A California-based media outlet reported that Pope Francis dumped the cross to appease Muslims during his recently-concluded apostolic visit to Malta over the weekend.
The Free Republic headlined that the royal pontiff has removed the cross to prevent offending illegal Muslim migrants during his two-day visit, citing the report of Church Militant.
On the other hand, the Church Militant said organizers of the event in Malta have canceled Christian symbolism from the papal podium and replaced it with plastic bottles. The podium being referred to is the wall of the stage that was used during the climax of Pope Francis' trip to Malta. The stage is located in Hal-Far's John XXIII Peace Lab where the royal pontiff gave his address to migrants.
The Gateway Pundit stressed that Pope Francis' alleged actions in Malta were not an isolated incident. The media outlet cited instances in the past when the pope was criticized for his actions such as when he reportedly called President Joe Biden a good Catholic despite being a staunch pro-abortion advocate.
Another instance was when the pope allegedly showed support for communism and socialism, making him earn the title of the "Red Pope." While there was also an instance the royal pontiff was reported for stating capitalism causes starvation, which doesn't sit well with Americans and those who have given billions to starving people in the world.
The Free Republic and the Church Militant lifted their report from the Archdiocese of Malta's article on the special design veteran artist Carlo Schembri did for the podium, which enshrines the plight of migrants at sea. The article, entitled "The story that the Pope's podium in Malta will tell," speaks of Schembri's design for the papal podium in Hal Far.
The diocese intended to expose the "dark truth" that people overlook because of their busy lives, which is the beauty of the Mediterranean sea being destroyed by man-made trash. It also depicts the story of migration, which is the main theme of the papal visit.
"Malta is beautiful. But there is a reality in Ħal Far that cannot be ignored. So if you look at the podium at a glance you will see a bright and shimmering representation of the sea--the beautiful blue Mediterranean sea," Schembri told the Archdiocese.
"But when you look deeper, you will see that the sea is made of recycled plastic bottles because there is more plastic than fish in our sea. And the red blobs are life jackets: the lives of people lost at sea. There is a message because this is a reality that we cannot whitewash just because the pope is here. On the contrary, the pope is here because of this reality," he added.
The archdiocese did say that "the podium will not be adorned with a crucifix given that the majority of migrants are Muslim." The archdiocese did not, however, say who decided on the matter or gave instructions for it.
Instead, the archdiocese highlighted that Pope Francis has made the defense of migrants a focal point of his papacy. He has constantly appealed to the European Union to be more welcoming to migrants who arrive in their territories after facing adversity.
Malta, which is 85% Catholic, has been known as a place of refuge for the many who flee violence, persecution, poverty, and even climate change before journeying to Europe, the Vatican News said. The island nation set in the Mediterranean Sea is said to be where St. Paul stayed when he was shipwrecked in 60 A.D. on his way to Rome.
However, as per the National Catholic Reporter, the country is beset with political divisions because of the increasing pressure brought by migration. Prompting the theme of the papal visit to be, "They Showed Us Unusual Kindness."
This is true especially now that the Russian invasion has caused 4 million Ukrainians to flee their country and seek shelter in nearby European nations. The pope then in his message repeatedly stressed the need to be more welcoming because of what is happening in Ukraine.
"The icy winds of war, which bring only death, destruction and hatred in their wake, have swept down powerfully upon the lives of many people and affected us all. Now in the night of the war that has fallen upon humanity, let us not allow the dream of peace to fade!" Pope Francis said.
"Welcome is also the litmus test for assessing to what extent the church is truly evangelical," he stressed.