Source: The Times of Malta: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 , by Louise Cilia
The message the letter by Fr Renè Camilleri (July 23) titled Country (And Church) That Never Grow Up conveys is of topical interest to us in Malta, especially in the light of the recent divorce referendum result.
Fr Camilleri, who, to my knowledge, is a close adviser to the Archbishop, writes as follows when reflecting on an earlier report in The Times regarding the arrival in Malta from Rome of the reliquary credited to contain part of St Sebastian’s head:
“It’s a Church that continues to ignore the times and insists on perpetuating an infantile faith and religion”.
Another article having a similar message and written by Fr Alfred Micallef SJ appeared the following day in The Sunday Times titled Church At Crossroads. Fr Micallef laments that many in the Church have not learned the proper lesson from the referendum story. He writes:
“We seem to be stuck in the model of the Church as a hierarchical institution”. Further on, he continues: “Add to this the predilection of some for ceremony, lace and expensive liturgical vestments and you get the impression that values are not right”.
Vatican II, which was convened by Pope John XXIII “to open the windows of the Church to let in some fresh air”, seems to have bypassed many here in Malta even after 47 years since its closure by Pope Paul VI. As Fr Micallef wrote: “Vatican II proposed the model of the Church as a community in pilgrimage. ‘Being in pilgrimage’ means that we are not there yet… It means, among other things, that we cannot say the last word on anything”.