Watch: Schools need exemplary educators to guide their students – Bishop Teuma

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Schools cannot rely simply on the content of their lessons, but they are in need of exemplary educators who set a good example through their lives, Bishop of Gozo Anton Teuma said.

During the celebration of Mass at the Basilica of the Nativity of Our Lady in Xagħra on the eve of its titular feast Bishop Teuma argued that beyond teaching the syllabus, there was the need to provide an authentic formation to students, in what appears to be a reference to the Equality Bill which, according to the Church Schools Association, would stifle religious freedom.

The Bishop added that there was the need to strengthen the identity of students, who, he pointed out, would become tomorrow’s leaders. He emphasised that people were not defined solely by their intelligence: the relationships they developed were an integral part of who they were.

In his homily, he also appealed to the faithful to cherish their faith, and not treat it as an academic matter. Unfortunately, he mused, the more time passed, the more religion was reduced to something taught in schools.

In what was the first Pontifical Mass celebrated by the newly-consecrated bishop, he also emphasised the need for authentic and strong family ties.

In his homily, Bishop Teuma insisted that God did not forsake sinners, noting that everyone was ultimately considered to have sinned.

Jesus, he said, incorporated all past, present and future wrongs because he was not afraid to face sin. However, the Bishop argued that God was allergic to hypocrisy, to those who believed they were in the right whilst committing wrongdoing.

The Bishop insisted that the Church should never exclude anyone, because this had never been the intention of a forgiving God. He argued against the concept of a controlling God, stating that he wished to see us happy, and that his only interest was our salvation.