By Marica Micallef
On 14th August, Newsbook reported that our archbishop Charles Scicluna, during mass at the Chapel of St Peter the Apostle in Wardija, had offered prayers to whoever is incarcerated, correctional officers and victims of crime:
“Let us pray for all those who are in any kind of prison, including those at the Corradino Correctional Facility, for those who take care of them and guide them, their families, and for the victims of their crimes.” [Would he have said the same prayer when Fr Luke Seguna was unjustly put in prison instead of being granted bail?]
What is interesting in this article is that it refers to the fact that the Archbishop “also made reference to the ‘cancel culture,’ as he stressed that people often feel uncomfortable dealing with inconvenient truths.”
[Just like people are feeling uncomfortable dealing with the inconvenient truths behind Covid-19.
And how did our Church behave during Covid-19? Did it challenge the authorities with the truth? And what is the Church doing now, during inflation? Is it opening its doors to the poor?
I remind Scicluna that in Proverbs 19:17 we find:
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”]
The Archbishop continued: “Often, our reaction to those who tell us something for our own good but which we do not like to hear, is the so-called ‘cancel culture’. Nowadays, this culture, that is among us, cancels out those whose message we find uncomfortable, not because they are lying but because the truth they are telling us hurts too much” [What is the Truth behind Fr Luke Seguna’s story that was hurting the same archbishop so much then, that led the same archbishop to practise cancel culture?]
It would have been more apt for Scicluna to quote the Bible like in John 8: 32 when Jesus said “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” or as in condemning lying lips as in the Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight”, instead of using such a phrase!
Or better still, he could have drawn from the revolutionary statements of Christ, when for example He called the critics of His teachings “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
Why? Because what is interesting in this “cancel culture” is the fact that in almost 100 universities in the UK, academics doing an anti-racism course were told that cancel culture has “benefits”.
The Telegraph reported back last June that “The Open University has devised a training programme titled Union Black, backed by £500,000 of Santander investment, which offers to teach staff lessons including ‘white people have a responsibility to solve the problem of racism.’” According to the course materials, students are instructed on the benefits of “cancelling” individuals and institutions and encouraged to become “active allies” in the advancement of racial justice. In a nutshell, they are being taught that cancel culture is beneficial “for social and racial justice” as the heading of the same article.
“Material in one online module states: “In relation to racial/social justice, cancel culture has been shown to realise benefits.”” “Examples of these benefits in the material include “holding people or entities accountable for immoral or unacceptable behaviour” and “promoting collective action to achieve social justice and cultural change through social pressure”.”
“Course documents also add “motivating allies to reveal themselves”, as an advantage, along with “mobilising public opinion and sharing collective expressions of moral outrage”.”
The instructions advise “due diligence before effectively ‘cancelling’ someone,” which refers to the act of making a person a pariah – frequently through social media pressure and occasionally to the point of people losing their jobs – that has become a major concern in academia.
In the midst of a social media uproar over her remarks on transgender problems, Kathleen Stock was fired from her position at the University of Sussex.
But, according to criticis of “cancel culture”, online “mobs,” are sometimes accused of enforcing moral conformity, but according to the Union Black course materials, doing so is “a last-ditch appeal for justice,” and social media may be “a venue to stir dissension.”
Cancel culture is also hitting the publishing of books, where writers are not being allowed to write certain thoughts, certain words and certain activities which have to do with gender or ethnicity.
This Union Black course was criticised by the Free Speech Uno with the organisation’s chief legal counsel Bryn Harris commenting: “I am disappointed, though sadly not surprised, to learn that UK academics are being trained in the virtues of cancel culture.
“It seems instead that these materials were agitprop training materials, and that this is another sad example of UK universities’ inability to be serious about academic freedom and freedom of speech.”
Doesn’t this all sound like part of the woke culture?
Piers Morgan, a broadcaster whose no topic is off limits on his TV show, says that “Cancel culture so-called liberals are the new fascists”.
I am wondering to what kind of “cancel culture” was Scicluna referring to and to what ideology is he siding with.