Pope Francis Greets Prime Minister of Malta

Discussion of Contribution of Christianity to History, Culture, and Life of Maltese People

Prime Minister of Malta
Pope Francis with Malta’s prime minister, Robrt Abela, wife, Lydia Abela Zerafa, and daughter, Giorgia Mae, born in 2012 © Vatican Media

This morning, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the Prime Minister of Malta, His Excellency Mr. Robert Abela, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. 

During the cordial discussions in the Secretariat of State, the good bilateral relations and fruitful collaboration between the Church and the State were underlined. The parties focused on the contribution of Christianity to the history, culture, and life of the Maltese people, and on the Church’s commitment to the human and social development of the country, especially in the fields of education and welfare. Issues of common interest were then discussed, such as migration, to which the Church and the Government are strongly committed, and some ethical issues.

Attention then turned to the European and international situation, with particular attention to the Mediterranean region, as well as the importance of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in building peace and brotherhood among peoples.

Dr. Robert Abela took office as the 14th Prime Minister of Malta on January 13, 2020.

Dr. Robert Abela was born in Sliema on December 7, 1977. He received his primary education at the Sisters’ School and St. Francis School and St. Aloysius’ College. He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Malta in 2002.

Dr. Abela worked in the family law firm, specializing in industrial and labor law, and has acted as legal representative of various entities such as the Planning Authority and Airmalta. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in June 2017 and was appointed as legal adviser to the Prime Minister by Dr. Joseph Muscat.

Dr. Abela is married to Lydia, nee’ Zerafa, also a lawyer and they have a daughter Giorgia Mae.