A Secular Constitution





A Secular Constitution

Secularism is not about the imposition of atheism or agnosticism, but rather calls for the separation of church and state, and equal treatment for all. It is the principle that, in a society where people follow many different religious and non-religious ways of life, communal institutions should be neutral; no one should be privileged nor disadvantaged on grounds of their religious or non-religious beliefs, or lack of them. A State neutral on matters of religion or belief guarantees maximum freedom for all, including religious believers.

In Malta we live in an increasingly open and diverse society in which we follow different religious, and non-religious, ways of life. We therefore question why Catholic principles, albeit held by (a decreasing) majority, should be given legal precedence over differing moralities. Malta’s constitution is a legal document governing the operation of the State, not a statement of Maltese identity and tradition. In January 2020 PM Robert Abela reportedly said that “Malta is a secular state, but the constitution also affords a strong, fundamental freedom that everyone is entitled to his religion of choice”, but did not explain how the State can be secular given its Constitutional commitment to one religion.

In 2020, we called on our members to share their thoughts on how the Constitution of Malta could be amended to make it more relevant to modern Maltese society. Much of the debate centred around Article 2, which provides the legal framework for the close relationship between State and Church. Read a summary of that debate representing the collective position of the HM .

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