News / Europe

Pope Benedict Visits Malta Amid Controversy Engulfing Catholic Church

 

Pope Benedict visits the Mediterranean island nation of Malta Saturday. The Maltese are looking forward to his arrival in this strongly Catholic country. But the pope knows the clerical sex abuse scandal engulfing the church is on people's minds.

More than 95 percent of the country's population of over 400,000 consider themselves Catholic. Large crowds are expected to turn out for Pope Benedict's two major outdoor events in Malta: a mass on Sunday in Valletta's biggest square and a gathering with young people later that day at the city's port.

It is the first visit by the pope. His trip will last only a day, but for the Maltese the fact that he is coming is very special.

"It's a very nice thing and we are very Catholic and we like it very much. We've been waiting for this," says a Maltese. "I think it's something very special for us really. To see this thing and all these preparations that show how the nation, as a nation, is deeply Catholic."

Pope Benedict will meet with children in Saint George's Square later Saturday and with President George Abala in the Palace. He will also visit a grotto where Saint Paul - the republic's patron saint - chose to live during the three months he was shipwrecked on the island.

But media attention is likely to focus on whether the pope will address the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the catholic church, including cases that have emerge in Malta. Victims of abuse have asked for a meeting with the pope. Church leaders in Malta describe the issue as a matter of great humiliation for the entire church.

But there are many Maltese in the street who say the issue should not be exaggerated, like Lina Mattox, who is looking forward to the pope's arrival.

"Everybody makes mistakes. It's because they've got the clothes on them, it looks more," said Mattox. "It looks more bad than common people because these things happen even in the houses from their father, he abuse of his children, but because it's a priest, you say ohhhhh."

Pope Benedict might meet privately with victims as he did on trips to the United States and Australia, but this has not yet been confirmed.

In his addresses in Malta, Pope Benedict is likely to encourage the Maltese to continue to hold fast to their Christian heritage and allow Christian values to inspire culture and politics. He is also likely to speak about divorce and abortion. Both are illegal in Malta and remain opposed by a majority of the population.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid