Scicluna’s passion and humour recalled by law contemporaries
Mgr Charles Scicluna loved law almost as much as he loved religion and his University contemporaries instantly recall his passion of both subjects.
Lawyer Max Ganado always saw Mgr Scicluna as a man with a big vision,honour and a great sense of humour. They first met as first-year law students.
“There were elections for a student organisation and he put forward his name, to serve. He gave this rousing speech, peppered with Latin statements, and had us in fits of laughter.”
Dr Ganado says this was a time of “destructive oppression” in Malta, but Mgr Scicluna spoke about unity with an idealism shared by many at the time.
“Our life choices then brought us face to face with realities we never imagined we would encounter, especially Mgr Scicluna, as he had to deal with serious breaches of trust; lapses of human nature, which most of us do not have to deal with in our professional lives. They could not but have had an enormous impact on his morale, but thankfully he has deep resources of knowledge and faith to rely on.”
Dr Ganado recalls Mgr Scicluna’s love of Roman law, which he hopes to be able to tap into now that he was back from Rome.
“I sought his help when I was asked to draft legislation on foundations, for by then he had become an expert in canon law, which projects a lot of Roman law into a more modern context. Unfortunately, he was whisked away to Rome and I missed the benefit of his sharp analysis.”
Dr Ganado recalls meeting Mgr Scicluna in Rome more recently, where the two had the pleasure of discussing controversial issues.
“His style is open. He listens and makes his point without offending anyone making an opposing point, dropping subtle hints on what a considered view could be, opening up options for the persons he is speaking to, without the need to impose... sowing a seed and letting the plant grow.”
“We lack this system of discourse and debate so badly in present day Malta and I have no doubt he will have a positive effect,” he says, looking forward to his guidance, inspiration and insights in this world of “confused sounds and actions all around us”.
Lawyer Edward DeBono also remembers Mgr Scicluna, who, “despite his small stature was a towering rock of faith, honesty and integrity” since his student days.
Mgr Scicluna always had a kind word for everyone and used to relate well with students. He always enjoyed a good laugh but was never rude.
One thing that impressed Dr DeBono was the fact that he decided to pursue his vocation after his first year of law.
“Being a man of no half measures and never to be considered a failure, he wanted to pursue his legal studies contemporaneously with his seminary studies,” Dr DeBono says, recalling how Mgr Scicluna made it a point to finish his legal studies, which must have helped him in the difficult work he undertook at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“He always had a fine legal brain but I believe that his love for the Church surpassed his love for law. His quest for law and order manifested itself in his role at the Vatican and he proved to be a true witness of Christ, the Gospel and the Church in his role as chief investigator of clergy abuse,” says Dr DeBono, hoping that one day he would be appointed Archbishop on the way to be given the Cardinal’s hat at an age when he can still vote in a future Conclave.