Following a morally crushing defeat at the polls some months back (divorce issue), the church has now been defaced again with a scandal that goes beyond all human proportions of decency.

Two priests of the MSSP (St.Paul’s Missionary College in Rabat, where I attended secondary school), have just been jailed 11 years between them for pedophilia and rape.

The cases took place about 20 years ago, and brought to light about 8 years ago, by a popular TV programme. Following a lengthy court case, the priests were found undeniably guilty…and sentenced to 6 and 5 years each…

Now I am writing this down not because I am basking in their imprisonment. Rather I am shocked. Because you see…. I knew Fr.Pulis well. Not to mention Br.Bonnett who passed away earlier this year. Br.Bonnett was a well-educated priest, painfully shy, and so quiet and polite. You would be hard-pressed to believe that these ‘men’ were capable of the atrocities inflicted not only upon fellow human-beings, but more so on innocent children, who, living in a home, had no voice. No one to cry out to. No one to whom they could call out for help.

The emotion on these victims faces could be seen and heard. Many victims actually never made it… some of them could not live with the shame and took their lives, or are today living in a state of acute depression…

And why, exactly, is the church doing nothing to unmask more of these priests, who are quite abundant in our society?

It is a pity really, because the MSSP has been tarnished with scandal after many, many years of education, love, respect and unstinting unselfish sacrifice… To the MSSP I owe my education, and my lifelong respect.

Because after all, one rainy day, a winter does not make…

It is now a time of reflection, repentance, apologies, and a new life… for the imprisoned, as well as the victims.

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