Ni­colo’ Mus­cat: An early fo­cus on Church-State re­la­tions in Malta

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BOOKS -

The book by Prof. Frans Ci­ap­para Church-State Re­la­tions in late-eigh­teenth-cen­tury Malta. Gio. Ni­colò Mus­cat (1735-1803) was launched on 14 Septem­ber at Au­berge de Castille. The book is pub­lished by the Malta Uni­ver­sity Press. The panel was com­posed of Fr Rene Camil­leri, Dr Al­fred Sant, Prof. Joseph Pirotta, Prof. Henry Frendo (chair­per­son) and the au­thor.

Odele Mi­callef played pieces from Bach and Beethoven on her vi­o­lin at the well-at­tended launch. Prime Min­is­ter Dr Joseph Mus­cat de­liv­ered the con­clud­ing ad­dress.

Ni­colò Mus­cat, one of the udi­tori of Grand Master Ro­han and his avvo­cato gen­erale, was a lover of books, in con­tact with en­light­ened minds like his. A great pa­triot, he de­scribed Malta as a Euro­pean coun­try, which needed no for­eign­ers ex­cept slaves, eu­nuchs and co­me­di­ans. The speak­ers all em­pha­sised pri­mar­ily the fore­sight of Mus­cat, who sin­gle-hand- edly fought for the sep­a­ra­tion of State and Church. The strug­gle lasted for 10 years when Mus­cat, whom Rome had de­scribed as “a de­clared en­emy of the Pope”, had to re­sign. In those tur­bu­lent times af­ter the French Rev­o­lu­tion Ro­han had no one to rely on ex­cept the Pope, and Mus­cat had to be sac­ri­ficed. His ideas, how­ever, lin­gered on un­til to­day, as they are part of the demo­cratic process. The book is on sale at the Malta Uni­ver­sity Press (Guze Cas­sar Pul­li­cino Build­ing) and at lead­ing book­shops for the price of €35.

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