The infamous guidelines

According to Rainer Fsadni (December 9) we shouldn’t conclude that Helena Dalli tried to steal Christmas and clear European streets of every crib. He said she didn’t. This looks to me more like a hypothetical statement. He arrived at this conclusion on his judgement, unless directly or indirectly informed.

On her part, Dalli apologised, so even she did not bear the responsibility alone. It is obvious that the original initiative, relative to some important issues, was unexpected, abusive, discriminatory and wrong.

The resulting reaction compelled the European Commission to hastily withdraw its guidelines. Truly, this was a commission overreach.

Fsadni was presumptuous in judging the Vatican secretary of state and the pope himself for their interpretation of the document. He said they were badly briefed. Does he think they are not capable, responsible and intelligent enough to discern what the meaning and objectives of the guidelines were?

I was also surprised that the editor (December 13) stated that the pope was incorrectly informed. On what basis was the conclusion made? Does anyone know what exactly was referred to the pope? I have not read any communication meant as a clarification from the Vatican in this regard.

The guidelines were intended for the staff of the commission to adapt themselves in various circumstances, a normal procedure in all media services.

However, can Fsadni explain why, of all subjects, Christmastime was going to be replaced by ‘the holiday period’? Or why the staff were told to avoid using the names Maria and John? Our names chosen by our parents are sacred to us all. Why did Fsadni not direct any criticism towards these points?

The issue of pluralism was given due importance. Pluralism exists and, in a proper civilisation, mutual respect should reign supreme.

I have never read that Muslims are deprived of calling someone Mohammed, if that is the person’s name, and neither do we find any objection to hearing the name of their great Prophet Mohammed. This applies also to other denominations. I chose to mention Muslims because they were used as an example in the article. This reminds me of the equality bill proposed for discussion in our parliament at the beginning of 2020. Even there the excuse was pluralism.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our saviour who was born not just for Christians but for all mankind, irrespective of their beliefs.

Fsadni seems to be convinced that Christians in Europe are a minority. It is very difficult to reach a reliable estimate. Some Christians go to church regularly. Others do not confess their Christian beliefs publicly. Circumstances in life may induce many towards secularism, which has affected many Europeans.

Frankly, I expected a more balanced critical reaction about such an important subject that touches our fundamental beliefs.

CARMEL VELLA – Mellieħa

What’s the significance?

Photo: AFPPhoto: AFP

Without aiming to downplay Roberta Metsola’s achievement, l wish we here in Malta could have our feet more on the ground.

Metsola is now president of the European parliament. Who on earth had ever heard of the late David Sassoli, her predecessor in that office?

That’s how important the office is.

Of course, Metsola is to be congratulated but let’s not act as if we are now running the EU.

For the PN, of course, her election is a shot in the arm. They have managed something, at last.

PN leader Bernard Grech can now say goodbye to ever entering Castille in victorious glory. We know who his successor will be, if the leadership offer is accepted, and her record as EP president is not a shambles.

Roger Mifsud – Rabat

Deserted

Alan Zelt hit the nail on the head “on being an expat”, especially the final paragraph (January 15). Malta will be deserted in a few years.

Students finishing university will flood Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, US, the Netherlands, Norway, Dubai... Why? Because it’s safe to drive; they have wide pavements; drinkable tap water; a domestic gas supply; pothole-free roads.

Xagħra is a disgrace: nine tyres in 14 months. They have been repairing the Xagħra to Xewkija road since mid-2021. A professional company could have resurfaced the coast road in this time.

Such a sick joke. Where is the minister for Gozo?

Kevin Hodkin – Xagħra

Letters to the editor should be sent to editor@timesofmalta.com. Please include your full name, address and ID card number. The editor may disclose personal information to any person or entity seeking legal action on the basis of a published letter. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us