A welcome comment by Alfred Sant, questioning the constitutional role of the Catholic Church. As we have been saying since 2012, we believe the state should be wholly neutral on matters of religion or belief. Why would any Catholic (guaranteed freedom of conscience by Article 32) want or need a reference to their religion in the Constitution, unless it is to ensure Catholic control of, or influence over, those who do not share their belief? Dr Sant rightly comments that a majority of Maltese and Gozitans no longer feel bound by Church precepts. He cited divorce; we would add gay marriage, contraception, and (in contradiction to Article 2(3) of Constitution) the enabling of parental choice of Ethics classes instead of religious instruction. This is borne out by the 2021 State of the Nation survey, which found that 7% of respondents did not believe in God, and 40% did not agree religion is important to them. If these figures could be extrapolated to the current population of Malta, it would seem that about 50% in Malta are either not practising Roman Catholics, or adhere to a different religion, or (in the case of around 35,000 residents), to none. Read our detailed position on this important issue.
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- European Parliament resolution of 3 May 2022 on the persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion (2021/2055(INI))