The bishops have appealed to the Maltese to work together with a calm sense of purpose, to promote truth and justice with charity and respect for one another.

In a statement on Tuesday, they joined President George Vella in his appeal for unity.

“The difficult times we are going through should not exacerbate division. They challenge us to work together in a spirit of collaboration and for the greater good of Maltese society in general, so that our institutions may carry out their duty with due diligence and with impartiality.”

The bishops said that, as in every society, disagreement was inevitable.

“However, we are always called to express our legitimate opinions with respect for one another and with respect for the truth, without falling into the trap of hatred, lies and violence.

“Our appeal is that we, Maltese and Gozitans, seek the common good in a spirit of true loyalty to the principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Malta,” they said.

They said they prayed that the people’s passion for justice, truth and honesty was expressed with respect towards each other, and with a strong rejection of violence, whether verbal or physical.