Preaching less than two weeks before a nationwide referendum on the legalization of divorce, the head of one of Malta’s two dioceses said that dissenting Catholics should not receive Holy Communion.
“Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. And the wolf is now saying he is Catholic,” said Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo in what Maltese journalists describe as a reference to a pro-divorce Catholic organization. “This is a falsity, this is deceit. I am ready to dialogue with everyone but do not be false, do not lie … If you are not in communion with Christ’s teachings, you are not in communion with the Church and you cannot receive Communion.”
“To be politically correct and not tell things as they are will lead us to be sorry,” he added. “There are the brigands among us who are utilizing every means possible to lead the flock astray. They are going after marriage, and then other things will follow.”
During his April 2010 apostolic journey to Malta, Pope Benedict urged the nation’s citizens to defend the indissolubility of marriage.
“Your nation should continue to stand up for the indissolubility of marriage as a natural institution as well as a sacramental one, and for the true nature of the family, just as it does for the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death and for the proper respect owed to religious freedom in ways that bring authentic integral development to individuals and society,” he said upon arriving in the nation.