Why is the Vatican a State?

Anton D'Amato

Covering an area of less than 0.5km sq and having a population of around 800 persons (mostly clerics) the Vatican, or to be precise the Holy See, is officially a state and enjoys the status of a Permanent Observer to the UN (without voting rights). It has diplomatic relations with most of the nation states and various international bodies, including the EU, and is signatory to ...

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Secularly Religious

Anton D'Amato

I consider myself as secular; at the same time I consider myself also religious. Is this a contradiction in terms? Some do in fact consider this to be a contradiction. I don’t quite agree with them. Before reaching some sort of conclusion we necessarily have to define what secular and secularism is all about. Various people attempted to define it. While many have exaggerated in ...

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A Sign of the Way Things Are

Nadia Delicata

It’s certainly a sign of the times that zuntier has ceased being only the in-between space between “church” and “pjazza” and has become… yet another dot.com. Yet in this remarkable cultural transition—that is even more astonishing, because we take it for granted!—one thing has not changed. Zuntier continues to be a space of encounter; a ground for conversation, gossip and debate; the ripe in-between “reality” that bridges two realms. Our ...

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Life Is Beautiful: Live It With A Smile

Maria Vella

With social media and accessible internet on our smartphones and tablets, news gets passed on very quickly amongst us. Unfortunately the negative reports are the ones that tend to spread faster. One is easily reminded in Dun Rene’s tragic death last Sunday. A news that shocked us all and got us thinking on the fragility of life. Yet despite living through sad, challenging, and unjust ...

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James Bond and Vatican Council II

Sinclair Bugeja

It seems coincidental, or maybe providential, that the year 2012 shall be marked with the golden anniversary of two apparently disjointed events: the release of the first James Bond movie and the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Both had lasting effects on the areas to which they pertain yet the significance of their co-existence for the past fifty years may not be apparent at ...

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If Secularists are so Rational, why am I not one?

David Cilia

Secularism, as a movement, has its own core beliefs and they are clearly spelled out in humanist and secularist websites.  The movement claims that is suffices to organize society around rational and free thinking, and that religions should not enjoy any special privilege and should not interfere in the building of society by influencing the process through their beliefs, power or status.  This would render ...

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The Beginning of Life

Rosienne Farrugia

A short while ago I was asked to give a presentation about the beginning of life … in a not too scientific way. Being a scientist, I must admit, that talking objectively about this topic in a non-scientific way was initially daunting. Personally, I believe that there are a number of advantages in having a secular society as opposed to a religious fundamentalist society. One ...

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Lost for Words

Pyt Farrugia

Ask somebody whether they think censorship is ever justifiable, and you’ll probably be told (in no uncertain terms) that censorship as a concept is fundamentally flawed – that it encourages a paternalistic society, dilutes individual responsibility, encourages an attitude of detached and mindless compliance… it even calls into question whether governing bodies really speak for us, and without a government that truly represents us, how ...

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