Tarxien parish priest Chris Ellul has urged people not to smear all clergy members who work with children, after two Gozitan priests were charged with child rape yesterday.
“I don’t like defending myself in the media but I cannot stay silent and not be sincere,” Ellul wrote on Facebook. “What’s wrong is wrong, no matter who commits it, it can never be justified, and my heart breaks when I see the situations we’re currently experiencing. However, it’s also not right to tarnish everyone with the same brush.”
“There’s many others like me who work heartily with children and adolescents with no malignant intentions or wrong behaviour, and who don’t expect any thanks or praise.”
“We do what we do because we genuinely love, and wish all the best, to the children entrusted in our hands. I really appreciate everyone who supports us and trusts us with their children, not only as altar boys but in the choir, Catechism, and other groups.”
“However, I’d appreciate if we don’t pass judgement which tars everyone with the same brush.”
Gozitan priests Joseph Cini and Joseph Sultana were yesterday charged with sexually abusing an altar boy in 2003 and 2005, with Cini also charged with rape.
In an urgent testimony via videoconferencing, the victim – who was eight years old at the time of the alleged abuse and is now in his mid-20 – went into disturbing detail that had him visibly emotional, even bursting into tears at one point.