‘Embrace change, while nurturing your faith’ – Bishop Grech

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

‘Nowadays people live their faith differently, from the older generations,’ Gozo Bishop Mario Grech said. This does not mean that the younger generations are worse than our ancestors, he added in his message to the Catholic Action Movement in Gozo on the occasion of their General Assembly. 

Mgr Grech is currently at the Vatican attending the Amazon Synod, in his capacity as the pro-secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. 

In his message, the bishop of Gozo stressed that those who wear the għonnella (a form of dress worn in the past which consisted of a headdress and shawl) would be killing faith rather than reviving it. He added that one should not expect the younger generations to wear it as a testimony of their faith. Mgr Grech explained that some people through their actions and the values they cherish are still Christians despite not having ever set foot in a church or having understood the beauty of the Eucharist. 

‘The flame has been reduced to cinders; however given enough space, they could be sparked to burn again,’ Bishop Grech said.

Don’t be afraid of change

Bishop Grech appealed to the members of Catholic Action to not fear change, urging them to welcome the transition. 

‘Don’t try to stop change, this is part of your vocation,’ he added underlining that one has to participate in this process of change while remaining faithful to the Church’s teachings, and thus in a contemporary setting, remaining relevant. 

One should pray to the Holy Spirit to understand the signs of our times, recognising anonymous Catholics which may be present in our society, Bishop Grech explained. 

Will He find faith on earth?

Reflecting on a verse from the Gospel, Mgr Grech’s message started off with ‘when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’.

The bishop of Gozo added that many would be tempted to reply in the negative and say that there is no faith. He acknowledged that society had changed and the Church no longer regulates one’s personal choices within their family and society.

He referred to ‘God is dead’, a widely quoted statement by the German philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche, observing that American professor on historical studies of religion, Philip Jenkins, said that religious faith in Europe is growing, unlike what is commonly believed.

‘While the Christian culture is changing, the truth contained in the Gospel remains the same,’ Mgr Grech stated.