Church commission talks of alarming rate of interfaith marriages

Parliamentary committee hears Mgr Philip Calleja on interfaith civil marriages.

The parliamentary family affairs committee met this afternoon to discuss civil marriage in Malta.

The committee is chaired by Nationalist MP Jean-Pierre Farrugia and includes government MPs Charlò Bonnici and Jesmond Mugliett. The Opposition is represented by Justyne Caruana and Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.

All MPs stressed the importance of marriage and agreed that marriage should be encouraged by the state, in the light of increasing numbers of persons choosing to cohabit and have children without marrying.

The committee received Mgr Philip Calleja, of the Church's emigrants commission, who prepared a presentation on civil marriage preparation. He said that civil marriages between Maltese nationals and foreigners are problematic "especially with African mothers who raise their children in an environment that is alien to Malta."

Calleja said that St Paul's Bay, Sliema, Msida, Gzira, St Julian's and San Gwann have the highest incidence of civil marriages between foreign and Maltese nationals.

He said that the number of mixed marriages was increasing and is "alarming", adding that when Arab and Muslim persons marry Maltese nationals, these persons should be "prepared".

He added that the Emigrants' Commission is urging government to organise marriage courses for all persons who get married by civil marriage. The commission said it is available to help out in these courses.

Representatives of the Emigrants' Commission warned about the dangers which broken families, children born out of wedlock and unprepared spouses pose to society.

Labour MP Justyne Caruana noted her annoyance at the use of the term "illegitimate children" in Calleja's report and explained that this term has been removed from national legislation and no difference can be done between legitimate and illegitimate children.

Il knisja tithaded kif jaqbel lila, u mhux kif jaqbel lili.
Church commission talks of alarming rate of interfaith marriages---- aka the catholic church is scared witless of it's monopoly (and the cash that comes in) over faith.
..u halluna gejjien bil course! Il Knisja m'ghandix tindahal bl' affarijiet civili ta l'istat!!! TAXXA INDIRETTA OHRA DIN
Jurgen Cachia
Good on you Justyne. Now tell the Monsignor to keep his sticky beak out of civil marriage issues. Hasn't the church done enough damage? As for the rest of you - none of your business if people choose not to get married. They should still retain full rights as citizens.