Fr Felix Cini, the Bormla-born priest convicted of sexually molesting 17 children in Italy between the ages of 10 and 14, concelebrates mass “on special occasions”, the Maltese Curia has confirmed.
The convicted priest, who officially works with the Diocese of Grosseto in Italy, recently returned to Malta to care for his mother.
However, even though he was ordered to stay away from any work that could put him in contact with children, he was celebrating mass as recently as just last May, and even partook in the Pentecostal procession where he was working in close proximity to children.
Cini was given a lifetime ban from the church as well as a suspended sentence of two years and six months from an Italian court after he plead guilty to giving “undue attention” to 17 Italian children.
However, the Curia have confirmed he is back in Bormla, and is involved in celebrating Catholic mass during special occasions.
They have also attempted to calm fears down about Fr Cini possibly molesting some more children by saying he underwent a “canonical process” that concluded that he was allowed to stay within the Church, and they said that he even underwent a two-year therapeutic programme in Italy.
Here is the Maltese Curia’s full statement on Fr Cini
The Communications Office refers to articles published in the media over the last 48 hours about Fr Felix Cini, a priest of Maltese nationality incardinated in the Diocese of Grosseto, Italy. In view of the concerns that have been raised, the following clarifications ought to be made in the best interest of the community.
- In 2008, Fr Cini went through a canonical process by the Holy See which determined that he is not under the penalty of dismissal (i.e. he is not defrocked) and thus he remains a priest of the Catholic Church. This process followed a two-year therapeutic residential programme which he completed in Italy.
- In December 2014, following a request by the Bishop of Grosseto, Fr Cini returned to Malta to live with and assist his ailing mother.
- In the Archdiocese of Malta, Fr Cini has neither been allowed to exercise his ministry, nor to be in contact with minors or to work in any parish. The parish priest of the locality was also informed about this.
- On occasions, Fr Cini requested permission to concelebrate Mass. This was only granted in exceptional circumstances such as funerals of relatives and neighbours, and on special occasions. The last Mass he concelebrated was in May 2018. Reports that Fr Felix Cini is a full-time priest are false.
- The Safeguarding Commission, which is closely following the situation of Fr Felix Cini as it does when any concerns are raised, encourages anyone who is knowledgeable of a crime to report directly to the Malta Police Force. Anyone who has a concern about Church personnel can also contact the Safeguarding Commission on [email protected]