Watch: Vatican in contact with Maltese govt; Pope receives letter by Maltese Bishops

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that as a nation we have a moral obligation to save the migrants stranded at sea. Scicluna also said that his comments are not intended to teach the government on what should or should not be done in such circumstances.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna stated this as he was interviewed by Fr Joe Borg on Newsbook.com.mt on Thursday. The migration crisis was the topic discussed during the interview.

Scicluna said that in front of this situation we have to offer a safe port for the migrants who are searching for a better future.

The Maltese government, last week, announced that the Maltese ports are closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus and so the government cannot assist these migrants.

During the interview, Archbishop Scicluna referred to the letter sent by the Maltese bishops to call on the Vatican to intervene in the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

He also said that he is informed that Pope Francis has already read the letter which was addressed to Cardinal Pierpaolo Parolin and signed by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Gozo Apostolic Administrator Mario Grech, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi, and the General Secretary of the Maltese Episcopal Conference Fr Jimmy Bonnici.

In their letter, they said that 47 people are stuck on an NGO rescue vessel in Malta’s search and rescue area waiting to be allowed to disembark and so called on the Vatican for its intervention “in this case to advocate for a solution that is based on solidarity and respect for human dignity.”

Scicluna said that the Church is not a political force but can use the force of solidarity and will use all its means to assist in this situation, then continued by explaining how the Church in Malta and Gozo contributes towards the migrants’ community.

During the interview, Fr Joe Borg asked Archbishop Scicluna what are his thoughts regarding comments by the public who do not wish to help the migrants stranded at sea. Fr Borg mentioned a few comments published on social media which have already been condemned by authorities.

Archbishop Scicluna said that by reading such comments he worries on how much, as Christians, are we ready to help those in need.

Regarding the coronavirus situation, Archbishop Scicluna said that these times are definitely not easy especially to those who already suffer from certain health conditions. He appealed to the public to follow the instructions announced by the authorities so that normality can be reinstated in our lives as soon as possible.