Updated Tuesday 10.35am

Bishop Charles SciclunaBishop Charles Scicluna

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna has lent his support to a proposal by the Bishop of Gozo for every parish in his diocese to house and adopt a Christian family from countries where Christians are being persecuted.

In a tweet today Mgr Scicluna backed the idea, saying “Let us try it in Malta!”

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech made his suggestion while delivery homily at Xaghra Parish Church. Xaghra was one of the parishes which celebrated the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady yesterday. 

Mgr Grech referred to comments by Pope Francis that the persecuted Christians were held at the heart of Mother Church.

"How can we remain passive when an untold number of our brother Christians who refuse to surrender their faith are violated or killed?" he asked. Others, he said, were fleeing their country.

"In this context, the local Church should show its solidarity with these people. I suggest that every parish community in the Gozo diocese should host a family from among these persecuted Christians. Each parish should adopt a family and provide it with housing and the means to live.

"I know our people are generous with those in need. I am sure that in the same way as we find the funds for other projects which do not compare with this proposal, we can find the means for this act of charity.

"And if we do not find the means, we should not be afraid of digging into our pockets. Hosting these people would be saving them from death."

Mgr Grech said he would be writing to the civil authorities and the Nuncio to inform them of the Church's readiness and also seek their help.

Mgr Grech also thanked those who had acted on the bishops' appeal for donations for persecuted Christians in Iraq. While he did not know the sum collected, he said some people had been very generous, and one couple had donated a month's salary. 

(Xaghra parish donated €6,000).



Mgr Grech also pointed out that in a few weeks' time he would participate in a synod of bishops which would discuss marriage and the family.

The Church, he said, could not remain indifferent to the hardship of those who had problems in their relationships.

He hoped that while the synod would propose, in a fresh way, the teachings of the Gospel, it would come out with good news for those whose marriage had failed but who did not wish to be excluded from the Church of God.

He was confident that the Church could show it could act in a versatile and creative way even in this difficult sector.   


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