Labour MEP Alfred Sant points accusatory finger at Church over silence on Egrant affair

Alfred Sant complains of Curia’s silence throughout Egrant affair

“On the Egrant case for sure, they allowed themselves to be guided by their inherent prejudices” – Alfred Sant on the independent media
“On the Egrant case for sure, they allowed themselves to be guided by their inherent prejudices” – Alfred Sant on the independent media

Former prime minister and Labour MEP Alfred Sant mounted a scathing criticism of the Catholic Church and the media, over the way they treated the Egrant affair.

Sant said there was a “justified suspicion on the left” that management of the Maltese Catholic church historically carried a favourable sentiment towards the PN.

“I rarely comment about this claim – which the Curia routinely denies – for with the patchy exception of Latin America, the same happens in all countries where the Catholic Church has been long established.”

Sant specifcally referred to Archbishop Charles Scicluna of choosing to comment on the political and economic situation, even when controversially, when he feels the need to do so.

“Such an approach does not bother me but it did irk some on the left, who felt that in the main, the Archbishop’s comments appeared to criticise the government and some of its initiatives. Again, this was hardly surprising as the Church, acting well within its rights, had come out strongly against the most recent IVF reforms. Still it was also true that quite a few of the Archbishop’s comments went well beyond this particular controversy.”

Sant, writing in his newspaper column in The Malta Independent, also complained that the Curia’s voice was nowhere to be heard throughout the Egrant affair, claiming that people took umbrage at the Archbishop’s previous comments.

The indomitable Charles Scicluna has been know to reserve strong homilies to address political and economic issues: in 2016 he delivered his loudest message ever in a plea for good governance in a hard-hitting homily to celebrate Independence Day at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta this morning. He pulled no punches in his criticism.

“Governance based on spin, on obscure dealings, and on a constant reticence to allow public scrutiny, irrespective of the myriad laws and the solemn promises, is definitely not good governance. Government based on the Orwellian disregard of the truth will one day implode. Whereas transparency and accountability are the values that will make us Maltese truly and rightly proud of our government.”

In his column, Sant suggested that the Egrant allegation, published by the late Daphne Caruana Galizia and since then disproved by a magisterial inquiry, was based in part on fraudulent proof.

Sant said the independent media had to review the way they were being run. “On the Egrant case for sure, they allowed themselves to be guided by their inherent prejudices,” the former PM said, making a rejoinder to previous accusations hurled against him.

“I could see this for myself, since through personal experience, I know how in the past the same media would cover with prudence and scepticism scandalous cases revealed under the Fenech Adami and Gonzi administrations. Still, it hardly appears that such a review has actually taken place. Or if it has, nothing about it has been made public.The attitude seems to be: Hey! The Egrant affair ended in a crash. But let’s see how all the other cases that remain will turn out! How do they know what we’re going to “see”?”

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