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Former minister hits out at fire and brimstone monsignor

Nationalist MP Censu Galea is calling on the Church to refute statements made by a priest, Mgr Anton Gauci, who branded MPs who voted for divorce as “heretics” and “on the road to hell.”

Nestor Laiviera
30 August 2011, 12:00am
In a letter published on Sunday, 21 August on the Nationalist Party’s newspaper il-mument, former minister Censu Galea took to task Gozitan priest Mgr Anton Gauci, over a fire-and-brimstone attack he penned those who criticised the Prime Minister for controversially voting against the divorce bill in parliament.

“Whomever supports the introduction of a law that goes against divine law, whether a member of parliament or simple faithful, is on the road to hell,” Mgr Gauci wrote.

He also maintained that anyone opposing the indissolubility of marriage had made themselves heretics and had excommunicated themselves, meaning they “placed themselves outside the church.”

“Why? Because the indissolubility of marriage is church dogma as defined by session XXIV of the Council of Trent and was defined as ex iure divino,” Mgr Gauci said.

“It is worthless that these even present themselves for Communion,” he said. “This is nothing short of a sacrilege.”

Mgr Gauci had prominently opposed Malta’s accession into the EU in the run-up to the 2003 referendum, slamming the EU’s leadership as “pagan” in left-leaning newspaper it-Torca over its stand on same-sex relationships, abortion, and its reluctance to recognise god in the European constitution.

Reacting to Gauci’s letter last Sunday, Nationalist MP Censu Galea - who voted in favour of the divorce bill in parliament - drew attention to the Curia’s silence in the face of Mgr Gauci’s fiery warning. “What is the Church’s position on this letter?” he asked.

“If they agree with it, they should be clear about it. If not, they should condemn it without reservation,” he said, adding that the Church is duty-bound to clarify its position on the matter.

Contacted by MaltaToday, Galea reiterated that he expects the Church make its position clear. “During the referendum campaign, the Church had said it would not be taking such a line. If that has changed, it should say so,” he said.

“If the church’s position is one that is in line with what Mgr Gauci wrote, it is a position I would find a big issue with,” Galea said, adding that he had made no secret of his No vote in the divorce referendum.

Questions sent to Curia PRO Kevin Papagiorcopulo remained unanswered by the time of going to print.

Galea was one of the few government MPs who voted in favour of the divorce bill during both parliamentary votes – during the second reading before the bill was submitted to review at committee stage, and during the third reading, when the bill was amended and subject to the final decisive vote.

“Society was changing,” Galea was reported as saying in early July, just days before the second reading vote. “One might like the change, but it could not be stopped. People whose marriage had failed should be helped to reintegrate in society.”

In his letter on 24 July, Mgr Gauci also dismissed the line of reasoning adopted by several MPs that “one is supporting the will of the people in the referendum” by voting in favour of divorce.

“We can never support a decision that goes against divine law such as the indissolubility of marriage,” Mgr Gauci said.

He also called on the church to “teach these truths” and said its leaders have no choice but to do so. “Church heads, bishops, parish heads and priests are not free to teach them or not. Even if this means sacrifice or odiousness on their part.”

“It is our duty and god will punish us if we shirk it,” Mgr Gauci said, adding that no excuse could stand in the way, “not even the myth that we would be accused of conducting ‘crusades’.”

“Whoever supports the introduction of a law that goes against divine law, be they members of parliament or simple faithful, are on the road to hell,” Mgr Gauci said.

Earlier this year, Mgr Gauci also vociferously supported the widely-criticised ‘ban’ of pro-divorce lobby chairperson and family lawyer Deborah Schembri from the Curia’s Ecclesiastic Tribunal.

Describing this as “common sense in practice”, Mgr Gauci said it is “unbelievable that we should see the chairman of a pro-divorce movement perorating exactly in marriage-dissolution cases of ecclesiastical tribunals.”

“Let us be frank and ask ourselves what Lord Jesus would have remarked on such happenings,” Mgr Gauci added, taking the chance to hit out at those members of the clergy who had expressed pro-divorce sentiments.

“It is really sad to see that, when God’s and Church’s laws are clear in their prohibitions, you can have some of God’s ministers not in unison with Catholic belief. It is precisely this that strikes you when you read of priests “supporting” pro-divorce movements (April 28),” he said.

In 2003, a handful of days before Malta’s European Union referendum on 8th March, Mgr Gauci had also soundly criticised the EU and the European Parliament for approving a resolution urging EU member states to recognise same-sex marriages.

“One would have to be completely blind to not see that the EU leadership is absolutely pagan and goes against the teachings of the Gospel,” Mgr Gauci wrote in the Torca, a weekly newspaper owned by the General Workers’ Union.

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alfred zarb
Mons u min ma jemminx fl-infern bhali biex se tbezzghu? insejt kemm ghamilt hsara lill ghalliema waqt l-istrajk tal 1984? insejt kemm ghedt kontra l-PN? issa qed tikteb fil gazzetta taghhom? U int kif tista' tghid x'kien jghid Gesu' kieku gie llum? mela Gesu' mohhu mrangat bhal tieghek? mur oqghod ghawdex il gzira tal qaddisin jimxu fl-art minghalikom.
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Manuel Cini
I voted for divorce and I'm proud of my decision! And if I go to hell, it's only my business, and maybe I can enjoy it too! Why should this Monsignor Anton Gauci bother about me? He should bother about his fellow partners for sexually abusing innocent children! So, according to this Mgr., where would be the best suitable place for these 'so called' priests? Hell wouldn't accept bastards like them!! Get a life Mons. and let us live our lives!
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Daniela Grima
Zibel bhalma hareg minn fomm dal-mons imdorrijin nisimghuh. L-importanti nistennew naraw jekk Cremona hux se jichad li qal il-mons. Dik tkun il-prova.
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Mila Christova
if there are going to be certain monsignors in heaven I begin to wonder whether it's such a nice place to be after all. Maybe some priests willl enjoy it because from the pictures I've seen of angels they are all naked little boys with very cute willys.
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Mario Spiteri
Fuq ta DIVORZJU forsi ma tmurx l-infern CENSU imma fuq dak it TRADIMENT li ghamilt lil ex HADDIEMA TAX XATT ser TMUR ZGUR Censu Kemm WEDTHOM li xi haga jiehdu zgur mil FONDI LI HOLQU HUWA STESS Cens meta kienu jigu ikellmuk San Pawl il Bahar imma kien kollu ta xejn CENSU ghax ITTRADEJTHOM ara ic CHAIRMAN ANGLU MALLIA xi haga kien lest li jaghtijhom lil ex haddiema tax xatt imma int WARRABTU min HEMM CENSU Mela oqod ATTENT ghax INFERN HEMM LEST GHALIK CENSU TAGHNA TINSIEX WARA ID DGAWDIJA TIGI IT TBATIJA u DIN TIGI BDIET FUQEK GHAX DR GONZI WARBEK MIN HEMM
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cheryl hili
What a wanker.
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Melissa Mercieca
So the re-instatement of Deborah Schembri was immediately nullified by this Gozitan monsignor. Goes to show that the local Church is paying lip service to reform and still holds a grudge. It simply does not want to listen to the people and the times. Also shows the Church will not learn anything from child sex abuse scandal involving its clergymen. http://mazzun.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/l-isqof-irid-jiddeciedi/
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M. Doris Vella
Cens... taghtix kas, hallih jghid li jrid, dan wara kollox ilu zmien twil jgawdi kumpanija ta' mara u ma tistghax tiehdu bis-serjeta fuq dawn l-affarijiet. Fejnu l-isqof t'Ghawdex mario grech, jew bela' ilsienu fuq dawn l-affarijiet?.... Dan biex ma nsemmix li il-mons qed jibbaza kollox fuq dogma li fl'ahhar mill-ahhar hi twemmin ibazat fuq fidi assoluta li taghlaq il-bieb ghal kull raguni.... fidi anke f'Alla li jikkastiga! Dan ghalija mhu xejn hlief taghalim zbaljat min knisja li rfinat sew l'uzu tal-biza biex tibqa tirrenja fuq il-poplu. Alla ma jikkastiga lil hadd ghax Ihobb b'imhabba assoluta.
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James Axiaq
What an idiot this so-called priest is making of himself. No man on Earth can deny a person his access to heaven. One wonders whether this man also condones the hundreds of thousands of Catholic priests and clerics who have Raped the millions of Children under his auspices.
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Narcy Calamatta
Ahjar il Mgr Gauci jghejdilna f`liema infern ser imorru shabu il qassisin li ma jghoqodux minghajr ma imissu xi tifel. L-infern li hemm bhal issa huwa ghalina u ma irridux nithaltu ma dawn il moqzieza ta qassisin.
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Anthony Camilleri
Mgr Anton Gauci is the personification of the reason why "the faithful" are leaving the church in their droves. It seems this obnoxious little man still thinks he's living in the 60's.
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john spiteri
U allura dawk il-qassisin pogguti, xi 25% tal-qassisin kollha(-l-aktar f'Ghawdex skond discern)! ma jmurux 'straight to hell' jew dawn jahfru id-dnub taz-zina lilhom infushom wara kull nej....a!