Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The wearing of face masks is a key measure in containing the spread of Covid-19 – and the law in many circumstances, for the time being – but there’s no harm in trying to look one’s best while wearing one, according to Archbishop Charles Scicluna.
The Archbishop was being interviewed by Fr Joe Borg in a Newsbook Q&A, and while the interview generally tackled weightier matters – not least immigration – Fr Borg’s references to face masks led to a moment of levity.
Fr Borg highlighted that neither he nor the Archbishop were wearing masks, but only because the interview was being carried out via videoconferencing.
Archbishop Scicluna quickly pointed out that he was keeping a face mask within reach, producing one from his breast pocket “lest people believe that their bishop is not observing the rules.”
He seized the opportunity to appeal to the public to observe all precautions, including the wearing of masks where required: “this is no joke.”
But he then recalled a visit to Rome he made earlier this month, in which he observed how people were seeking to turn a legally-required precaution into a fashion statement – and a business opportunity.
He recounted how many shops in the centre of Rome had started to stock face masks, of which many sported custom designs, including football team motifs as well as pricier luxury models.
“You can’t beat the Italians on fashion,” the Archbishop quipped.
In turn, Fr Borg suggested that the Curia could produce face masks in liturgical colours, to match the vestments the clergy wears during the celebration of mass. Not a bad idea, according to the Archbishop, who highlighted that he also found such masks in Rome.
“And this does not really apply to us,” he told Fr Borg, “but they’re also selling matching masks and ties. “Perhaps that could be a gift suggestion for Christmas.”