In an exclusive interview with Newsbook.com.mt, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malta Mgr Alessandro D’Errico said that President George Vella affirmed his pro-life position in support of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Mgr D’Errico said this after his first official visit to the President of Malta.
Mgr D’Errico said that he had requested an audience with the new President as soon as Dr Vella had been nominated. The Nuncio said that he knew the President very well and wished to be one of the first to wish him well. The Nuncio passed on to President Vella the Holy Father’s congratulations for his appointment.
The nuncio said that the two discussed matters which interested both parties, both from the aspect of Church-State relations in Malta as well as aspects of international policy and politics. Under the latter category, the Nuncio underlined the plight of Libya as well as the relations between Malta and the EU.
Church-State relations are very good
On the aspect of Church-State relations, the nuncio said that both were in agreement that the bilateral relations were generally very good, with, occasionally, some aspects or details which would need clarification. The Nuncio reported to the President what he perceived to be the sincere satisfaction which the Maltese Episcopal Conference felt at his nomination, remarking that the Prime Minister’s choice had been an intelligent one since this choice also promoted unity.
On the issue of Libya, a country which the Nuncio said President Vella Knows well, the discussion centred on the welfare of the Maltese Bishops in Libya. The President expressed his concern for their welfare as well as the hope of a peaceful resolution to the bloody conflict.
Pope Francis is aware of Malta’s limitations regarding migration
Mgr D’Errico raised the issue of illegal migrants, re-iterating the position taken in the New Year’s Greetings. He said that the Pope’s position on migration was not ‘buonista’ (good at all costs) but one where he invites all governments to be open to solidarity and hospitality as well as integration of the migrants. He said that one must also be realistic in terms of capabilities of small countries such as Malta when compared to larger countries such as Italy and Spain.
Another topic discussed was inter-faith dialogue, a theme which the Nuncio said that the President had also discussed with Archbishop Scicluna and which was also close to the President’s heart. The Nuncio said that this too was coherent with the message of unity which the President had underlined several times in his speech.