Bishops express sorrow for hurt during referendum campaign
The bishop this evening expressed regret if anyone was hurt by any words or actions taken by members of the Church during the referendum campaign.
In a sent sent earlier this afternoon but embargoed to 10 p.m., an embargo timesofmalta.com has respected, Archbishop Paul Cremona, Gozo bishop Mario Grech and auxiliary bishop Annetto Depasquale, said they unconditionally forgave those who had hurt them.
Everyone now had to see, even on a personal basis, where they could have caused suffering to others.
The bishops said they felt that, in the past days, not enough attention was paid to the need for investment in marriage and the famil.
They said they wanted to translate their wishes into reality so that young people would be helped enter marriage with more commitment, and sustain couples in their married life.
The bishops promised to profoundly reflect on how they could improve their work for the Christian family to be a true force of love and stability in Church life and society.
Efforts had to be coordinated to accompany married couples in their beautiful but difficult mission.
The bishops appealed to society, and those on both sides of the referendum campaign, to propose proposals on how this could be done.
There had to be the right environment to assist married couples and families, including those who opted to get married in Church.
It was also the duty of society to help those who opted for a civil marriage in their preparation for their new responsibilities.
The bishops promised that the Church would do its part for this to be achieved.
Their reflection, they said, was being made independently of the referendum result.
They said the campaign was a democratic process during which different ideas on what was felt to be best for families were expressed.
These ideas were expressed by different groups and people, including the Church, and were then expressed by the people through their free vote today.
HARD TO BELIEVE APOLOGY IS GENUINE - STANDUP MALTA
In a reply, pro-divorce group StandUp Malta said the bishops’ statement was an apology which they found difficult to accept.
It was very hard to believe that the apology was genuine, especially since the Church’s campaign continued blatantly even on reflection day yesterday and voting day today.
The apology, they said, should have been made during the campaign when a lot of people were hurt by extreme declarations such as when those who were voting yes were called wolves in sheeps’ clothing.
The fact that the bishops wanted their apology broadcast once voting closed was Machiavellian and dirty.
StandUp Malta thanked those who overcame the fear campaign and voted yes.
CHURCH COMPLAINS WITH ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The church submitted a formal complaint about MaltaToday to the Electoral Commisson.