Rorate Caeli

Malta says yes to divorce

Our Lady of Sorrows (Żejtun)

Schleifung der Bastionen, indeed: the "prophets" have certainly been successful...


  1. Should Roman Catholic canon law and doctrine be enforced by the state's civil law on those who are NOT Roman Catholics?

    How would posters here feel about Sharia or Talmudic law being enforced by the state on them? The former is already happening.

  2. Jack: it is certainly not clear, in your many comments, if you are being obtuse or disingenuous, or both.

    Please, pray for me.

  3. Sodomy is next with the "right" to sodomite families.

  4. J. G. Ratkaj4:44 PM

    Malta finally lines up other former catholic nations who have replaced their rich catholic heritage with consumerism, banal liberalism and laxity.

  5. Given the secular West's understanding of church and state separation, the RCC Canon Law cannot be imposed on non Catholics because it can violate their freedom of belief with respect as in this case, divorce.

    One Catholic constitutional lawyer puts it this way

    "Freedom of religion means the freedom to act or not to act according to what one believes.'

    The RCC believes divorce is not in accordance to Christ's command. The Orthodox Church believes divorce is permitted under certain circumstances.

    A Catholic couple with marital problems if they really follow RCC teaching will never seek divorce. The State cannot compel them to do otherwise.

    In the same way the State (even if it is majority Catholic) cannot compel an Orthodox couple with the same problems from not seeking divorce. As faithful Orthodox they have to follow their bishops on these matters.

  6. Anonymous4:50 PM

    When you watch the entire west falling off a cliff and becoming decadent before your very eyes, how can you then take the exact same steps that led the west to the abyss?

    Next up? Contraception, then abortion, then sodomy...

  7. Jack:

    A short answer to your question: in a Catholic country, yes.

    I suggest you begin to read about the past glories of Christendom, when Europe was Catholic, and see how a Catholic nation dealt with non-believers in their midst. A good place to start would be to read ISABELLA OF SPAIN by William Thomas Walsh. You might be edified to learn how Ferdinand and Isabella (among other Catholic monarchs) used charity and justice to deal with the Jews and Moslems in their kingdom.

    Your second question: no, I wouldn't like it. And considering how many justices of the Supreme Court (including Mr Scalia) have been bending over backwards singing the praises of Talmudic law I would say we Americans have more to fear from that than the bogeyman of Sharia Law.

  8. Anonymous6:54 PM

    From the Telegraph article:

    "The leader of the yes movement, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, an MP with the governing Nationalist party, said the result was significant.

    "It brings Malta into a new era where the state and the church are separate," he told local media."

  9. Anonymous6:54 PM

    There are no "Catholic" countries anymore.

  10. DM Reed7:17 PM

    There are no "Catholic" countries anymore.

    This is why all traditional Catholics should organize and migrate to Timor-Leste. We could revolutionize Timor-Leste and make it into a model traditional Catholic country. (It would be very challenging, as we would be building a 3rd world society from the ground up. )

  11. LOL... Are you sure they want you there?...

  12. Anonymous7:43 PM

    DM Reed,
    LOL! I'm having "Society of St. John" flashbacks!!!

  13. "Should Roman Catholic canon law and doctrine be enforced by the state's civil law on those who are NOT Roman Catholics?"

    Utter rubbish. Divorce is against the natural moral law, not just canon law.

    The state has every right, and in some cases also the duty, to uphold the natural moral law, which is common to all men. Thus all states proscribe theft and murder because these constitute grave breaches of justice between persons. That divorce does likewise is not merely a peculiar Christian idea, such as not eating meat on Fridays; it is readily verifiable through human reason.

  14. In Ireland we had a referendum on introducing divorce in 1986: the 'no' vote was 63.48% and the 'yes' vote was 36.52%. (Incidentally back in 1937 when the Constitution was passed, many Anglican bishops supported the ban on divorce.)

    That wasn't good enough for the elite so another one was held in 1995, where it was passed very narrowly ('yes' vote was 50.28%, 'no' vote was 49.72%).

    I suspect the same thing would have happened in Malta had a majority voted against divorce. The liberal establishment have no sense of decency whatsoever and would have organized neverendums until they got the damn thing through.

  15. Prof. Basto8:33 PM


    How can you compare Catholic doctrine with the beliefs of the mohammedan sect?

    "The World" can use its "neutral" approach and equate the principles of the Ture Faith with the principles of other religions, granting them equal rights and recognition, but we, Catholics, cannot fall for that. We cannot accept that the equal treatment of right and wrong, of Truth and error, as just different ideas is ok.

    Many of the "rights" that are today recognized by the positive laws of the several Nations are totally repugnant to natural and divine law, and so we cannot defend those "rights" for anyone.

    Before the rights of individuals come the rights of God, and the State should not aid in the dissolution of marriages that are as a matter of divine law indissoluble, and in the recognition of subsequent "marriages" that are, as a consequence of the previous one, in reality only adulterous unions.

    And by the way, separation of the Church and the State, even if it be acceptable under certain models of separation that are not anti-clerical and that safeguard respect for religion, is not the ideal form of relationship between the Catholic Church and a State.

    The magisterium explicilty points to the fact that the Catholic state, a state in which the Catholic Faith is the established religion, is the ideal form of State.

    If the entire Human Family is by the will of God oriented towards His Catholic Church, if men, as individuals, are to be members of that fold for the sake of eternal salvation, then it is only right that the groupings and communities formed by those men should also be Catholic, including the State.

    In Malta, the vast majority of the population is (or perhaps was, given this result), Catholic. Then it is only right that the Maltese State is a Catholic State.

    In fact, Malta is one of the last sovereign Nations where the Catholic religion is the official State religion. This is established in section 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malta:

    "2. (1) The religion of Malta is the Roman Catholic Apostolic
    (2) The authorities of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church
    have the duty and the right to teach which principles are right and
    which are wrong.
    (3) Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith
    shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory

    So Malta, as a Catholic State, allowed no divorce.

    The fact that its people voted to change that, the fact that they voted to undermine the family and to undermine respect for one of the Sacraments instituted by Christ, is yet another sign of the destructive force of this evil wave of secularization that engulfs the Western, the formerly Christian, Civilization.

    It is yet another sign of the loss of Faith by multitudes of people, of the weakening of the capacities of the Church to safeguard its principles in formerly Catholic societies, thanks to the epic faliure of catechesis and of persistent exposition of the requirements of our Faith that characterizes the pastoral efforts of the post-Vatican II period.

    This is yet another moment brought to us by the "dialogue with the World" mentality of the "spirit of Vatican II": decades of watered down doctrine, of not insisting on Catholic values, led to this: a Catholic people, or a people that was once Catholic, voting to legalize divorce.

    Unless the Church acts quickly employing traditional doctrine, persistent preaching and sound liturgies to bring the Maltese people back into the fold, in a few years time, abortion and "gay marriage" will come to Malta's shores.

  16. Anonymous9:17 PM

    This should come as no surprise.

    The reason why secular values such as divorce, corruption, immorality and hedonism are tolerated and glorified today is due to the loss of the sense of sin, of personal sin, and the loss of a belief in God.

    For Protestants, who have no tradition, no heritage, no liturgy, no leadership, no Magisterium,no real belief, this should come as no surprise.

    But for Catholics and Catholic nations which have 1,500 years of holy tradition, piety, liturgy, leadership, Magisterium and Deposit of Faith, this is appaling.

    Sixty years ago, what has happened in Malta and other Catholic countries today regarding divorce, abortion, gay rights, homosexuality would have been unthinkable, except for a tiny minority of socialists and other non-believers on the fringe of society. These people were shunned by the faithful, traditional and pious Catholic people who were regular Mass attenders. Sixty years ago, Mass attendance in most of Catholic Europe (for the most part) was about 55-70%.
    In Poland and Ireland it was closer to 90%, and in the USA in 1950-51 it was 85%.

    The Holy Mass (Tridentine Latin Mass), the Sacraments, the traditions, pious beliefs, holy Pope and thousands of holy priests and holy sisters in traditional habits were visible witnesses of the strength of the Catholic Faith.
    Protestaitism never held the hearts of their people.....never. But the Catholic Faith was strong back then. And it would have been unthinkable to vote in favor of homosexual rights and marriage, abortion, and even divorce.

    All of our holy Catholic traditions were swept away during and after and by Vatican II and by the thousands of people from Popes on downwards who manipulated it for their own agendas (the last two Popes in particular, Paul VI and JP II......but not necessarilly this Pope).

    Considering the disaster of Vatican II, and the shere magnitude of destruction that came from it in every aspect of Catholic life....what else cane you expect in Malta.........or anywhere else?

    When you are taught that there is no sin,or when it is downgraded or never spoken of, then you believe nothing is a sin. No one speaks of sin since Vatican II...not even the Popes. No wonder why there are pedophile priests by the hundreds!

    Malta is symptomatic of the disasterous loss of our Catholic belief system across every aspect of our lives.....and the fault lies only with Vatican II...all it stood for, and all that came from it.

    The late, great Cardinal Giuseppe Siri shortly before his death said that it will take the Roman Catholic Church 200 years to repudiate and condemn Vatican II and what came from it.
    He was probably right.

  17. This is being watched closely here in the Philippines, where there is still no divorce (except for Muslims).

    A divorce bill has just been filed in the Philippine Congress and its proponents are rather cheered up by the news from Malta.

  18. Anonymous12:49 AM

    Malta has been the most Catholic country in the world. Now she has stepped onto the slippery slope. Near the bottom of that slope lies abortion and euthanasia. What lies beyond that is the outlawing of the Holy Catholic Faith itself.

    How will this come about? We are already seeing the first tentative signs of the method to be followed. 'Experts' are called in and they claim that Christianity is based on 'harmful' mores proceding from dangerous Scriptures. Adherence to Christianity causes psychological damage. Christianity causes hatred and war, and it creates psychopaths as followers, &c., &c. The Bible is 'hate speech' and many of the canonised fathers (e.g. St. John Chrysostom) are sectarian hatemongers. It must be limited at first and proscribed eventually.

    They will gradually limit the influence of the Church and restrict her to worship, removing her entirely from education and healthcare and then, in time, from charitable endeavours. Then they will start telling the bishops what may and may not be said from the pulpit. For example, 'experts' 'have proved' to the satisfaction of the state that any attempt to restrict abortion kills women. It kills them by exposing them to 'backroom butchers'. Therefore, any such organised attempts violate the fundamental right of equality, which trumps religious freedom. So relgious freedom must be preserved [for a time] but may be restricted by the state.

    In the end, this will lead to the closing of churches and the imprisonment of priests and those laics who support them directly.

    That is where this is leading. Whether it gets that far is another matter. God disposes. Let's hope he disposes of the liberals, preferably by conversion.


  19. Anonymous1:33 AM

    Kmiec wins.

  20. Anonymous3:41 AM

    Christ wins.

    Pray, brethren. And as our Blessed Mother repeatedly implores us, "penance, penance, penance!"

  21. Anonymous4:03 AM

    Immorality is running rampant all over the globe, soon mankind will run out of sins to committ and then to amuse themselves you will see Christians in the Colessuem's of the world again

  22. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Jack, are you sure you are in the correct blog? You have an issue with everything Roman Catholic.

  23. Anonymous6:05 AM

    Carlos, the proponents of the divorce bill in the Philippine Congress are cheered up not by what the result of the Maltese referendum is but with the imminent passage of the Reproductive Health Bill.

  24. Carlos Antonio Palad7:13 AM

    "Carlos, the proponents of the divorce bill in the Philippine Congress are cheered up not by what the result of the Maltese referendum is but with the imminent passage of the Reproductive Health Bill."

    I wasn't speaking about the proponents of the RH Bill, but about those pushing for divorce. Granted, the two groups mostly overlap.

    I wouldn't say that the RH bill's passage is imminent. It is assured of passage in the Philippine House of Representatives -- although the pro-life minority can still draw things out -- but the Senate's capitulation is far from certain, and a Supreme Court challenge will be triggered if the President approves the proposed law (which he will).

  25. Anonymous5:22 PM


    The prohibition on divorce isn't particular to canon law: it's a part of the natural law. That exceptions existed under the Old Dispensation, does nothing to undermine this, no more than does the permission of polygamy in those times undermine the fact that monogamy is demanded by the natural law. Our Lord was quite clear about this: "Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so" [Matt. xix. 8].

    Except in Islamic states, polygamy is prohibited: will you accuse the state of enforcing religious law on that account? And yet, divorce violates the natural law every bit as much as polygamy does. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin: divorce and remarriage is nothing less than serial polygamy. It is actually quite inconsistent for the state to allow serial polygamy, but not concurrent polygamy.

    It is the natural law that marriage should be between one man, and one woman, and that no human institution has the power to dissolve it. Thus the state which grants divorce is arrogating divine power to itself. The state's pretended use of such power is entirely invalid, not only as respects Catholics subject to canon law, but as respects everyone.

    As such, this isn't an issue of asking the state to enforce canon law. Rather, it is a question of the duty of the state to uphold the natural law; for divorce violates that law, just as murder and theft do. Furthermore, it is a question of the state overstepping its authority, and becoming a source of scandal, by pretending to excercise powers it doesn't have.

  26. \\A good place to start would be to read ISABELLA OF SPAIN by William Thomas Walsh. \\

    I have read both; alas, I lost my copies in my many moves.

    **Divorce is against the natural moral law, not just canon law.**

    How? If marital indissolubility were natural to mankind, why would it be necessary to enforce it by law, either civil or religious. (Note that I'm NOT saying that divorce is wonderful, or that the state has control over the spiritual and sacramental aspects of marriage. In fact, I reject those ideas totally.)

    **Jack, are you sure you are in the correct blog? You have an issue with everything Roman Catholic.**

    I'm not Roman Catholic. I'm EASTERN Catholic. I frequently try to point out things from Eastern Christianity's viewpoint and experience to try to reconcile positions that seem to be at total odds.

    As Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

  27. If marital indissolubility were natural to mankind, why would it be necessary to enforce it by law, either civil or religious.

    If refraining from murder were natural to mankind, why would it be necessary to enforce it by law, either civil or religious?

    Jack, Our Lord taught that the indissolubility of marriage is a part of the natural law: "from the beginning it was not so."

  28. Prof. Basto1:55 AM

    I'm not Roman Catholic. I'm EASTERN Catholic. I frequently try to point out things from Eastern Christianity's viewpoint and experience...

    If so, then you are a member of the Catholic Church, just like the rest of us.

    But it was difficult to ascertain that given your carefree approach to the dissolution of Christian marriages.

    It is the teaching of the Church universal, of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, that Christ the Lord raised the marriage between Christians, between the baptized, to the degree of a Sacrament, so that this marriage, once consummated, is absolutely indissoluble as a matter of divine law. Neither the Church, nor any temporal power, can dissolve that bond or presume to dissolve it. Furthermore, such marriage bond mystically symolizes the union that exists between Our Lord and God Jesus Christ and His Church, His Bride.

    So, in the case of the Christian marriage, this is more than a question of natural law; it is a question of divine law. And no one has a true "right" to oppose divine law, be it as individuals or as a society. The role of the State should be to support families, not to aid in the moral destruction of family values by accepting and facilitating behaviour that is contrary to basic Christian teaching regarding one of the Sacraments, and regarding the grave sin of adultery.

    I don't know how a position that seeks to undermine the defense of the essential properties of marriage; the defense of the family and of the Christian moral values, values that are preached by the Church for the entire human family, can be said to be an "Eastern Catholic" position.

    The Eastern Catholic Churches subscribe to the universal Church's doctrine; including on the Sacrament of Marriage. And a position that treats Catholic doctine on an equal footing with Sharia law or Talmudic law is indefensible from a Catholic point of view, regardless of wether one is a Latin Catholic or an Eastern Catholic.

    That such a debacle happened in a Catholic country, in a country that is even officially Catholic, and in which all are provided with a Catholic education as part of the compulsory curriculum, is even more shameful, not only for the Maltese, but for all those that love the Church and who are concerned for Her future and for the salvation of souls.

  29. Tradmeister3:16 PM


    Eastern Catholics are just as Catholic as Roman Latin ones. That means we share a full common religion of faith and morals, period.

    Please don't consider trotting out the Council of Trullo as some unappreciated treasure of Eastern partrimony to uphold the decimation of marriage.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!