Archbishop Charles Scicluna warned on Thursday that although the Church will continue to cooperate with the health authorities as much as possible, patience is running thin and there will be no other Easter celebrated like this.
In his Maundy Thursday homily, Archbishop Scicluna said it is not acceptable that the faithful are unable to meet to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ because of the negligence and lack of prudence of some.
He urged families not to allow any restrictions, however necessary, to crush their faith and urged Christians to visit churches, which will be open for worship and confession, as a family or groups of two in line with the health authorities' recommendations.
Archbishop Scicluna said the faithful are tired of making all the efforts while others did not care.
“We are back to where we started because of negligence, lack of prudence... It is not acceptable that the good have to suffer with the bad,” he said.
He added that to deny the Christian community from meeting during the three days of Easter is tough, and everyone has to shoulder responsibility for this decision.
“We cooperate because we are responsible but this is not a television show... we are being denied the celebration of Easter.”
While health is important and essential, the right to worship God is "as essential as life". It is not at the same level as lotto booths or supermarkets, these can be essential to fill someone’s pockets or to buy food, he said.
Archbishop Scicluna urged listeners to make their voice heard “respectfully but strongly”.
'Taking the vaccine is a moral duty'
He also urged people to take the vaccine when called to do so, saying it was their “moral, grave duty” to do so.
One has to do whatever is necessary to get through this disease and not pass it on to others. Those who do not take the vaccine, he said, are putting themselves and others at risk.
He paid tribute to health workers and frontliners for “washing the feet of the public” by carrying out their duties. The Church’s condemnation to those who do not obey the rules is massive because these people are endangering themselves and others, he said.
The archbishop urged the public to continue to obey the rules and believe and hope “that we will get out of this”.
“We have to make our effort but we also have to understand that man does not live on bread alone. Worship is essential not a whim,” he said.