Last weekend’s upset divorce referendum result should spur both ruling politicians and the Church to seriously start reordering their priorities. Both have just been given a serious drubbing at the polls.
The Church is in shock, the ruling Nationalist Party punch drunk, its size 10 pride shrunk to pinhead size. In just one day, 212,547 voters hauled Malta into the heart of liberal democracy, the default setting of modern governance.
Much of the ordeal politics and the Church find themselves in is the result of the thick gruel they brew.
For decades they have relied on measurements priests and politicians cut, make, and trim for the rest of us. The problem is that people’s trust in the country’s traditional yardsticks is slipping.
Here’s one truth: the Catholic Church will not compromise its values, even in the face of inevitable events that mark man’s journey on earth, like divorce. Therein lies its strength.
But away from what is truly sinful or not, it can modify its strategy largely by taking an axe to long festering dogmatic problems.
It must, above all today, accept the supremacy of institutions whose job is to grant people greater freedoms. Said simply, the Church needs to attach less equivocal certitudes to its pronouncements.