I Merely Tapped the Shoulders of Altar Boys’
September 2, 2018
Illum’s front page on Felix Cini, the convicted child abuse priest permitted to say Mass in Bormla “on special occasions” made me angry. Reading the actual report inside the newspaper gives an altogether different impression. The newspaper challenges Felix Cini and his contortionate attempts at self-justification convince no one, least of all the author of the report.
But if Felix Cini could have designed that front page this morning, he could not have done better.
The quotes on that front page are his line of defence. He argues all the child abuse he was convicted to a prison sentence of two and half years for amounted to was ‘tapping on children’s shoulders’.
No one is convicted of child abuse for tapping on children’s shoulders. Nor are priests who tap on children’s shoulders sent by the Church to a monastery where you’re ‘cured of sexual perversions’. Because, yes, apparently they exist.
The title that really irked me most was the one where illum describes its own failures to get victims of Felix Cini to speak to it as “omerta’ assoluta”.
I can only hope this is a misunderstanding of what the term omerta’ means. The 17 people, who were 10 to 14 years old at the time, testified to prosecutors of the abuse they suffered. That is the absolute and complete opposite of omerta’. Omerta’ is the silence of witnesses who collaborate in crime by not revealing it. These witnesses testified to it.
They were never under any obligation to do so because apart from being witnesses they were also victims. But they did.