Loading
Maltese voters opt for legal divorce in national referendum
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Citizens of the island of Malta have voted to legalize divorce, making a choice that the country's Catholic bishops have warned will lead to family breakdown and a loss of religious identity.

“Even though the result is not what I wished for, now it is our duty to see that the will of the majority is respected,” said Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi in a speech on Sunday, acknowledging the outcome of the May 28 referendum.

Labor Party leader Joseph Muscat praised the result as “the birth of a new Malta.”

Initial counts showed the pro-divorce side coming out ahead by a narrow margin, winning between 52 and 54 percent of the vote. Nearly three-quarters of all eligible voters participated in the referendum.

The divorce bill will now go before Parliament for a final decision.

Prime Minister Gonzi's Nationalist Party has a small majority in the legislature. However, some members of the party, who were instrumental in bringing the divorce question before the public, now seem poised to give their approval and turn the bill into law.

Catholics account for the vast majority – up to 98 percent – of Malta’s 400,000 people. For decades the island has remained one of the few countries in the world that did not permit divorce, although it did allow for the annulment of illegitimate marriages.

Malta’s Catholic bishops made their opposition to divorce clear in the run-up to the referendum, particularly in their May 21 pastoral letter.

“A choice in favor of permanent marriage is an act of faith in the family, built upon a bond of love which cannot be severed,” they wrote.

“Whereas a choice in favor of divorce leads to the further destruction of marriage and the family and, as a consequence, the destruction of values and the quality of life.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
31

Liturgical Calendar

October 31, 2014

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Gospel
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Homily
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14