Charles J. Scicluna, the Archbishop of Malta is making quite a name for himself. The one praised by Pope Francis for his approach to Amoris Laetitia is now claiming that the Church, “has softened” its teachings on sex, marriage and contraception.
Are there any Catholics left in Malta?
The Church’s teachings on contraception, though always tied to the tenet of sex belonging within the marriage, had softened in the past few years, as long as no life was lost in the process, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna said on Thursday.
In a recorded interview on Xtra on TVM, the archbishop told Saviour Balzan that he was not condoning contraception at large.
“One must remember that the Church always placed the argument in the context of marriage, and it holds on to the tenet of sex belonging within the marriage,” he said.
“What we are saying is that if you have to use a contraceptive, make sure it is not one that kills life.”
With regards to the morning-after pill, Scicluna said that the Church was requesting that anyone asking for the morning-after pill be informed of its functions and effects.
“We must also make a clear distinction between abortive products and contraceptive pills,” he said. “But it is not my role to identify which brand of pill is good and which isn’t, because the role of the archbishop is not to replace science.”
The discussion on the morning-after pill and other ethical issues continued in the studio with Dr Miriam Sciberras of the Life Network Foundation Malta, insisting that the debate on the pill within the parliamentary committee had not been “neutral” and that the committee and the public had been misled.
“The Medicines Authority should have made its decision based on the committee, but – in fact – it didn’t, it ignored it,” she said. “You cannot ignore a report that is binding to act according to the law.”
Sciberras said she had met a lot of people in the past six years who had had an abortion, or were born out of rape or incest.
“These people and their experiences helped me add a human perspective to the values and beliefs I had embraced,” she said.
She said she could not accept arguments put forward by women who had an abortion, with regards to the pain and suffering they went through, because she always kept in focus the unborn life that is cut short in the procedure.
Sciberras insisted her beliefs were not solely down to a matter of religion.
“My faith does help boost my conviction in the sanctity of life, and I believe that every life has the right to be protected,” she said.