Three cheers and a half to Bishop Mario Grech who undoubtedly wrote the Pastoral letter on the IVF law which will come into effect some time from now. Three cheers to all the priests who had the courage to read the Pastoral letter to the laity entrusted to their pastoral care. A big shout of “shame on you” to our so-called “theological and communications gurus” who think they have more authority to teach than the Bishops of Malta and Gozo.
Unfortunately this malaise of insubordination has caught on in Malta always under the excuse of “pastoral sensitivity”. You should not call a spade a spade, because you might offend the farmer! These priests want publicity at all costs, even at the cost of spurning their bishops. They thus expose their true colours. They look at their priesthood as a way to enhance their reputation and to curry favour with the mainstream currents of opinion, and not as a service to the laity who are looking to them for spiritual advice. By ignoring the teachings of the bishops, whatever excuse they bring up, they are scandalising the faithful.
Actually, I think that Bishop Grech was not clear enough in his exposition. When I finished reading the pastoral letter – or rather the gist of it as it was delivered to all priests – I put forward two clarifying points. First, this was not the opinion of the bishops, but the teaching of the Gospel. It was not Mons. Grech’s ideas, but the principles set out in the Gospel. So whoever does not like this teaching should think seriously about his faith. Second, IVF is a mortal sin because it involves at least the killing of one embryo under the proposed law. Murder is not a light issue; it is a very serious matter.
These “guru priests” are perhaps profiting from the sickness of the Archbishop in order to shine in the limelight. I think that what we need now is a change of leadership. I firmly believe that now is the time to bring Bishop Grech to lead the Maltese archdiocese because we need a firm hand and a clear mind if we are to save the Church in Malta from this malaise of insubordination. We have to be sensitive to our religion as well not only to couples who are in distress because of infertility.