Schembri intends to contest Ecclesiastic Tribunal ‘ban’ post referendum

Pro-divorce lobby chairperson Dr Deborah Schembri intends to contest her unceremonious ‘ban’ from the Ecclesiastic Tribunal after the divorce referendum “so as not to mix the two issues.”

Speaking during a debate held on Sunday morning, Schembri said that she would wait until the divorce referendum is past before seeking redress. “Opening a case now would distract people from what matters about the divorce referendum,” she said.

She also criticised the way she was banned from the tribunal without a chance to have defend herself or with no concern to how her clients would be represented.

She “I was never told if I can resume my work within my tribunal, or if I am still suspended, or whether the ‘ban’ is permanent or temporary,” she said – despite how she was assured personally by the Archbiship that he would look into the situation and get back to her.

“I have only received a letter from him saying the same things that Curia PRO Fr Charles Tabone has said to the media, nothing more.” She also hit out at the way she was not kept properly informed of the situation by the Church, despite how she was directly affected by the decision.

“First, my client was informed before I was that my warrant was being withdrawn and I could no longer represent her. Then the reason for my dismissal was communicated to the media before it was communicated to me,” she said. “I question how I am always the last to know.”

“I repeat – I have never spread false doctrine about the indissolubility of marriage,” she said, emphasising that she was never given a chance to defend her position or appeal the decision.

She said that while she is not overly concerned about her ‘ban’ despite how she enjoyed working within the Tribunal, she said that she is more worried about the rights of her clients in how they are not free to chose which lawyers represent them.

She hit out at the agreement that the State has with the Church in that it allows the Church’s courts to have supremacy over State courts.  She said that his ban constitutes a breach of her clients’ fundamental right to choosing which lawyer to represent them.

She also accused the State of failing to protect the fundamental human rights of the Maltese citizens by allowing the Church Courts to have supremacy over State Courts.

Given that apparently through the law enacted in 1992 the ecclesiastcal tribunal's decision is binding if not even overrides the law courts, then those seeking redress through the tribunal have a right to be representted by a lawyer of their own choice as the Church cannot interfere with such representation. This is besides that such a situation does not make sense today and should be repealed without further delay. The business of state and church should never mix. Dr Scembri has led the IVA movement wisely and admirably and deserves full support in this regard. On another point we have an absurd situation where the catholic church in a foreign country requests that a divorce decree is obtained before proceeding with annulment cases whereas in Malta civil proceedings have to be postponed while the church tribunal takes it time to hear and decide annulment cases! How's that for consistency within the catholic church? One would be excused for being skeptical about the brand of Maltese caholicism which appears to be ruled by the collective ego of the institution. The church in Malta appears to be doing a lot of damge to the catholic faith in general and its following in Malta.
Keep it up Dr Schembri. You have my full support. As JPO well put it Malta's parliament represents the people and not the Church. Anyone who has fantised in seeing the Madonna cry because of the divorce issue but did not hesistate to call us Maltese cwiec, shoud become a socju in a religious order and not represent the people for which he made sure that he is very well paid for.
Dr.Schembri Those white wash graves do not know the meaning of civil rights and freedom of choice mean.There is a lot of money they will loose if divorce is introduced, no wonder Jesus told them that they were making his father house a den of thieves.
Listen Debs ... it's not worth your while working for an ecclesiastical tribunal. Best to see your dismissal as a blessing in disguise. Hey the world is bigger than those ~ WHATEVER THEY ARE ~ prancing around in their long skirts and lording it over innocent people. Do yourself a big favour and place your talents and your good heart elsewhere.
What the church is doing is bringing back the 1960`s memories when my parents were banned from Holy Communion ,mizbla ,dnub mejjet and so on Can`t the church see for itself that sincere people are fast distancing themselves from the church because of this way it is trying to impose what they want on us . The1960`s are gone long time ago and today we are not IMZAZEN anymore. Dr Schembri you certainly got my support now more than ever
They surely don't treat paedophile priests the same way. Take a look at:
Why am i not surprised at the way the curia freaks treated Dr. Schembri. This proves me right - that what I have been saying all along is true - The church DOES NOT give a damn about people and their problems but only its image, power and finances!!!