Muscat goes to the Pope: private meeting with the premier in the storm for the murder of Caruana Galizia

Muscat goes to the Pope: private meeting with the premier in the storm for the murder of Caruana Galizia

Pope Francis received the premier of Malta, Joseph Muscat, privately and with great confidentiality. The Maltese head of government, who announced his resignation for January, recently fell in the eye of the storm due to the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

A photo of the meeting in 2013 between the Pope and the Maltese premier

Pope Francis received this morning in the Vatican, privately and with great confidentiality, the outgoing premier of Malta Joseph Muscat. According to the Vatican press office, the Pope received the prime minister “with his wife and family”. It was a meeting planned for months, but which comes at a very delicate moment for the head of the Maltese government, who ended up in the eye of the storm due to investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, which took place in October 2017. Joseph Muscat, following the news of the investigation into the murder of the journalist from Malta, announced his resignation for January. The face to face between Pope Francis and Muscat, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni explained, had been “planned for months” and had “a strictly private character”. The contents of the interview were not disclosed and no other official communications from the Holy See will come out but it is conceivable that, after the latest events, the meeting may have had a different character from what was originally hypothesized.

Pope Francis sent a telegram after journalist’s murder in Malta – The premier’s visit to the Vatican caused a sensation in Malta, so much so that 22 academics from Valletta were persuaded to write in recent days a letter to the Holy Father asking him not to receive Muscat, involved in the political controversy linked to the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. In the letter from the academics, writes the Agi, the hypothesis was feared that the Maltese premier could exploit the visit for a “propaganda exercise”, given “the serious accusations that afflict the government, in full view in the local and international media” . The Pope, according to Vatican sources, is a head of state and it is for this reason that the visit will take place, albeit in a “totally private” form. Pope Francis is well aware of the case of the Maltese journalist: on 20 October 2017 he sent a telegram, not exactly usual in such cases, in which he said “saddened by the tragic death of Daphne Caruana Galizia”.

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