Possessing the innate ability of wise scrutiny, Mgr Charles Scicluna has never shied away from saying it how it really is. Ariadne Massa traces some of his significant quotes.
“The Catholic Church knows well that whenever one of its ministers... sexually abuses a minor, a tragic wound is inflicted on the community... it inflicts untold damage to the minor concerned... and is cause of scandal to Christians and non-Christians alike, a stumbling-block on many a pilgrim’s progress in faith.”
November 2011, speaking on the Church’s role in child protection during a historic meeting in Rome.
“Bishops who mishandle abuse cases should be punished using existing canon law... Church leaders must be held accountable to their people.”
February 2012, during a four-day symposium in Rome on sexual abuse.
“In today’s world, different opinions abound... It is the duty of the priest to listen attentively to the voice of the world. He is bound to try to understand, to weigh carefully, reflect intelligently and discern prayerfully.”
November 9, 1992, in an opinion piece titled A Priest’s Duty Towards The Truth.
“Dun Ġorġ had his own process: he was not born a saint; he became a saint. We know, for example, that he had a nervous disposition and had to fight against that. His great virtues were humility and meekness, but they were not innate: he had to learn to be humble, learn to be meek... And that’s what makes Blessed Ġorġ great.”
June 2007, in an interview ahead of Dun Ġorġ Preca’s canonisation in Rome.
“We need to be clear on our values but should be respectful in how we propose them. And we need to tell people we are not here to impose, but that we are here to propose and this is why we are proposing them.”
October 2012, when asked how the Church could have done a better job during the divorce debate.
“Sacred power rightly generates sacred trust. Unfortunately, and wrongly, it may generate fear to disclose crimes by religious leaders. The empowerment of the community in this context means the ability to denounce abuse of sacred power for what it is: a betrayal of trust.”
April 2011, telling Catholic parents they had a right and a duty to report sexual abuse of minors.
“An extraordinary human being with a keen intellect and a great sense of integrity, honesty, compassion and wisdom... The Church is in for a lot of welcome surprises.”
April 2005, reacting to the news that his former boss, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had been chosen to lead the Catholic Church as Pope Benedict XVI.
“I would make a distinction between practising the faith and being Catholic. There is a great movement in Europe, which is very obvious, of Catholics who move away from practice but who still define themselves as Catholics... The Church is there for everybody – even for those who choose not to go to Mass on Sundays.”
April 2010 when asked if somebody could be a Catholic and not go to Mass on Sundays.
“The Church may have to amputate to heal... when the innocence of children is trampled upon, broken, sullied, abused, and destroyed, then the earth becomes arid and the whole world sad.”
May 2010, speaking at St Peter’s Basilica during a Mass of reparation for abuse committed by priests, and for healing within the church.