The Church has a problem with the language it uses and must do something about it, according to Malta’s new Auxiliary Bishop, who has described the institution’s public relations as a “total disaster” at times.

In an interview with The Sunday Times today, Mgr Charles Scicluna says: “We have a product which is extraordinary and we have to get our act together to bring it to as many people as possible. The way we do things at times is a total disaster and we have to be humble and say, ‘we need to do better’. We need to start using language that people understand.”

He says the Church acknowledges it could have done a better job in the divorce debate, and that it has learnt from it: “We need to tell people we are not here to impose, but that we are here to propose.”

He also says that priests must not deviate from the line set by the Archbishop and that this will be one of his tasks.

Mgr Scicluna, who has served as the Vatican’s chief prosecutor since 2002 and will be ordained bishop next month, says he learnt about his new nomination at the end of September.

When asked if he was brought in due to health problems suffered recently by Archbishop Paul Cremona, he says he thinks the Pope would have considered “the present circumstances whatever they are”.

However, he was less candid about whether he will succeed Mgr Cremona in a relatively short period of time: “I don’t have the crystal ball and I’m not Harry Potter... Time will tell.”

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