Żebbuġ councillor Sandra Grech (right) has defended the priest’s controversial inauguration
A video of a new Gozitan Archpriest standing inside a convertible Porsche Boxster as 50 children pulled him through the streets of Żebbuġ went viral this week, with several warning the stunt was in shocking bad taste.
However, Żebbuġ councillor Sandra Grech has now provided another side to the story, arguing that the display was a village tradition that everyone present enjoyed… not least the children themselves.
“Everyone in Żebbuġ was really happy that we were preparing for such a unique feast,” the PL councillor told ONE Breakfast. “I know Fr. John Sultana well and I know his intentions weren’t to come off as ostentatious. In fact, the Porsche belongs to his cousin, and he lent it to [Fr John] so we could celebrate until the Archbishop arrived for the ceremony.”
“This is a tradition that happens whenever a priest becomes Archpriest in Zebbug,” Grech continued. “Everyone was really happy that we were preparing for this unique feast. I don’t see anything wrong in it, it was a feast of happiness.”
“It wasn’t bad taste at all, and the Żebbuġin were all really happy and the children enjoyed it so much, all dressed in white,” Grech concluded. “Afterwards, we all celebrated with a large cake baked by the parish church that broke a national record.”
A cake baked in honour of Fr John Sultana broke a national record for the largest 3D cake of a church. Photo: Malta Records
Speaking on the same programme, Fr René Camilleri harshly criticised the Porsche stunt as “a load of rubbish”.
“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw the video, but I’d probably choose to cry,” he said. “I condemn whoever accepted that children pull this priest as he stood up in a Porsche. There’s a degree of emptiness in the Church right now and we cannot expect to attract people to us if we keep doing these sort of stupid things. I believe people need the Gospel of Jesus Christ but instead we are dolling out a load of rubbish.”