Fr Mark Montebello's three-year writing ban lifted

Fr Mark Montebello's three-year writing ban was lifted just three months after he published controversial IVF comments and was banned and threatened to be defrocked 

Fr Mark Montebello
Fr Mark Montebello

Father Mark Montebello's three-year writing ban has been lifted just three months after his controversial IVF comments. 

The Dominican friar, who is known for his outspoken views, returned to writing columns in It-Torca, after he was banned and reportedly threatened to be defrocked if he did not stop writing and expressing his views.

READ MORE: Dominican friar Mark Montebello threatened with defrocking after IVF comments

Back in April, Montebello wrote opinion pieces in both the Times of Malta and It-Torca, criticizing the Church’s strategy against the government’s proposed amendments to the IVF law.

In yesterday’s newspaper, Montebello clarified that his ban, which was meant to have lasted three years, was lifted after an official meeting with his Order’s local superior, Fr Frans Micallef on Wednesday 25 July.

Montebello apologised for his comments and clarified that he had no intention of criticising the institution of the Catholic Church, its legitimate authority, or its doctrines.

READ MORE: The goose, the gander and Fr Mark Montebello

For a few weeks back in May, his weekly column in It-Torca, which he had been writing since 1993, was left blank with just ‘censurat’ (censored) written, after the Church threatened to automatically deprive him of his ecclesiastical status if he disobeyed its orders.

In his clarification, Montebello said he still firmly believes that the Catholic Church in Malta has a great potential to do a lot of good as long as this reflects and is according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

He thanked Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vicar General Mons Joseph Galea Curmi, his Superior in Rome Fr Bruno Cardore’ and his Superior in Malta Fr Frans Micallef.

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