Arch­bishop cau­tions against gov­er­nance for the few at the ex­pense of the many

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - He­lena Grech

Arch­bishop Charles Sci­cluna yes­ter­day cau­tioned against gov­er­nance that serves the few at the ex­pense of the many dur­ing his 2016 In­de­pen­dence Day Homily.

“Gov­er­nance based on spin, on ob­scure deal­ings, and on a con­stant ret­i­cence to al­low pub­lic scru­tiny, ir­re­spec­tive of the myr­iad laws and solemn prom­ises, is def­i­nitely not good gov­er­nance,” he said.

He stressed prin­ci­ples of unity, good­ness, hon­esty and beauty, adding that good gov­er­nance should be made up of th­ese “tran­scen­den­tal val­ues.”

Such val­ues are to be “a cri­te­rion of good gov­er­nance, that gov­er­nance wor­thy of the hu­man fam­ily to­wards which pol­i­tics should, and hope­fully does, as­pire.

“Gov­ern­ment based on the Or­wellian dis­re­gard of truth will one day im­plode, whereas trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity are the val­ues that will make us Mal­tese truly and rightly proud of our gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Mgr Sci­cluna has come un­der fire by gov­ern­ment sup­port­ers in re­cent months for his out­spo­ken­ness on con­tro­ver­sial is­sues which have dom­i­nated lo­cal pa­pers – such as his op­po­si­tion to the way high-rise build­ings are be­ing tack­led by the au­thor­i­ties.

A num­ber of so­cial me­dia posts by the Arch­bishop were met with crit­i­cism by many who ques­tioned whether pre­vi­ous Arch­bish­ops had com­mented on cur­rent and govern­men­tal af­fairs.

On the prin­ci­ple of unity, he cau­tioned that “poli­cies that are di­vi­sive, that are based on the priv­i­lege of the few or that bla­tantly pro­mote loy­alty to a po­lit­i­cal party rather than to the state are a trav­esty and a mor­tal poi­son to the com­mon good of so­ci­ety.”

Turn­ing to the value of good­ness, Mgr Sci­cluna spoke of a gov­ern­ment that serves the few at the ex­pense of the many – a cri­tique lev­elled heav­ily against the pre­vi­ous Na­tion­al­ist Party ad­min­is­tra­tion, as well as the cur­rent Labour Party one.

“When the com­mon good is sac­ri­ficed to the self­ish in­ter­ests of the few, then we can say the state is sick,” he said.

Speak­ing of beauty, he ex­plained that this does not re­fer to the aes­thetic value of politi­cians them­selves, but a gov­ern­ment that pro­tects the beauty of its coun­try’s her­itage and en­vi­ron­ment is one that “ex­presses the na­tion’s wisdom of the heart.”

It could be un­der­stood that Mgr Sci­cluna is re­fer­ring to the build­ing of high-rise tow­ers with­out proper stud­ies hav­ing been un­der­taken, the en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion com­ing about from ram­pant de­vel­op­ment and the pol­lu­tion of Mal­tese wa­ters.

“I am con­vinced that a cit­i­zen, ed­u­cated, formed and trained in truth and good­ness, will through time de­velop that wisdom of heart that pro­motes and safe­guards beauty in the arts, in ar­chi­tec­ture, in the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Is not the ugli­fi­ca­tion of our nat­u­ral and his­tor­i­cal her­itage a symp­tom of a lack of this wisdom of the heart?

“A gov­ern­ment that con­tin­ues to re­store and pro­tect our her­itage that will en­er­get­i­cally de­fend the pris­tine clean­li­ness of our seas, that will only al­low sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment: that is a gov­ern­ment that takes beauty to heart, that ex­presses the na­tion’s wisdom of the heart.”

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