What’s the truth?
The letters by Alan Cooke are always thought-provoking. He is right in the case of Patriarch Kirill but on the other notions I beg to differ.
Patriarch Kirill is now living a lie because you can’t be a Christian and condone violence and war. Being a friend and admirer of Vladimir Putin does not exclude him from the responsibility of condemning publicly this hellish invasion, which could have influenced this Russian dictator. He is now embracing a theological schism inside a schism and is certainly not an authentic Christian.
If we take the question of the crusades, as an epitomised example of popes who blessed and encouraged them, Pope Urban II only raised the issue on November 27, 1095 after many centuries of suppression and persecution. That was after 200 years of Muslim invasions of the then Christian territories of the Eastern Roman Empire, ranging also as far west as Spain and France, the sacking of Rome and further south to Sicily involving the destruction and threat to holy places in Jerusalem and the murder, robbery, torture enslavement and general harassment of Christian pilgrims.
I would rather classify the crusades as fundamentally defensive and it is against this general background of chronic and long-standing western provinces that the very specific provocations for the crusades must be considered. The crusades are not a blot and bane on the history of the Catholic Church and no apology is needed.
Other ‘black legends’ about Catholic violence, intolerance and bigotry cannot be treated in this letter because of space reasons.
My opinion has always been that some ideas about Church history that paint the Church in a most negative light, are, in fact, fiction that we have erroneously held strongly and for very long.
What is manifestly overlooked, especially by churchgoers and non-Catholics alike, is that the last prayer in every Mass before Communion goes: “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.”
With this incessant prayer raised before the Lord’s throne, coupled with the now considerable number of humble mea culpas by the latest saintly popes, the Church stands as the only battalion of God’s shining citadel and door of heaven.
John Azzopardi – Żabbar
When loyalty counts for nothing
I was heartened to read, via this letters column, that a certain Joseph Cachia has finally received his own long-overdue refund from Air Malta (April 29).
It emboldens me to believe that my own efforts to reclaim what is legally mine will, sooner rather than later, be accomplished.
I have been a permanent Flypass member with Air Malta for two decades and it seems that loyalty counts for nothing: I still await a refund of €630 (Reservation Code QLRPNM) relating to flights in July 2021.
Our family fly to England once a month and, while awaiting a refund, my chosen course of action has been to ensure that our travel arrangements have been made via an alternative carrier, which – given my propensity to support local industry – gives me no satisfaction whatsoever.
Jonathan Chard Deeley – Sliema
Aid for Ukraine
I recently returned to Malta from a small town in Spain. Its population of 25,000 (20,000 Spaniards and 5,000 foreigners) is about five per cent of the population of Malta.
In the space of two weeks in March, the townsfolk collected enough winter clothing, medical and sanitary supplies, tinned and dried foods etc. to fill two massive lorries. Monetary donations were also made. The lorries were driven by volunteers in convoy with many others from Andalucia to the Polish-Ukrainian border. The town is also equipping an enclave of tourist houses to accommodate refugees from Ukraine, with plans to offer trauma care, education etc. for the new arrivals.
Where is such an effort by Maltese citizens and foreign residents? I have noticed only minimal efforts to support the Ukrainian community. We may be an island, and non-aligned, but Malta does pride itself on its Christian values. Humanitarian supplies can be sent by ferry to Sicily and beyond, a much shorter distance than from Spain.
What is Malta doing? Have I missed anything?
Kathryn Rance – St Julian’s
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