The Archdiocese categorically denies an allegation made by The Shift News website that Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna requested a postponement of the visit to Malta by His Holiness Pope Francis.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese said: “Nothing could be further from the truth. The visit had the Archbishop’s full support and it is hugely disappointing that a media outlet relies on anonymous and uninformed sources to erroneously state that the Apostolic Nuncio ‘overruled’ the Archbishop”.

In its reply to the Shift News, which was regrettably heavily censored, the Archdiocese had expressed satisfaction that both clergy and the general public, including the migrant community in Ħal Far, were enthused by the generous presence of the Holy Father among us and, more importantly, gained spiritual enrichment from this joyful experience.

Furthermore, the protocols and procedures adopted by the Archdiocese for the visit were long-established and similar in scope and nature to those used for previous papal visits to Malta in 1990, 2001 and 2010.