Watch: “It’s important that we listen,” Bishop Elect says on role of the Church

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Bishop Elect Fr Anton Theuma who is a Juventus supporter, describes himself as a sinner. Theuma also a licensed welder, considers couples an image of God. He likes listening to others and considers Fr Turu Vella S.J. as his second father.

Fr Anton Theuma will succeed Mgr Mario Grech as the Bishop for the Diocese of Gozo. On Saturday morning, Fr Anton was interviewed on Newsbook Hour aired on 103FM – Malta’s Heart and Newsbook.com.mt.

  • How did your mother react to the news?

My mother Salvina reacted in the same way she always does. “Do what you will” she told me. Once when I was still at the seminary, I was full of doubts and was contemplating on dropping out. I had told my mother. She had replied: “Son, I loved you, I love you and always will. Do what you will”.

  • Mention someone who had a great influence on you.

Fr Arthur Vella S.J. I consider Turu as my second father. I became who I am now, thanks to him. He accompanied me. He had a place for me in his heart. He wished me well.

  • How come you are a licensed a welder and an electrician?

For those who know me, know that I spend my Saturday mornings doing manual jobs at the Family Institute where I served. This is very important to me as I meet people who are doing handiwork.

  • Are you a football fan? Who do you support?

Juventus

  • Did you cycle to the seminary?

Yes.  I enjoy cycling. We need to prioritize the environment. We think about making money and not our well-being.

  • How do you see the Church?

I see the Church from an ideal perspective and from the people’s perspective. We need to find a middle ground – for believers and non-believers. If the teachings of the Church are kept only for Churchgoers than we are doing a disservice to the Gospel. It is important to listen.

  • What is your perspective on families?

Families wish for love. The relationship between a man and a woman is an image of God among us.

  • What do you think about Pope Francis?

Pope Francis is a reflection of the Gospel in today’s world.

  • Sinning is part of our lives. What influence does this have on you?

I am a sinner. We are sinners but we are loved. We are loved not because we are good, but because we are sinners. God loves me.

  • What was your first reaction when you were informed that you were named as the next Bishop for Gozo?

They called me from the Apostolic Nunciature on Tuesday at noon. I was surprised and shocked. The next day I spoke to with the Nuncio for about an hour. I was given 24 hours to think about it. I prayed and accepted to become the next bishop.