The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Updated: Float linking Archbishop to child abuse will not be allowed to take part in Carnival

Thursday, 23 January 2020, 15:33 Last update: about 24 days ago

A Carnival float linking Archbisop Charles Scicluna and a Church home to child abuse has drawn widespread condemnation, and will not be allowed to participate in Carnival, reports read

The float features the Archbishop, flanked by two babies with devil's horns and pointy teeth, in front of St Joseph children's home, with the writing 'Jude's hell.'  Jude is Archbishop Scicluna's middle name.

The Facebook post was accompanied by the following text: 'Carnival 2020 loading ... Let the children come to me ... shhh don't tell them anything."

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Lovin Malta reports that Minister for National Heritage, Arts and Local Government, José Herrera confirmed that Festivals Malta will be communicating with the float owner, and it will be prevented from participating.

Archbishop Scicluna eadlier in the day told Times of Malta that, while he is not against satire, the float is "highly inappropriate", especially for an event attended by children.

Fr Louis Mallia MSSP, who runs St Joseph Home, said he was concerned by the reaction children could have if the float is paraded through Valletta next month. He invited the float builders to visit the children's home, to see that the real situation was very different from that depicted in the float.

Culture Minister Jose Herrera told the newspaper he was seeking clarifications from the float builders.

Fondazzjoni Sebh, which runs a number of children's shelters and homes for victims of domestic abuse, said it was seriously concerned on the impact this will have on the psycho-social wellbeing of vulnerable children living in residential homes.

"Children whose past has been turbulent and have experienced various social challenges need support and protection. Carnival is also enjoyed by the same children portrayed in this float. All children, including children of residential homes, should be left to enjoy carnival without being re-traumatised. Let us unite together to protect our children," the foundation said.

The float also received heavy criticism on the social media, with many saying that it went beyond acceptable Carnival satire. Some described it as being in very bad taste while others noted that Archbishop Scicluna is well known for his efforts to address clerical sex abuse cases.

The Archbishop is the Vatican's most respected clerical sex crimes prosecutor and has recently been sent by Pope Francis to investigate cases of sexual abuse in a number of countries, including Chile and Poland.

 

 


 

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