Maltese citizens, including clerics, should speak out against the two kinds of bullies that are destroying the country, Fr Joe Borg has urged.
"Today we have online bullies threatening others... and we have people with big money wrecking the country. It's the duty of anybody with a spirit of loyalty towards his country to fight them off, wherever they're coming from," the cleric, academic and editor told Times Talk.
Fr Borg, no stranger to controversy, defended his outspoken commentaries, saying priests not only have a right, but a "duty" to speak out on political issues, as evidenced by the frequent declarations made by Pope Francis.
Whether it's from Castille or Mile End (the Labour Party headquarters), there's no doubt that people are being fanned by others to write
In one of his blog posts for Times of Malta, Fr Borg had criticised online trolls for hounding the Archbishop simply because he had condemned corruption. Asked whether he felt the trolls were controlled by the Office of the Prime Minister, he replied:
"Whether it's from Castille or Mile End (the Labour Party headquarters), there's no doubt that people are being fanned by others to write."
And people from the government or the Labour Party ultimately would benefit from such attacks, he said.
He said it was no coincidence that a ridiculous claim by an online troll that Daphne Caruana Galizia's son was complicit in her murder, being repeated and spread by others.
Fr Borg lashed out at the political parties, saying if they left more space for their supporters to say what they think instead of parroting the party the country would be much better.
Fr Borg said many people do not understand the real meaning of pluralism and that everyone has the right to express himself even if it does not tie in with their opinion.
He expressed incredulity that the Archbishop continues being blamed for the fact that controversial Dominican priest Fr Mark Montebello was censored from writing in a newspaper.
But he defended Fr Montebello's right to speak, saying if he was censured by his provincial because of an article he wrote about the Embryo Act in Times of Malta then it would be a "very sad day".
Watch the full interview in the link above.
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