Former minister, stock exchange and FIAU bosses form Catholic lay society

Catholic Voices Malta to promote Church’s representation in media and societal engagements

Members of Catholic Voices Malta with Archbishop Charles Scicluna
Members of Catholic Voices Malta with Archbishop Charles Scicluna

Catholic Voices Malta has joined the international network of Catholic Voices, with the training of 25 lay persons who will be representing the Maltese Church’s in the media.

Over 25 lay persons concluded a training programme supported by Catholic Voices UK.

The group includes lawyers, homemakers, members of the medical profession, educators, entrepreneurs, a social worker, an architect and a psychologist amongst others – as well as former PN finance minister Tonio Fenech, former stock exchange chairman and anti-divorce campaigner Arthur Galea Salomone, former FIAU director Manfred Galdes, and architect Simone Vella Lenicker.

Tonio Fenech had broken ranks with the PN leadership in 2017 when he exposed a rift between a conservative and liberal faction inside the party, after then leader Simon Busuttil pushed the Opposition to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. “I assure you that the less colourful silent ‘Catholic/Christian’ vote is far more influential voting-wise the any other lobby, the only difference is that to date is not yet been mobilized effectively as happens in other countries, because to date these people did not feel the need for such a mobilization as they found a home in the PN. This is where I would like these people to remain,” Fenech had told Busuttil in a letter.

READ 8 devastating takeaways from Tonio Fenech’s angry letter to the PN leadership

The group met Maltese archbishop Charles Scicluna, who spoke on the need to engage with a dialogue with the Maltese society, “seeking to win hearts rather than the minds of people”.

“Catholic Voices embraces the challenge Pope Francis makes to all the laity: ‘Given today’s ‘throwaway’ culture and so many problems unfolding in the world, “Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony? No, you can’t watch from the balcony. Get right in there!”’,” the group said in their statement.

A recent MaltaToday survey shows that 94% of the Maltese population still identify themselves as Catholics. Yet two-thirds of respondents said they had been to mass and far fewer said they had confessed their sins in the previous month when that survey was held.

“Catholic Voices Malta seeks to represent their voices, aspirations and the values, for the greater good of all Maltese society,” the group said.

Speakers from Catholic Voices will be participating in news and discussion programmes and debates and other forms of engagement with society.

“Catholic Voices will also start a series of training courses in parishes to inform better Catholics on the positive message and relevance of Church teaching to today’s society,” the group said.

Catholic Voices is a project which began in the UK in 2010 to improve the Church’s representation in the media, above all in news programs and debates, in preparation for the UK visit of Pope Benedict XVI. Since then the project has grown in many ways in the UK and has spread quickly around the world: so far over 20 CV groups have started in different countries in Europe, the Americas and Australia.

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