Sunday, 21 December 2008

Times: Time to prove Catholic roots - President, Fenech Adami delivers last festive message
Sunday, 21st December 2008 by Claudia Calleja

President Eddie Fenech Adami addresses the crowd as Labour leader Joseph Muscat looks on. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi.

Christmas was a time to prove that Malta still possessed Catholic roots, Eddie Fenech Adami said in his last festive message as Presidentyesterday.

Speaking at the traditional Milied Flimkien (Christmas together) event held at the ruins of the old Opera House in Valletta, Dr Fenech Adami stressed the importance of maintaining traditional the Catholic values that helped the country move forward over the years.

He also reflected on his own journey in public life, which comes to an end on April 4 when he steps down as President. "This will be my last message after spending a long time in the three highest posts," he said.

As well as serving five years as President, Dr Fenech Adami was Prime Minister for 15 years and opposition leader for 11 years in turbulent times.

Dr Fenech Adami, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Labour leader Joseph Muscat and Archbishop Paul Cremona sat side by side for the event yesterday.

Mgr Cremona echoed Pope Benedict's Christmas message, saying this was a time to reflect on forgotten values in the context of the global financial crisis.

The gift of simplicity should also be revisited as we realise that, just like the nativity scene, happiness could be found in simple things, he said.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, meanwhile, called on people to work together to overcome the global crisis and celebrate Catholic values by passing them on to today's children so that they would respect human dignity irrespective of a person's colour or class.

Dr Muscat said the Maltese had the ability to work together at crucial times.

"Our message must be one of optimism during this time when pessimism is constantly thrown at us because of the global crisis," he said.

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P. Attard's note: No wonder gay rights are inexistant in this country where we are pontificated by our Archbishop, President and Prime Minister in one go.

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