ARCHBISHOP GONZI of Malta has placed under interdict members of the Malta Labour Party Executive who last month signed a statement bitterly criticising the Archbishop and the Church. It said that Archbishop Gonzi was concerned to safeguard the good relations between the Vatican and the United Kingdom instead of uniting the Maltese against Britain.
It also alleged that the Arch bishop had told visitors that he preferred a Protestant colonial government to home government by the Malta Labour Party.
The archdiocesan press office replied that the Archbishop has at all times refrained from commenting one way or the other on the question of Maltese independence.
The Labour Party statement was drawn up on March 15. It was not signed by anyone but was issued in the name of the Executive of the Malta Labour Party, whose leader is Mr. Dom Mintoff, the former prime minister.
On March 23 the Archbishop warned the executive that if it did not make amends for this by March 28, it would be placed under interdict. He granted two deferments, to April 6 and then to April 10.
The interdict relates to those who actually took part in drawing up the offending statement or who approved it with their vote. The effect of the censure is to bar the persons concerned from the sacraments, but it does not excommunicate them.