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Get me my conversion therapist
The Church today is undergoing a radical change, but it appears that Archbishop Scicluna is anchored somewhere in the past
22 February 2016, 8:26am
I am sure for example that, for reasons known only to himself, he opted not to publish the reports he has seen on paedophilia and sexual abuse in the Maltese church.
With the plethora of unknown cases of priests who have abused young children abroad and in Malta I can understand his line of thinking.
I cannot of course agree.
Yesterday’s decision to publish the paper as a reaction to the government’s decision to criminalise the conversion therapy of homosexuals goes to prove that the bubbly, intelligent, devout hard core Nationalist, semi-modern cleric is nothing but a conservative and a dinosaur.
I know that the contributors to the church’s report are all eminent scholars or academics but it does not change the fact that blocking the criminalisation of the conversion therapy is equivalent to taking the clock back. The only conversion therapist I have heard of is a Gordon Manche, a Maltese evangelist who looks and sounds like an anorexic version of Emy Bezzina and who thinks that God’s grace is awarded according to how many times you can say Jesus in one sentence.
Bishop Scicluna obviously is on a mission. A mission to make us as distant and away from the Church as is physically and morally possible. He really shot himself in the foot when his report and scriptwriters concocted a very uncomfortable reason for not allowing the banning of conversion therapy. The reason being that this would serve to also criminalise the conversion therapy for paedophiles.
It follows, if I understand right, that all gays are potential paedophiles.
The thinking process here is of course warped. It is based on what you hear in tea bars, where many Maltese and Gozitan troglodyte characters believe that gay individuals are hunting down young boys and buggering them in dark alleys or cellars.
I am one hundred per cent sure that the bishop need not have referred to paedophile conversion, since most conversion therapies implemented by the Catholic Church are usually so secretive that we cannot really be sure whether there are any real paedophiles in the first place.
There is of course a wave of conservatism in Malta headed by Gordon Manche’s posse of blind followers and many others who believe that they should form a holy alliance and coalition to block any attempt to radicalise the embryo freezing law and other initiatives that could be possibly linked to civil liberties.
There is also this hang up of things related to sex. This great selfish revulsion of looking at sex as something natural and normal. And this coming from a Church which embraces celibacy and then, as we discover, most of the time it has members who demolish the vow of celibacy when it suits them best.
Bishop Scicluna has of course found a niche here, and he is taking full advantage of the fact that these janissaries of the Christian faith never take no for an answer. They are also commandeered by able and qualified professionals who believe that God has this very big problem with sex. Not that he had the same outlook in the 15th or 16th century. But never mind, then, since I think it is pertinent to point out that some Pontiffs were rather very naughty when it came to bedside manners.
But at this point, I think that we should really return to Mengele. Mengele as many know or perhaps do not wish to remember, was an SS doctor who experimented with people’s lives based on the values espoused by National Socialism. Homosexuals were a favourite target… the rest of the story is too gory and ugly to narrate.
You see Nazis, like some people in the Catholic Church, believed that gays are deviants, mutants that should be tackled.
Needless to say, I am not suggesting that the Bishop is a Nazi. No, not at all.
The Church today is undergoing a radical change, but it appears that Archbishop Scicluna is anchored somewhere in the past and stands for taking us back to the dark ages.
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church cannot be remembered for its high values, its history is full of black holes, inconsistencies, corruption, incalculably wrong decisions and approach.
There have been radical changes.
Needless to say many people have come to understand that morality is not necessarily associated with membership of the Catholic Church. Indeed highly altruistic and moral people are not religious and have no association with a religious denomination.
Archbishop Scicluna has definitely improved the communication skills of the Church, he has surrounded himself with highly efficient ex-civil servants, such as former head of the civil service Godwin Grima and Charles Borg, a senior civil servant who took time off in 2011 to help captain the Church’s disastrous bid to stop the Satanic campaign of introducing divorce in Malta.
But that does not change the important fact that the Bishop is in favour of archaic practices that attempt to change one’s sexuality: that is from being gay to being heterosexual.
As if being heterosexual is a guarantee that you are a better candidate for eternal redemption.
He has unwittingly done Joseph Muscat an incredible favour by alienating the gay lobby further away from the Church and the Nationalist party – whom many gays associate with Scicluna. And also by driving hard core Labourites to bend over backwards when Muscat asks them to comprehend his liberal policies. Hard core Labourites do not like this bishop.
Perhaps his biggest mistake has been to equate paedophilia with being gay, very rich coming from the head of a Church that for decades watched and looked on as many of its followers were witnessing and experiencing atrocious cases of sex abuse on their children from well known priests who worked in the community.
Last week, I dedicated a lengthy piece in my opinion on Palumbo. I based my story on a report that was published in The Times by a reporter cum journalist whom I had believed. A week later I realise that the report was in fact scripted without a careful appraisal of the facts. The noise it now appears was in fact originating from a vessel at the Valletta Grain Terminal and not from a vessel in the Palumbo yard. And it is abundantly clear that this is well known.
The letter which was sent out by Palumbo lawyer Matthew Brincat was also written to warn the complainants that their actions had caused unnecessary costs and to inform them that they had been incorrect in their assumptions and let them know that they would be more than welcome to discuss their issues with Palumbo.
It also appears that at the time of writing there were 111 vessels in the harbour and most of these vessels emit some form of noise, most of them from their generators, and that noise originating from ships in the harbour is the norm. I am no fan of Palumbo, but neither am I of any other maritime operators. I hate grit and noise, but I also dislike bad reporting whether it is my own or that of others.
I also do not like Panettone but I am reminded that Palumbo also employs 135 Maltese workers and has pumped 480 million euros into the Maltese economy in five years, and has many multiplier effects on local services. That is far better than when we had a dockyard that sucked our taxes and serviced a working force that sometimes resembled the Khmer Rouge.
Palumbo may not be my cup of tea but there you go… I felt that it was more than appropriate in the circumstances to eat humble pie.
Saviour Balzan is the founder and co-owner of MaltaToday. He has reported on Maltese poli...
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