Church schools must respect the religious freedom of others, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said today, confirming his openness to Muslim students receiving education in their own religion.

Speaking during a ceremony on the anniversary of the death Archbishop Joseph Mercieca, Mgr Scicluna said Church schools, as an “expression of religious freedom”, could not deny that freedom to others.

“Church schools must be an open door for humanity,” he said. “We are not afraid of inclusivity. It is a fountain not only of comfort, but of enrichment.”

Although he did not directly mention Islam, his comments came amidst a backlash following his appearance on Xarabank last Friday, when the Archbishop said Muslim students in Church schools should be taught Islam if it were “logistically possible”.

“Mgr Mercieca worked for us to look at each other and remember that we are first and foremost fellow human beings, regardless of race or creed, and we can live together peacefully,” the Archbishop said at today’s ceremony.

Mgr Scicluna described his predecessor as “a bishop who was always close to the people”, recalling his frequent visits to hospitals, prisons, and other “places of suffering”.

“We have a duty to keep alive his memory and cherish his legacy,” he said.

The commemoration also saw the launch of a second book on the life of Mgr Mercieca, written by Charles Buttigieg, with the theme: “a shepherd for all


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