[The heavy-handedness and one-sidedness of the Church of Mercy and Dialogue]
Posted by Fr Ray Blake
I had this email from a friend in Malta who is concerned about the high handed way in which Archbishop Scicluna is dealing with his clergy over Amoris Laetitia, I will be grateful if others could verify or otherwise its details. It is very sad that faithful priests are mocked by their bishop, who despite his CDF credentials and the apparent rebuke from Cardinal Mueller has not yet retracted his singular interpretation of the Pope. Several unconnected people have told me similar things by telephone or email.
If any other Maltese priests wish to comment anonymously, I will happily withhold their names before publication … I can understand why many of you might be somewhat afraid.
On Sunday this article appeared in The Sunday Times of Malta: in which Archbishop Scicluna says that he has held ‘frank discussions’ with his priests regarding the Maltese Criteria on Amoris Laetitia chapter 8.
This is did not happen.
Apparently all parish priests of Malta last Wednesday, 1st February were summoned to a meeting with Archbishop Charles Scicluna held a scheduled meeting last Wednesday, 1 February 2017. They were to attend by SMS text sent from the President of the College of Parish Priests. It was made known, also but not in writing, that the Abp will talk about the Criteria, but no one will be allowed to say anything in return. He started off by saying that he was not he was not planning suspend any of his clergy (many have read this as a subtle dig at Bishop Mario Grech, the Bishop of Gozo, who was reported to have threatened suspension to one of his priests because he found objection to the Criteria – See this link
I know for a FACT that he did threaten to suspend this priest. Mario Grech is known for his bullying tactics: See here [Several people have told me this]
During the meeting, Abp Scicluna repeatedly stressed that there there is only one interpretation of AL – the interpretation given by the Pope himself to the bishops of Argentina. The Abp also said that if this is the interpretation offered by the Pope himself, who are we to say otherwise. He kept repeating the mantra he had said in a homily on the 25th January 2017 see here
The mantra is this: We have one Pope, the present pope – Francis and reminded his parish priest that this principle is is the most traditional of principles: we follow whatever the Pope says. He went on to say that if the next Pope says something else, we will then follow what he says. We have one choice fundamentally; we are either Catholics with the Pope or we are not. The Archbishop quoted Saint George Preca, the Maltese saint, who said: Ego sum cum Papa semper.
After the Archbishop spoke, the parish priests were not encouraged to voice their concerns. Scicluna also took pleasure in attacking one of the parish priests who had been interviewed anonymously : see this link
Many parish priests were disgusted at how Scicluna, while brandishing a copy of the newspaper, openly mocked the parish priest for speaking to the journalists about his concerns. Many said after that if this is how he deals with dissent, then they will not speak to him, and prefer to follow their own conscience in the matter.
It is worth and important to point out, that at that very morning, the interview with Cdl Mueller denouncing the rogue interpretation of Chapter 8 of AL, was published. Scicluna, while mockingly acknowledging its existence, he chose to ignore it completely even though Mueller clearly corrected the Maltese Criteria. [This comes from multiple sources.]
In the meantime, one of Abp Scicluna’s attack dogs, Father Joe Inguanez, who is one of a group of liberal clerics who have plagued the local Church for decades, has written an article in the local press stating that Mueller’s comments in no way correct the Maltese Criteria. See this link:
We are quite desperate here in Malta.