Priest convicted of child molestation ‘not allowed to exercise ministry’
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 email@example.com, the Curia said.