar id-dhul tad-divorzju. Il-knisja dejjem irrenjat ghax tifred w issaltan, u fejn ghad hemm poplu b'intelligenza baxxa, aktar il-knisja tkun b'sahhitha. Ahjar kieku l'awtoritajiet tal-knisja iduru dawra ma' dwarhom infushom u jaraw kif jevitaw li membri tal-istituzzjoni taghhom ma jibqghux jabbuzaw bi tfal taht l'eta. Hija xi haga ta' misthija kbira, kif kollox baqa' sigriet dwar il-proceduri fil-qorti tal-kazijiet moqzieza li hargu fil-berah f'dawn l'ahhar snin. Nahseb hemm min qieghed fil-poter li ghandu xi nteress partikulari li fejn tidhol il-knisja, certu hnizrijiet jibghu mistura. Izda hawn hafna nies li qedghin jistennew sabiex jaraw ezatt x'qed jigri minn dawn il-kazijiet skandaluzi. Jigri x'jigri fir-referendum, f'dawn l'ahhar gimghat hareg bic-car daqs il-kristall li l-knisja baqghet bl'istess mentalita konservattiva u ta' impozizzjoni li uriet dejjem matul iz-zminijiet fil-konfront tan-nies. IVA GHAD-DIVORZJU, anke jekk nghamel dnub mejjet!
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" Partisan politicians were left to make religious arguments without impunity.” I think you mean 'with impunity'.
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Isabelle Borg
Fr.Mark, you are the light at the end of the tunnel.
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The local people can ensure Mark Montebello will NOT prove to be the sacrificial lamb by making sure he is given all the support he needs as well as a salary by those who wish him to continue his priestly role. But this has to be independent of the Roman Church. I agree with falzonsolvio - the Vatican crowd are going to eat him alive UNLESS we give him our FULL support. . Please let’s not just sit and watch horrible things happen to good people. . A church for Malta would have to be (i) WITHOUT BISHOPS AND (ii) WITHOUT FUNNY HIERARCHIES WHO DO ALL MANNER OF THINGS IN SECRET.
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Fr. Mark, my respects. You summed up what so many feel. The church in Malta has never missed the opportunity to miss an opportunity. If a no vote prevails the consequences will be major. But unfortunately Bishop Canute does not seem to comprehend this and well meaning priests like yourself get marginalized by theocrats aimed at keeping Malta as a Vatican satellite state.
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Thank you thank you Fr. Montebello you are a true light in these dark times! You are not alone. I cannot express my gratitude well enough. You evidently have the interest of people at heart, people who are being hurt by this campaign built on hatred, bigotry, twisting of Jesus' words and spiritual threats. You are a symbol of true love, compassion and truth. It's no wonder the obscurantist forces try to silence you, it is because they are scared, scared of people seeing the light, the truth, scared that people will be shown compassion, for true compassion opens the heart and the mind, these are the true open doors of the Church! Malta is lucky to have you!
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Schlangina: what you have written is proof, if proof were needed, of the veracity of Fr. Montebello's words. Fr. Montebello is possibly the only intellectual among all Malta's clergy and he is certainly the most brave and righteous. I pay him homage. The apocalyptic fulminations of the shepherd-in-chief of the one-horse island where Calypso is said to have compelled Ulysses to minister to her fleshly concupiscence for seven years, represent in my mind the true face of the Maltese Church allied to money and power. To me, the motives of the leaders of those who oppose divorce are religious, political and economic even if they try to hide behind a deceitful veil of pseudo-secular arguments and their final aim is to control the lives of others, as the Church has done or tried to do down the centuries, and thereby to preserve their political and economic interests. If you are not within their fold, you will be ruthlessly crushed. For this is what is really at stake: power that begats money and money that begats power. Have they not tried to rope in those who control finance and commerce? In the past, they used the rope and the bonfire; today they use the ballot. As I see it, their purpose remains the same and Torquemada's spirit lives in them. There are still some who are ignorant enough to be terrified by threats of fire and brimstone but this will not be so for ever. I sense the dark hand of money, political power and obscurantist prelates joined together in a covenant designed to keep the gullible under their yoke. To me, this referendum is a farce because it is tainted with unfair practices. I leave it to others to ask the courts about its legality.
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Dear Kummentatur, Do not be so hot under the collar. Fr. Mark has a right to speak. I know the truth hurts, but show some charity. That is the end of my being polite. Now: Who the bloody hell gave you the right to tell him to leave the priesthood. You are angry because he is showing the church for what it is. Say bigot, mentioning Manuel Dimech your honour Fr. Mark because Dimech strived for the emancipation of the poor and remember the church has some of his blood on its hands. Who did you want Fr. Mark to research about Terinu! Now that would be interesting reading. Why all this anger? you'r a Catholic you should forgive, like Christ forgave his enemies whilst on the Cross. But you are not like Christ you are like bishop Grech the bully. Blessed are the meak for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! Hey did you read Dr Sciberras comment? Read it and learn what it means to be a catholic and a just person.
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Schlangina: what you have written is proof, if proof were needed, of the veracity of Fr. Montebello's words. Fr. Montebello is possibly the only intellectual among all Malta's clergy and he is certainly the most brave and righteous. I pay him homage. The apocalyptic fulminations of the shepherd-in-chief of the one-horse island where Calypso is said to have compelled Ulysses to minister to her fleshly concupiscence for seven years, represent in my mind the true face of the Maltese Church allied to money and power. To me, the motives of the leaders of those who oppose divorce are religious, political and economic even if they try to hide behind a deceitful veil of pseudo-secular arguments and their final aim is to control the lives of others, as the Church has done or tried to do down the centuries, and thereby to preserve their political and economic interests. If you are not within their fold, you will be ruthlessly crushed. For this is what is really at stake: power that begats money and money that begats power. Have they not tried to rope in those who control finance and commerce? In the past, they used the rope and the bonfire; today they use the ballot. As I see it, their purpose remains the same and Torquemada's spirit lives in them. There are still some who are ignorant enough to be terrified by threats of fire and brimstone but this will not be so for ever. I sense the dark hand of money, political power and obscurantist prelates joined together in a covenant designed to keep the gullible under their yoke. To me, this referendum is a farce because it is tainted with unfair practices. I leave it to others to ask the courts about its legality.
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Thank you Fr mark for your honesty your integrity and courage.you are a hero in a lions den .
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@Kummentatur YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. ONE WOULD HOPE THAT PERHAPS YOU WILL FIND THE TIME IN YOUR LIFE TO STUDY THE WORD OF JESUS CHRIST AND FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO BE MORE REASONABLE WITH THOSE THAT HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION. MAYBE THEN YOU CAN CALL YOURSELF A TRUE CHRISTIAN FREE OF LABELS & HYPOCRISY. MALTA OUGHT TO BE PROUD TO HAVE CATHOLIC PRIESTS LIKE FATHER MARK.
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Proset Fr. Mark ghax bi kliemek u hsebijietek turi kemm il-Knisja Maltija ghadha maqtugha ghal kollox mir-realtijiet ta' socjeta li ma taccettax kif gieb u lahaq il-kundanni kurjali ta' min ghadu jrid jimponi fuq il-kuxjenza tal-fidili b'tattici inkwizitorjali taz-zmenijiet ohra u li jien,ingenwament, bsart li ntesew fil-ktieb ta' l-istorja tas-sittinijiet. B'dispjacir ninnota kemm l-istess Knisja hi inkonxja minn dik il-kuxjenza mifruxa tar-rifjut tal-ipokresija ta' dari fejn il-koppja fiz-zwieg tinzamm marbuta flimkien akkost ta' kollox, ukoll jekk ir-rapport ta' bejnithom ikun tnawwar u sfaxxa. Xi nghidu mbaghad ghall-insensibilita' ta' l-istess Knisja li ghal propoganda meskina tisfrutta l-uzu tat-tfal innocenti biex tbezzgha lil-kbar. Nistaqsi jien, fejn marru l-kompassjoni, l-imhabba, u l-ispirtu innovattiv tal-Koncilju Vatikan taht Papa Gwanni XXIII li wassal biex il-Knisja tiggedded, tifli l-polz taz-zmenijiet, tahseb fil-minsija u taghder lil-mugugha u l-imwarrba fis-socjeta. Inti Fr. Mark familjari sew mal-filosofiji, ukoll dawk liberali bhal Ronald Dworkin, u bhali nifhem li tista' tirrepeti lil dawk li huma komdi jew jappellaw ghal- "gid komuni" illi "l-istituzzjoni tad-drittijiet hi krucjali ghaliex tirraprezenta il-weghda tal-maggoranza lil-minoranza illi d-dinjita' u l-ugwaljanza jigu rispettati. Aktar ma l-firda bejn dawn il-gruppi tkun qawwija, aktar dik il-weghda, jekk trid tigi rispettata, ghandha tkun aktar sinciera". Kuragg dejjem Fr. Mark ghax m'intiex wahdek, anke jekk hemm min jahseb, fis-suppervja u l-ghamad tieghu, li inti vuci tghajjat fid-dezert.
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mur tghallem x'tghid il-kelma t'Alla dwar id-divorzju, thawwadx iktar nies sur manuel dimech! Jekk int imdejjaq sacerdot INZA! Inti tifforma parti minn taghlim u taghlim ufficjali. Mur ivvota Iva halli tidher sabih ma tal-IVA... Ftakar biss li int tajt kelma lil Alla li tkun fidil lejn il-kelma mqaddsa tieghu, u tkunx showman!!!
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Human Torch patrijiet bhal Father Mark Montobello ghanna bzonn ma TISTHIX il knisja IZZEFFEN lit tfal fin nofs u terga TIVVINTA id dnub il MEJJET ara fuq dawk il QASSISIN U SORIJIET li ABBUZAW mit tfal il KNISJA BAQAT KWIETA dak huwa dnub il mejjet mhux li TIVVOTA favur id divorzju ghidlu lil l-isqof ta Ghawdex Li ikun hawn id divorzju huwa dritt ta kull indifidwu ma nafx kif Dr Lawrence Gonzi qala dan il PANDEMONJU kollu wara kollox dan huwa dritt civili u ma kelliex tidhol il POLITIKA Ghandek l-unur tghid Dr L Gonzi li id dnubiet il mejta issemmew fi zmien ZIJUK l-Arcisqof Mikiel Gonzi u issa kellek terga TAQALAW INT ID DNUB IL MEJJET ghalhekk jien INHEGGEG LIL KULL MIN GHANDU DRITT jivvota biex jivvota skond il KUXJENZA tieghu ghax fdawn l-affarijiet HADD ma ghandu JINDAHALLEK kif TIVVOTA
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Prosit Fr Mark. I am not a religious person however I still admire you for many things and I truly admire you and stand 100% with you on this. I mostly admire you because you are the only one (or one of the very few) religious people with b…. who have the guts to speak their minds and treat other fellow citizens as equal intelligent citizens and not use their position to try to influence and install fear on those who are vulnerable and easily deceived. From my part, not only do I have nothing to forgive you about but applaud you for refusing to be a part of this charade. Welcome back with your people. Just for the record, I am a Maltese man happily married to a foreign divorcee for the last seven years. We have 2 children and a stable family. I will be voting yes as I believe that all my fellow citizens who are not as lucky as I am should have the opportunity to find love and hapiness just as my wife and myself did. My wife got her Maltese citizenship last october and is one of those who was denied her right to vote in this referendum.
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@ Schalagina You are definitely not Christian. Your insolent writings give you away as being one of the those who have thwarted the teachings of Christ. Who is the traitor then.
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No, In the coming weeks, they will destroy mark Montebello. The order will maybe come from the vatican, just wait and see. He has a lot of courage to speak like that. At least he has a free mind of his own, so they did not crush his fighting spirit... All he did is for the love that he believes in... I can understand him.... In the future we wil see ,how this will ends...
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Father Montebello, you are lucky you are living in 2011 otherwise the zealots would have made you burn on the stake like your fellow Domenican Girolamo Savonarola. The local Church is the heir to those bigots and zealots that tried to muffle Girolamo's stand against corruption and political intrigue. The LE front and the political Kurja will definitely win this politcal game, but alas, the Church will be losing its spiritual members in droves.
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I just heard the news on super1 .11.45 . it says police arrested a nun in Gozo during the night. It continued to say that its about sexual abuse on a boy in a home (maybe children's home) which happened 5 years ago.. Can Maltatoday investigate pls?
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Thank you, Mark! Thank you for breaking your silence and speak out the truth. You are displaying your courage once again.
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A lit candle (Fr.Mark) in the dark ages (the Catholic Church of Malta + Schal Angina).
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Joseph Sant
@ Schlangina - Have you looked in the mirror recently?
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MONTEBELLO FOR BISHOP!
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Lancet writes: MAY YOU (MONTEBELLO) BE THE ONE TO STEER THE COURSE OF A NEW REFORMED CHURCH IN MALTA. . I second that!
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@Schlangina It TRADITUR huwa int u shabek in negattivi tal LE siehbi...Ghanqas tisthi min Gesu stess li pridka ghal ghaqda u liberta ta kull bniedem meta inthom stess li tghidu li inthom """Kristjani"''' qed taghmlu bil maqlub li pridka Gesu. Qed tifirdu u ttappnu il libertajiet tan nies ja qabda I P O K R I T I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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A Schlangina re-write ... . Il-knisja maltija ghanda bzonn sacerdoti tajba bhal Fr Montebello. Dak li qed jghid u jikteb huwa biex jaghmel gied u gieb helsien ghan nies. Veru bniedem solidu u ghodda f´idejn il kelma tajba. Ghandhu ghajnejh veru miftuhin halli jista ixxered il-verita.
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Forgive what? Do not be apologetic to those who willingly throw stones without realising that the very stones will be hurled back. I love your quest to be truthful to the real teachings of Christ. I am one that has long lost faith in the Church due to the increasing talibanisation of the medieval Church in Malta. You are certainly no traitor to the real cause of Christ. HE stood for the oppressed. MAY YOU BE THE ONE TO STEER THE COURSE OF A NEW REFORMED CHURCH IN MALTA. I WILL REENTER THEN!
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Ghalkemm miniex relgjuz, nammira persuna li temmen u tiggieled ghal- verita, Proset.
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Donella Agius
Il-knisja maltija ma ghandhiex bzonn ta´ sacerdoti tradituri bhal Fr Montebello. Dak li qed jghid u jikteb huwa biss biex jaghmel hsara lil fidi u jhawwad in-nies. Veru bniedem vojt u ghodda f´idejn l-ghedewwa tal-knisja. Is-suppervja tieghu ma thallihx jara l-verita.
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Grazzi mil-qalb Patri mark Montebello ! Jien wiehed minn dawk in-nies separati, ili 30 sena seoarat u l-istess il-partner tieghi li ltqajna 25 sena ilu. U la nistghu nizzewgu u lanqas inqerru u nitqarbnu. Imbaghad il-Knisja li ccahhadna minn dan, il-Kap taghha, Il-Papa Benedittu ma ra xejn hazin illi qarben quddiem dawk il-mijiet ta' eluf li attendew ghal beatifikazzjoni tal-Papa Gwanni Pawlu, lil President taz-imbabwe li QATEL ELUF KBAR TA' NIES u haqar poplu shih. Ghamel kuragg patri Mark INT QIEGHED FIS-SEWWA U MIN SUPPOST QED JGHATI L-EEMPJU - L-ISQFIJIET U L-KuRjA , QEGHDIN FL-IZBALL. U ghad iridu jghatu kont lil ALLA TA' GHEMILHOM !
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Dear Fr Mark Montebello . The suffering world needs people like you. . THANK-YOU from the bottom of our hearts for speaking up. You are more than forgiven. . As far as I am concerned even the cruel faction of the church is forgiven. ' Forgiveness =YES ' Allowing the abuser (be it husband, wife or an institution) a second chance = NO With deepest gratitude
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Li kieku f-Malta il-qassisin u l-patrijiet kienu kollha tal-fehma ta father Montebello niggarantixxi li-l-knejjes jergaw ikunu imbattati bin nies, imma bhal ma jaf kullhadd il-lum il-knejjes huma mimlijin bhafna xjuh li ghalihom li jmorru l-knisja kuljum huwa bhal passatemp u biex ikunu jafu xghamel dak u xghamlet dik
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In which other country will he be expelled, now that he has spoken?
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At last a voice of reason and truth in this wilderness of bitterness. Thank you
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Why is it that there seem to be very few of the like of Fr.Montebello in a country which prides itself about being Catholic? Why is it that the Catholic Church in Malta seemingly blindfolded and without proper guidance, embarked into a laissez-fair crusade, with some clergy taking the role of knights, fighting their own individualised crusade in manners that verge the bewilderment? I am one of those persons that were brought up as Catholics and who tried to grow up his children in the Catholic faith, but how can I explain to my children, who are now grown ups that this is the same Church of Christ? The same Christ who died for our sins, who absolved Mary of Magdalene, who ate with thieves and adulteresses, the compassionate and loving Jesus Christ. The Church has sent out yet again the wrong message. How are you going to be able to recover from this mess and attract back to the Church of Christ, cause this is not your own Church, but that of the people, those people which you were entrusted with, in the name of Christ, to guide towards God himself?