Rev. Dr Martin Micallef, editor of Melita Theologica, is pleased to inform that Issue 70.2 of the peer-reviewed journal has just been published. Featuring in this issue are five contributions on the development of the term ‘quċċija’, the episcopate and pastoral letters of Archbishop Mauro Caruana, the role of the school and the parish in the education for the faith in children, the first three verses of the Book of Revelation, and the interplay between footnotes and endnotes. The contributions are by Stanley Fiorini, Carl-Mario Sultana, Nicholas Joseph Doublet, Peter Ellul and Lara Zammit. The issue also comprises Simon Mercieca’s review of Nicholas J. Doublet’s book The Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs During the Pontificate of Benedict XV (1914-1922) published in 2019 by Edizioni Studium. 

Obtain a copy of this issue by subscribing to Melita Theologica or browse through past issues at www.um.edu.mt/melita. The current issue may also be obtained from the Office of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta (theology@um.edu.mt or 2340 3166).

CONTRIBUTIONS

Prof. Stanley Fiorini’s study Quċċija, Convivium, Żerda, Maltese Customs originating from Religious Greek Tradition attempts to trace the semantic and chronological development of the term ‘quċċija’ from its earliest Maltese documentation. Prof. Fiorini, a Senior Fellow of the University of Malta, presents evidence to show how the original meaning of this term was completely different from its modern sense, arguing that its Greek etymology betraying its true meaning: not the ritual itself but the material of the ritual, a cooked meal of wheat, distributed on two quite different occasions, namely at funerals and on the vigil of certain saints’ feast, mostly in rural chapels. Essentially, the rite was an act of charity, especially with the poor.

Education for the Faith in Malta: A Parish and School Enterprise by Rev. Dr Carl-Mario Sultana analyses how, in Malta, the education for the faith of children is a joint venture between the parish and the school, since the Maltese setup allows for the teaching of the Catholic Religion in all schools, including State-funded ones. The paper seeks to highlight the distinct but complementary aims and methods of Catechesis and Religious Education, thus showing how both contribute to the holistic education for the faith of children. Dr Sultana is Head of the Department of Pastoral Theology, Liturgy and Canon Law, coordinator of the MA programme in Catholic School Leadership and Delegate for Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Malta.

analyses how, in Malta, the education for the faith of children is a joint venture between the parish and the school, since the Maltese setup allows for the teaching of the Catholic Religion in all schools, including State-funded ones. The paper seeks to highlight the distinct but complementary aims and methods of Catechesis and Religious Education, thus showing how both contribute to the holistic education for the faith of children. Dr Sultana is Head of the Department of Pastoral Theology, Liturgy and Canon Law, coordinator of the MA programme in Catholic School Leadership and Delegate for Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Malta.

Rev. Dr Nicholas Joseph Doublet’s article, An Evaluation of the Episcopate of Archbishop Mauro Caruana through his Pastoral Letters (1915-1943), concentrates on the Maltese bishop who led the local Church for 28 years through turbulent times, as Europe went from the grips of one Great War to a second. It proposes a reading of this figure through a brief study of his pastoral letters, conscious that given the specific theological aims of such a tool, it can only permit, at best, a partial reading of the historical reality. Dr Doublet argues that the pastoral letters allow us to see a rather regressive development in Caruana. From a man genuinely and energetically devoted to the exercise of his office in reforming the diocese on many levels in the first decade of his episcopate, he is later revealed as an exhausted individual. Dr Doublet is a member of the Department of Church History, Patrology and Christian Archeology and diocesan archivist for the Archdiocese of Malta.

In Il prologo del libro dell’Apocalisse di Giovanni (1:1-3): studio esegetico-teologico, Rev. Peter Ellul presents the different interpretations to the enigmatic first three verses of the Book of Revelation as a source for Christians to remain steadfast in the midst of persecution. The article presents the context and structure of these verses and proceeds to highlight the different points related to their textual criticism, followed by a number of observations that one can bring out from the text under investigation. Rev. Ellul is specialising in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Footnotes and Finitude is the oration delivered by Ms Lara Zammit during the Graduation Ceremony for the Faculty of Arts held on 21 November 2019. In this ode to footnotes – the enumerated snippets of text we sometimes find at the bottom of a page –  Zammit compares these for a moment to endnotes, which are more uncompromising, forcing us, very confusingly, to endure some acrobatics to get to them at the back of a book, or at the end of each chapter. Footnotes are a much more considerate form of organisation. Quite unfairly, they both produce the same result: the event of slipping in information that is relevant but not quite relevant enough to make it to the main body of text. Ms Zammit graduated summa cum laude with a Master degree in philosophy from the University of Malta.

In the review of Rev. Dr Nicholas J. Doublet’s book A Politics of Peace: The Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs During the Pontificate of Benedict XV (1914-1922) (Edizioni Studium, 2019), Dr Simon Mercieca explains how this study recounts in detail the history of one of the past Vatican’s institutions that dealt with the foreign affairs of the Roman Catholic Church, at a time when the Holy See had no fixed territory yet. Dr Mercieca is senior lecturer at the Department of History at the University of Malta.