The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Police to issue hate speech charges against priest who said being gay is worse than being possessed

Friday, 7 January 2022, 10:25 Last update: about 16 days ago

The police will issue online hate speech charges against Fr David Muscat, the priest who said on Facebook that being gay is worse than being possessed by devil, MaltaToday reports.

It is expected that he will be arraigned towards the end of January.

Requests for action against the priest had been made by Social Inclusion Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, Equality Minister Owen Bonnici as well as the Malta Gay Rights Movement. Farrugia Portelli had said that as a citizen and a minister she had drawn the attention of the police to take action against these "obscene and homophobic" statements made by the priest. Equality Minister Owen Bonnici said that "a line has been crossed," and had asked the authorities to take the necessary decisions, "because one cannot make remarks which incite hatred or negative sentiment against a section of society."

Archbishop Charles Scicluna on Thursday evening issued a formal warning to the controversial priest, referred to in Canon Law as a penal precept, instructing the priest to cease making inflammatory and hurtful comments in public forums or face prohibition from exercising his ministry in public. The priest was also instructed to delete the Facebook post.

Fr Muscat is not new to controversy.

In November 2019 he was spoken to by Archbishop Charles Scicluna over anti-migrant speech.

At the time he had described the arrival of foreigners coming to work in Malta as an "invasion" and had said that foreigners would soon outnumber Maltese.

He had earlier been filmed praising Imperium Ewropa leader Norman Lowell, who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred.

Fr David often films vlogs on different topics, including politics. The videos are uploaded to a Youtube channel that also contains various videos of Imperium Europa and its leader Norman Lowell.

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