Bishops tackle xenophobia in Pentecost pastoral letter, urge faithful to embrace diversity

"If prejudices and hatred lead to exclusion, destruction and murder, love leads to the building anew of the family of man."

Archbishop Charles Scicluna (file photo)
Archbishop Charles Scicluna (file photo)

Maltese bishops have called for the local faith community to bear “a concrete witness to love” in their letter marking Pentecost.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi urged the faithful to embrace diversity and the changes it brings.

“As a faith community, we are living in a society that, while appreciating its ancient roots, embraces a diversity of cultures, languages, races and religions. This is a golden opportunity for us all to witness to love, which is the universal language that everybody can understand. If prejudices and hatred lead to exclusion, destruction and murder, love leads to the building anew of the family of man. Man was created to enter into a relationship of love with God and men, whoever they are, of whatever race or colour. This love, a gift from God, is the foundation of an inclusive society where the fundamental rights of every human being, whoever he is, are respected and protected.

"Instead of pointing fingers at others, we Catholics should take the initiative and continue building bridges which go forth from our hearts and extend beyond and above the abyss of racism, of all kinds of prejudice and fear of all that is foreign, that is, all forms of xenophobia.”

People coming to live in Malta in search of a better life are not to be perceived as enemies, but partners in prosperity and the enrichment of cultural heritage said the bishops.

“Foreigners living in our country are human beings like us who have the same human dignity and the same fundamental rights we enjoy. If these people have not yet met Jesus Christ, what will they say when they meet us, the family of Jesus, and hear us talking about Him? What will they say when they see how we live our faith in Jesus? And above all, what will foreigners who live here say about our faith when they see how we treat them, what wages we pay them, what accommodation we offer them?”

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