Priest con­victed of child mo­lesta­tion ‘not al­lowed to ex­er­cise min­istry’

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Curia said yes­ter­day that a priest who was con­victed in Italy for mo­lest­ing 17 chil­dren has not been al­lowed to ex­er­cise his min­istry and is not in con­tact with mi­nors.

The Curia was re­fer­ring to ar­ti­cles pub­lished in the me­dia over the last 48 hours about Fr Felix Cini, a priest of Mal­tese na­tion­al­ity in­car­di­nated in the Dio­cese of Gros­seto, Italy.

Cini was con­victed in 2004 in Italy.

In view of the con­cerns that have been raised, the fol­low­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tions ought to be made in the best in­ter­est of the com­mu­nity, the Curia said.

1. In 2008, Fr Cini went through a canon­i­cal process by the Holy See which de­ter­mined that he is not un­der the penalty of dis­missal (i.e. he is not de­frocked) and thus he re­mains a priest of the Catholic Church. This process fol­lowed a two-year ther­a­peu­tic res­i­den­tial pro­gramme which he com­pleted in Italy.

2. In De­cem­ber 2014, fol­low­ing a re­quest by the Bishop of Gros­seto, Fr Cini re­turned to Malta to live with and as­sist his ail­ing mother.

3. In the Arch­dio­cese of Malta, Fr Cini has nei­ther been al­lowed to ex­er­cise his min­istry, nor to be in con­tact with mi­nors or to work in any par­ish. The par­ish priest of the lo­cal­ity was also in­formed about this.

4. On oc­ca­sions, Fr Cini re­quested per­mis­sion to con­cel­e­brate Mass. This was only granted in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances such as funer­als of rel­a­tives and neigh­bours, and on spe­cial oc­ca­sions. The last Mass he con­cel­e­brated was in May 2018. Re­ports that Fr Felix Cini is a full-time priest are false.

5. The Safe­guard­ing Com­mis­sion, which is closely fol­low­ing the sit­u­a­tion of Fr Felix Cini as it does when any con­cerns are raised, en­cour­ages any­one who is knowl­edge­able of a crime to re­port di­rectly to the Malta Po­lice Force.

Any­one who has a con­cern on Church per­son­nel can also con­tact the Safe­guard­ing Com­mis­sion on info@safe­guard­ing.mt, the Curia said.

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