Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 6(1975)4(451)

A. BONNICI: Aspetti della vita Cristiana nellIsola di Malta verso la metà del seicento (Extract, Malta Folklore Review 1974), 32 pp.

In this paper Rev. Alex. Bonnici examines some aspects of Christian life in Malta during the 17th century in the light of documents found in the Maltese Inquisitorial Archives and the Vatican Library.

He examines in particular the situation in Malta during the days of Inquisitor Antonio Pignatelli. Various problems affecting the pastoral activity of the clergy are examined. Bishop Balaguer was accused of being too liberal in granting the tonsure. But there were priests who were dedicated to study and to pastoral care.

The Maltese were generally devout and faithful to their faith but there were moral problems as well: adultery, public scandals, apostasy, polygamy, superstition. Those who transgressed the law were often reprimanded or punished by the Inquisition. In spite of these negative aspects of the life of some of the Maltese, the author concludes that the Maltese people were truly Christian; one cannot generalize on the errors of some.