Banned ‘child abuse’ float minimised gravity of the crime, social workers say

Malta Today

January 24, 2020

By Matthew Vella

Social workers say banned carnival float was homophobic and minimised gravity of crime of child abuse with gratuitous links to Vatican prosecutor of sex abuse cases

The Maltese Association of Social Workers has said a carnival float linking Archbishop Charles Scicluna to the historic St Joseph Home child abuse saga was likely to cause distress to the home’s residents by depicting it as unsafe.

The carnival float was banned for participation in the Maltese carnival defilé by the minister culture for juxtaposing the Catholic archbishop with two-horned cherubs and the name ‘St Joseph Home’, as well as inserting an LGBTQI rainbow in the pastiche.

The St Joseph Home was the site of repeated child abuse of orphans who resided there in the 1980s until police investigated the case in 2003. In 2011, Carmelo Pulis, then 69, and Godwin Scerri, then 78, were defrocked and jailed for five and six years respectively after a court found them guilty of sexually abusing ten boys in their care in the 1980s.

The home still houses orphaned residents.

But even Lawrence Grech, one of the survivors who has been repeatedly denied compensation from Scicluna’s archdiocese, yesterday insisted the carnival float should not be banned.

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