A controversial float linking Archbishop Charles Scicluna to child abuse that had occurred in a Ħamrun home will be ‘prevented from participating’ in carnival according to Minister for National Heritage, Arts and Local Government, José Herrera.
“I can confirm that, following meetings held today with Festivals Malta, the latter will be communicating to the float owner the decision taken. The float, as is, will be prevented from participating,” Herrera told Lovin Malta.
A photo was uploaded to Facebook yesterday of a sketch for the proposed float which included Mgr Scicluna in front with the text ‘Jude’s Hell’ imposed on top.
Jude is the middle name of the Archbishop, and the home depicted is St Joseph’s Home in Ħamrun. Two priests had been sentenced to prison after being convicted for sexually abusing multiple vulnerable boys in that home, dating all the way back to the 1980s.
Since surfacing, the float’s theme has received mixed reactions online.
Some strongly condemned it for it’s ‘defamatory nature’ and the director of the children’s home in question has even threatened legal action.
The photo was brought to the attention of Minister Herrera who quickly intervened ‘to get the necessary clarifications, even form a legal perspective’ and together with Festivals Malta will prevent the float from participating.
“The government and even myself personally have already shown our commitment towards artistic freedom and expression. However, it is my opinion that this particular float is highly insensitive towards our Archbishop and towards Dar San Ġużepp where presently there are a considerable amount of children being cared for,” Herrera told Lovin Malta.