Wednesday, 31 March 2010

MaltaToday: A secret history of Malta [Dr Joseph Carmel Chetcuti]
28.3.10 by Matthew Vella

Maltese-Australian lawyer Joseph Carmel Chetcuti’s compendium on Maltese gay life is a first, but its relevance is not restricted to gay people only: it is a missing part of an island’s history

As a chronicle of gay life, Queer Mediterranean Memories is an exhaustive memoir of gay haunts, beats, and clubs, and the personalities that brought these places to life. As the first historical record of its kind, much of Joseph Carmel Chetcuti’s monograph is based partly on anecdotal reminiscences, partly on personal inference on Malta’s queer who’s who. Much of his work is historically referenced, giving readers a coherent picture of gay life from the decadent heyday of post-war Strait Street with tales of its drag queens, orgies and gay hangouts; through to the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and the creation of Malta’s modern gay rights movement.
There is however much history that is based on anecdotal evidence, some rumour and speculation, and in obvious cases such as his reinterpretation of Dun (now saint) Gorg Preca, personal inference: how much is this actual history, or are we just dealing with pop culture book, a manifest of gay life ultimately intended for gay people only?
“It’s not strictly speaking a gay history. I look at aspects of gay history, the way Maltese law impacts gays and lesbians, and how it discriminates against gay people. It tries to do a lot of things, and I adopted this approach because there was nothing of this kind,” Chetcuti says.
Much of the stuff here is original, some it well known revelations of gay men and women: broadcaster Charles Arrigo comes as no surprise, while Chetcuti also lists former President Agatha Barbara and Allied Publications’ founder Mabel Strickland. Others include the fabled Mary-Man, from Sliema: the testosterone-infused woman who worked as a bouncer in the bars on the ferries, and a misfit made cruel fun of by little boys. Other snippets describe life in Malta as we never knew it: because it was a secret, and part of a historical inventory held inside the minds of Malta’s queer society. In this sense, Chetcuti’s book is a collection of stories and anecdotes illustrating this secret life, perhaps never making it into the public consciousness because of the prevailing hypocrisy and prejudice.
In one instance, he talks of the Wembley Store boys, who during the 1960s and 1970s would hang around in Republic Street before making their way to Valletta’s Lantern Bar, a gay-friendly pub in Sappers Street. Chetcuti says there were the first men in modern Malta to flaunt their sexuality, even get intimate in the store’s narrow doorway. “They defied dominant heterosexual culture and challenged traditional Roman Catholic values. They were a barometer of youths’ discomfort with gender stereotyping and disenchantment with the establishment. They were our precursors, the John the Baptists of Malta’s gay and lesbian liberation.”
Other accounts are gleaned from first-hand interviews with the people who lived their days in Strait Street (Valletta, as a port town, is the epicentre of much of the gay life chronicled by Chetcuti): “It provides some idea of where people can go when they tackle a history of gay Malta. When we’re dealing with aspects of a minority group that is really invisible on a formal level, it is important to try and make it visible by ensuring that these anecdotes and stories are not lost. My view is that if I didn’t write the story of Balzunetta and Strait Street, these anecdotes would be lost; the last drag queen, Cookie, passed away a few years ago…”
Chetcuti admits that his book attracts controversy because his approach “recreates the past… history is a creative process. You don’t simply react to sources, and you interpret it on the basis of the present looking at the past. I bring all my prejudices and outlooks, and my experience and deficiencies to this work.”
This is where I bring up his liberal interpretation of Saint Gorg Preca’s sexual orientation, whom Chetcuti identifies as “one of us” – supposedly convinced by his feminine voice, his partiality towards having young men lead the MUSEUM Catholic doctrine society, and his low esteem of women. It was this irresistible piece that generated controversy, even attracting Gozo bishop Mario Grech’s opprobrium.
“We’re dealing with a community that is invisible or tries to be invisible. When you talk about sexuality you are really speculating a great deal. I have declared myself a homosexual but what does it mean? There is an element of speculation, that is different from invention: this is speculation, based on evident facts. Other people can interpret these facts. The only thing I say is ‘this is the way I have interpreted them’.”
In this case, Chetcuti was categorical about Preca’s sexual orientation.
“Yes, but that’s the voice. I thought the voice struck me at an emotional level… there’s such a thing as a gaydar [the intuitive ability to assess someone’s sexual orientation], where you can pick out someone who is just like you. I actually believe I was extremely cautious in the way I interpreted things. At the end of the day, I am not saying Preca was a practising homosexuality.
“Some years ago I was speaking to a member of MUSEUM, and I told him I was writing a book on homosexuality. His first comment was ‘don’t write anything about Dun Gorg Preca’… that simply went by and I forgot it. Some years later, in 2007, I heard Preca’s voice for the first time. And what this fellow planted in my mind had been confirmed. I found other things, for example... the sensual description of Christ, or his attitude towards women. It’s not that gay men are misogynists, but when you are a closeted gay man you become jealous of women, because you can’t have the same relationship women have with men.”
In a way, Chetcuti’s stance is justifiable if we had to look at it from another perspective: much of the criticism levelled at his interpretation of Preca’s orientation comes from those whose prejudice is that the saint must have been undoubtedly heterosexual. So why is it ‘acceptable’ to think someone is straight, but ‘defamatory’ to think they are gay?
“I don’t think it is fair to think of someone as heterosexual or homosexual. I start with the premise that I don’t assume the person to be heterosexual; and secondly, I don’t see anything wrong with thinking that someone is homosexual. It may be defamatory if you are calling somebody a liar at the same time… Preca is now a significant Maltese person, and I see nothing wrong in tackling a part of his life that is ignored in Malta.”
Critics might latch on to Chetcuti’s background as a Conventual Franciscan novitiate, and how far this impacts his statements on the Church. But he writes of his experiences inside the convent and offers a window into the hidden lives of gay men who entered the priesthood with no other option other than being in a sham marriage.
“Throughout my life, I had been aware of being attracted to men, but I would have never described myself as a homosexual. I’d have been terribly offended if someone did… but when I went to confessions as a boy and told the priests of my temptations towards people of the same sex, every priest told me it was God’s sign that I was called for the priesthood. And I went regularly to confession… I was a MUSEUM member who believed that any physical contact was sinful.”
After taking his simple vows, Chetcuti remembers walking past a friar’s cell where he saw the monk, completely naked. “He invited me in, and told me ‘do whatever you want’. It was the first time I was with a man, and I think we just briefly touched each other and I walked away. At that very moment, it dawned upon me that it was not a mortal sin.”
Throughout his work, Chetcuti encapsulated the vicissitudes of gay life in Malta, and how it seemed to vacillate between the raunchy haunts of Strait Street’s gut, and the secret beats and parties held by men of high position – such as judge Joseph Flores and the businessman John Francia (who adopted his lover so that he could inherit his wealth without it being seized by the Labour government) – to the decriminalisation of homosexuality by the Labour government in 1973, and finally the creation of a political gay rights lobby, the MGRM, in 2003. In this sense, Checuti gives the sense of a gay community which seemed inclined towards holding on to its secret identity during a time when the government was effectively lifting anachronistic punishments, and then became more vocal as the EU membership brought with it anti-discriminatory legislation previously unheard of in Malta.
“A lot of gay men and lesbians in Balzunetta and Strait Street were harassed by police and discriminated against. One of them had told me that it went with the territory… but they were comfortable there. When it came to working-class people, I remember one drag queen, Bobby, was imprisoned for several months for having sex with a man in his own home; on the other hand Francia, could use the adoption laws to secure his wealth. Once the British left and Strait Street wound down, it seems that gay men and women here closeted themselves once again…
“When homosexuality was decriminalised in Malta, a lot of gay men felt they had nothing to fear. But they didn’t look at other sources of discrimination,” Chetcuti says. “In other countries such as the USA and Australia, which are federal governments, the battle for gay liberation had to move from one state to the other: so they had to be political.”
Even in his account of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, Chetcuti reveals the undertones of bigotry from Labour and Nationalist MPs that accompanied the debate. Fear and suspicion of gay people was evident even while MPs were updating criminal laws.
“Anton Buttigieg is the best example,” Chetcuti says, who seemed to echo some of the misgivings expressed by Nationalist MPs (two of them, he says, were gay but he doesn’t publish their names). “Dom Mintoff was different and he outshone everyone. He would have sat comfortably with us. What I like about him is that he was not afraid to tackle an issue head-on.”
And this is what makes 1973 less a moment of gay liberation, and more a case of Mintoff standing up to the Church. “That had a lot to do with it, and I suspect Mintoff knew he could take on the Church in this way.” As Chetcuti writes, the reform of the Criminal Code did not usher in a gay and lesbian movement and places part of the blame at the feet of well-off, well-educated gay men who entered marriages of convenience, deserting their wives and children at night to roam beats, and ‘unmindful, uncaring and disinterested in the anguish of their fellow and not so fortunate brothers and sisters.’
Chetcuti looks at Labour’s new LGBT branch as not one that necessarily marginalises gays and lesbians. “A lot of the gay community’s members are invisible, so giving them some recognition and an opportunity to discuss their issues is terribly important.”
But when it comes to the MGRM getting political, Chetcuti feels that the lobby will have to take political sides: “I think it’s important for gay people to support political parties, and it doesn’t matter which… I don’t expect a political party to have my agenda, politics is about compromise after all.”
In this sense, Chetcuti says that even on certain issues confronting particular social groups, both gay and straight men and women can come together on tackling Malta’s idiosyncratic realities: for one, the absence of divorce or rights for cohabiting couples.
“What’s likely to happen is that there will different pressure groups coming together… I think gay people should be able to support heterosexuals in their fight for divorce, and that heterosexuals should support gay rights.”
Queer Mediterannean Memories is Chetcuti’s second major foray into bringing queer culture into the public fora. Chetcuti’s uncle, novelist Guze Chetcuti, “one of the great romantics”, had advised him back in 1994 not to appear on Pjazza Tlieta on PBS to debate homosexuality. ‘Open homosexuality’, he told me, was still frowned upon in Malta. He added that being out-and-proud would destroy any plans I might have hade of a future career in Malta.’
Years later, after his father died in 2006, Chetcuti discovered a letter to his father from his uncle, written in 1997, shortly after the publication of Il-Ktieb Roza. The subject was Joe’s appearance on a radio programme. ‘So far he has come out with flying colours,’ he wrote to his father. ‘The book is receiving much publicity and raises a subject that shows the number of homosexuals in Malta is fare greater than I thought. He is making a success of it and is shaking our closed minds.’

Times: I'm gay, says singer Ricky Martin
Tuesday, 30th March 2010 - 12:44CET; AP

Singer Ricky Martin has told his fans he is gay, describing himself as a "fortunate homosexual man".

In a statement posted via Twitter in both Spanish and English, and later confirmed with his representative, Martin added: "I am very blessed to be who I am."
For many, last night's announcement came as no surprise; the Livin' La Vida Loca singer's sexuality has been speculated about for years.

But the Puerto Rican star, who got his big break as a child in the teenage group Menudo, never directly addressed it and was usually seen at events with beautiful women on his arm.

But Martin, 38, said he decided to reveal the truth after working on his memoirs helped him realise that he had to be true to himself and not keep any more secrets.
"From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside," he said.

"Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And this is something worth celebrating."

Martin said one of the reasons he kept his homosexuality hidden was because he was told by some that it would hurt his career.

While his US career peaked after the release of his 1999 self-titled English album, a multi-platinum success that included the hits Livin' La Vida Loca and Shake Your Bon-Bon, he is still a hugely successful Latin artist.

"Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth," he said in his statement.
"Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions."

Martin, who has two sons born to a surrogate mother in 2008, said he could not continue to hide his sexuality now that he was a father. "Enough is enough. This has to change," he said.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Times: Sandro Chetcuti organised 'some meals' for Labour - [LGBT Labour]
Tuesday, 30th March 2010 by Christian Peregin

Labour leader Joseph Muscat yesterday admitted that trade lobbyist Sandro Chetcuti, currently in court over the attempted murder of his colleague Vince Farrugia, helped organise a number of business dinners for the Labour party last year.

"The meals were conducted with prominent people in business to show them that in government Labour would not stifle business," he said, adding that he condemned the violence against Mr Farrugia.

Interviewed on Bondiplus, Dr Muscat defended the setting up of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgeneder section in his party to give these people an opportunity of "advocacy".

This had been done in a number of parties around the world and showed the LGBT community that the party did not just want to use them for elections.

"Our commitment is genuine," he said, just before adding that he was committed to civil partnerships but only if they did not allow adoptions.

He criticised Dr Gonzi for never actually doing anything on cohabitation in seven years.

He said that as Prime Minister he would seek a genuine bipartisan debate on divorce in the hope that, by giving a free vote in Parliament, divorce would be approved.

When asked why divorce would not be the party's official proposal he said that voters knew that, with Dr Gonzi, there was no chance of divorce being introduced.

Asked if as Prime Minister would nominate a President from the Nationalist Party to reciprocate Lawrence Gonzi's gesture of appointing George Abela, he said he did not long for a "tit for tat" situation.

He added that he did not think a President even needed to come from a political background and implied he would prefer nominating someone from the arts.

Regarding his proposal on the setting up of a second University, he said that Mcast could be turned into this new institution which would compete with the current one and provide more choice to students.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Monday, 29 March 2010

Times: Cohabitation law in the works - PM

Monday, 29th March 2010 by David Schembri

A law regulating cohabitation is in the works and the issue "should be addressed" this year, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said yesterday.

"We're considering a Bill internally and it still hasn't been passed to Cabinet... but this is an issue which should be addressed this year," the Prime Minister said at a meeting in Senglea yesterday.

A law regarding cohabitation has been included in the Nationalist Party's electoral programmes since 1998 and the party has often been criticised for dragging its feet on it.

One of the latest salvos came from within the Nationalist camp, with PN Sliema councillor and gay rights activist Cyrus Engerer criticising the government for not doing anything about the issue.

Asked about this yesterday, Dr Gonzi said: "This issue should be addressed forthwith. Without a law, there is no responsibility. In Malta, a person can live for four years with another person, have children, and one fine day leave with no consequences.

"There must be responsibility, and this is borne of a relationship which has its legal consequences. And I feel it is our duty to do this for society, to introduce responsibility and regulate this reality.

"We have to address society as a whole, and we can let no one get left behind or be in a situation the country doesn't address, so it's our duty to provide laws and services to support all families," Dr Gonzi said.

Speaking at a debate on homosexuality in Malta, organised by student group Move on the University campus last week, Mr Engerer criticised his own party for not having clear policies on the issue.

"We can't keep on speaking about discrimination, marriage and adoption as if gays were any different," he said as he commended Alternattiva Demokratika for being the only party that was clear in its policies on homosexuals.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website. More comments can be found here.]

The committee said it would receive further suggestions until May 31 at

It-Torċa: L-istorja moħbija tal-omosesswali Maltin
28.3.10 minn Aleks Farrugia

Li kieku Joseph Chetcuti ma kienx jeżisti, kien ikun meħtieġ li jinħoloq! Kellu jkun hu li jiġbor il-kuraġġ biżżejjed biex jikteb l-istorja moħbija tal-komunità omosesswali f’Malta. Il-ktieb tiegħu “Queer Mediterranean Memories” qanqal kontroversja sħiħa, l-aktar minħabba li jassoċja lil Dun Ġorġ Preca ma’ din il-komunità. Imma lilhinn mill-kontroversja hemm il-ħajjiet ta’ persuni li kellhom jgħixu taħt id-dell tad-diskriminazzjoni… kultant doppjament, meta d-diskriminazzjoni sesswali kienet imwaħħda wkoll ma’ dik soċjali. ALEKS FARRUGIA tkellem dwar dan ma’ JOSEPH CHETCUTI.

Malli daħal fl-uffiċċju u poġġejna biex nibdew l-intervista, is-suġġett ma setax ma jaqax fuq Dun Ġorġ Preca. Il-ktieb, li tnieda s-Sibt ta’ ġimgħa ilu, qajjem kontroversja sa minn qabel – u dan aktarx minħabba ċerti referenzi li fih għal persuni li għall-ewwel darba hemm imniżżel b’iswed fuq l-abjad li għandhom – jew kellhom, għax illum mejtin – orjentaz-zjoni omosesswali. Fost dawn hemm l-isem tal-uniku qaddis Malti – Dun Ġorġ Preca.

It-tentazzjoni li niftaħ l-intervista dwar dan kienet kbira. Joseph Chetcuti, avukat Malti li jgħix f’Melbourne l-Awstralja, mhux bniedem ġdid għall-kontroversja. Meta kien ġie Malta fl-1994 kien qajjem agħa sħiħ bil-ktieb tiegħu “Il-Ktieb ir-Roża”. Minn dakinhar sal-lum is-soċjetà nbidlet, kif jammetti Joseph Chetcuti nnifsu, u wisq probabbli li ma kienx għal din ir-referenza għal Dun Ġorġ u xi personaġġi oħrajn magħrufin, ma kienx iqajjem wisq trab. Għalkemm l-omosesswali għad jonqoshom x’jaqdfu għad-drittijiet tagħhom, is-soċjetà tagħna żgur li saret aktar miftuħa biex titkellem dwar is-suġġett.

“Jien nemmen li s-soċjetà Maltija qiegħda tinbidel. Jidher li hawn ċerta skuntentizza bl-‘istatus quo’ konservattiv f’dan il-pajjiż. Minkejja li fl-aħħar mill-aħħar huma għadhom jikkmandaw, anke f’istituzzjonijiet bħall-Knisja, fil-poplu tinħass ċerta tama għall-bidla.”


Joseph Chetcuti ma jibżax mill-kontroversja u lanqas ma jħoss li l-agħa dwar l-orjentazzjoni omosesswali ta’ Dun Ġorġ tista’ timmina l-għan aħħari tal-ktieb “Queer Mediterranean Memories”, li hu rendikont storiku tal-omoses-swali f’Malta.

“Fuq bażi ‘short term’ veru, jista’ jkun li l-uniku interess li jkollhom xi wħud hu li jaqtgħu l-għatx tal-kurżità tagħhom u jixtru l-ktieb biex jaraw sewwasew x’jgħid dwar Dun Ġorġ. Imma ‘long term’, wara li l-kontroversja toqgħod, dak li jkun jibda jaqra affarijiet oħrajn – ta’ aktar importanza – li hemm f’dan il-ktieb,” jgħid Joseph Chetcuti.

Il-ħars ikrah u ċerti kliem li ngħad fil-konfront tiegħu ma jdejquhx. Il-filosofija tiegħu hi li “wara tant żmien li minn dejjem konna taħt attakk, għaliex issa m’għandniex inkunu aħna wkoll li nattakkaw?” Madankollu, ‘l-attakk’ li jsemmi Chetcuti għandu mira preċiża: dik li toħroġ il-verità dwar l-omosesswalità f’pajjiżna, li għal żmien twil kienet miżmuma siekta.

“Niftakar li meta kont hawn bil-‘Ktieb ir-Roża’, kont mort għall-purċissjoni tad-Duluri – għax jien il-festi nħobb inżurhom – u lil min kien miegħi għedtlu biex ikun imħejji għall-ħars ikrah u għal xi kumment insolenti fil-konfront tagħna. Li ġara kien bil-maqlub: kull qassis li beda jgħaddi minn quddiemna beda jitbissimli – għad għandi ritratt ta’ wieħed minnhom, iżomm il-lasta ta’ xi fanal jew x’kien, bi tbissima daqsiex fuq wiċċu.”

Jgħid ukoll li l-akbar sor-priża għalih kienet l-appoġġ li sab minn fost persuni anzjani. “Stramba imma vera. L-ewwel rispons li kelli kien minn persuni anzjani, li x’aktarx sabu għall-ewwel darba lil min itihom leħen.”

Storja moħbija

Il-ktieb ta’ Joseph Chetcu-ti huwa rendikont storiku. Mill-ewwel inqajjem il-punt li kien hemm min ikkontesta l-validità storika tar-rakkont tiegħu.

“Ejja nibdew mill-ewwel punt,” iweġbini mingħajr tlaqliq Chetcuti, “Irridu nitilqu mill-fatt li din hija l-istorja ta’ komunità mistura. M’hemmx dokumenti, jew fejn hemm huma skarsi ħafna. Hawn kelli niddependi ħafna fuq ir-rakkonti ta’ individwi, li jiftakru ċerti affarijiet, jew li kienu nvoluti fihom huma stess. Għandi kemm trid rekordings ta’ persuni li tkellmu miegħi. Oħrajn ma ridux ituni intervista, imma tkellmu miegħi xorta waħda.

“Din id-dipendenza fuq l-istorja orali tagħmilha diffiċli biex wieħed jippreżenta xi ħaġa bħala ‘evidenza’ iswed fuq l-abjad.

“Imma dan huwa l-mod kif tinkiteb l-istorja ta’ komunità, bħal dik tal-omosesswali f’Malta, li kellha tgħix moħbija biex taħrab mill-persekuzzjoni. Tant hu hekk, li d-daħla tal-ktieb hija ta’ Graham Willet, li huwa storiku ewlieni fl-Awstralja. Storiku ieħor li apprezza l-validità storika tal-ktieb huwa Gary Weatherspoon.”

Insemmilu l-kritika li saritlu dwar ċerta spekulazzjoni li hemm fir-rakkont.

“Iva, forsi dan il-punt tqaj-jem għax jien ħarist lejn l-istorja mill-perspettiva li mdorrijin inħarsu biha aħna fl-Awstralja u f’pajjiżi oħrajn bħall-Ingilterra u l-Istati Uniti.

“Ma tantx tista’ tifred l-istorja minn ċertu element ta’ spekulazzjoni. L-istorja fiha nnifisha tivvinta l-imgħoddi, għax ma tistax terġa’ tgħixu; l-istorja wieħed irid jibniha – ir-restawrazzjoni tal-memorja tagħna. L-ispekulazzjoni mhijiex li wieħed joħloq minn żniedu, imma li jsawwar l-evidenza biex jagħti stampa mill-aktar sħiħa.”

Induru għall-kwistjoni tal-privatezza tal-ħajja sesswali tal-individwi.

“Il-privatezza hija dritt bażiku; imma bħal kull dritt ieħor, għandha wkoll il-li-mitazzjonijiet tagħha. Ħafna drabi l-privatezza hija biss skuża biex issodd ħalq dawk li huma oppressi. Tintuża biex twaqqafna milli nirrakkontaw din l-istorja ta’ ripressjoni.

“La darba persuna tagħżel li tibda tinvolvi ruħha b’mod attiv fil-komunità omosesswali ma tistax tippretendi li l-orjentazzjoni tagħha ma tkunx identifikata.”

Il-bagalja tal-valuri konservattivi

Ngħidlu li mhux l-omoses-swali kollha jaqblu mal-ktieb tiegħu.

“Għandek raġun, imma anke l-komunità omosesswali għandha persuni b’opinjonijiet diversi. Hemm min għamel ir-reazzjoni tiegħu dwar il-ktieb u ma qrahx – u dan mhux fost l-omosesswali biss! Imbagħad hemm dawk l-omosesswali li ma jintebħux li huma vittmi ta’ diskriminazzjoni.

“Ċerti omosesswali tarahom b’dik li l-poeta Amerikan Alan Ginsberg kien isejjaħ bħala ‘wounded look’, li hija l-ħarsa ta’ xi ħadd li sikwit iħossu bħala l-vittma. Illum, l-attivisti omosesswali neħħewha din il-ħarsa – m’għadhomx iħossuhom vittmi.”

Imbagħad il-kliem jerġa’ jaqa’ fuq il-kwistjoni tal-privatezza:

“Il-kwistjoni tal-privatezza turi l-ipokrisija tal-konservattivi f’dan il-pajjiż. Il-konservattivi għandhom bagalja ta’ valuri li joħorġuhom biss meta jkun komdu għalihom. Fis-snin sebgħin, meta Mintoff kien neħħa l-omosesswalità minn fost ir-reati kriminali, il-konservattivi dakinhar ma kinux jemmnu f’dan id-dritt tal-privatezza u riedu li dak li jseħħ fid-dar privata tal-individwi jkun materja pubblika, suġġetta għal-liġijiet kriminali tal-pajjiż.”

Ix-xorti ‘soċjali’

Inressaq il-punt li, fost dawk li fl-imgħoddi li kienu magħrufa għat-tendenzi omosesswali tagħhom, kien hemm persuni li kienu parti sħiħa mill-istabbiliment konservattiv ta’ pajjiżna.

“Ara, hemm diversi stadji tal-istorja tal-omosesswalità f’pajjiżna. L-ewwel stadju kien ta’ dawk l-irġiel li kienu jħobbu jilbsu ta’ nisa fil-ħwienet tax-xorb fejn kien ikun hemm il-baħrin. Dawn kienu ġejjin mill-klassijiet soċjali ta’ isfel. Kellhom rwol importanti ħafna għax taw wiċċ lill-omoses-swalità f’pajjiżna.

“Imbagħad, kellek persuni oħrajn li kienu mlaħħqa u f’pożizzjonijiet importanti bħalma hija l-ġudikatura. Dawn kienu omosesswali, baqgħu ma żżewġux, imma xorta waħda laħqu l-quċċata tal-karriera tagħhom. Dawn insibuhom bħala ‘the good girls’.

“Tgħidli: imma kif imxew ‘il quddiem u laħqu xorta waħda? Ngħidlek li kienet il-klassi soċjali li qalgħethom u li mexxiethom ‘il quddiem. Mhux talli hekk; talli filwaqt li omosesswali li kien jinqabad fl-att – anke jekk fil-privatezza ta’ daru – kien saħansitra jeħel il-ħabs, dawn il-persuni – għax kienu soċjalment privileġġjati – kienu jużaw il-liġi biex iġibu lill-ħabib tagħhom minn barra ħalli jgħix magħhom.

“Flimkien mal-inġustizzja minħabba l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tagħhom, ċerti omosesswali kienu suġġetti wkoll għall-inġustizzja soċjali.”

Hawnhekk, Joseph Chetcuti jisħaq dwar id-dimensjoni soċjali tal-ġlieda tiegħu.

“Hemm omosesswali li m’għandhomx interessi oħrajn għajr il-parties, id-drogi u li jaqbdu ma’ xi barrani. M’għandhomx kultura tal-omosesswali. M’għandhom ebda interess fl-istorja tagħna, fl-affarijiet li jaffettwawlna ħajjitna.

“Lanqas biss jirrealizzaw li din mhijiex biss ħaġa ta’ sess, imma kultura ta’ minoranza. Hemm omosesswali li qiegħdin komdi għax għandhom il-kuntatti. Jien mhux għal dawk qed niġġieled, imma għal dawk li jħossuhom oppressi, li huma diskriminati, li qiegħdin jgħixu fid-dwejjaq għax huma differenti.”

Fil-fatt, Chetcuti jaqbel ħafna mas-sezzjonijiet għall-omosesswali li għandhom kemm il-GWU u anke l-Partit Laburista. Jaqbel li l-akbar kontribuzzjoni li jistgħu jagħtu dawn is-sezzjonijiet hija l-viżibilità lill-omosesswali.

Iz-ziju ried jara t-trasvestiti

Dakinhar li nieda l-ktieb tiegħu, Joseph Chetcuti sellem b’mod partikolari lil dawk li kienu jilbsu ta’ nisa fil-ħwienet tax-xorb għall-baħrin u li sikwit kienu jissejħu bħala ‘female impersonators’. Waqt l-intervista insemmilu l-kontribut li ta l-kittieb Naxxari Victor Scerri biex dawn il-persunaġġi jibqgħu ħajjin fl-imħuħ tan-nies.

“Iva, lil Victor Scerri ltqajt miegħu wkoll. Għalkemm Victor ma jirreferix għall-orjentazzjoni sesswali ta’ dawn il-persunaġġi, bħall-Cookie u l-Golliwog, din toħroġ b’mod impliċitu. Jien iltqajt ukoll ma’ uħud minn dawn il-‘female impersonators’. Naħseb li Victor ħareġ b’mod tajjeb ħafna l-element uman u anke t-talent li kellhom dawn il-persuni.”

Imbagħad jaqleb il-kliem fuq zijuh, ir-rumanzier soċjali Ġużè Chetcuti, u jirrakkontali aneddotu ċkejken: “Meta z-ziju ġie Melbourne qalli: ‘Ħudni nara t-trasvestiti’. Iz-zija ħarset lejh bl-ikrah u staqsietu biex inhu ħiereġ. Kien qed jikteb xi ħaġa fuq trasvestiti u ried jara b’għajnejh biex ikun jaf fuq xiex jikteb.

“Meta ġie biex joħroġ wie-ħed mill-kotba li kiteb dwar ħajtu u r-relazzjoni li kellu ma’ awturi ħbieb tiegħu ried isemmini. Jien aċċettajt, imma ma ridtux jikteb dwar il-poeżiji li kont nikteb meta kont żgħir. Ridtu jikteb dwar il-‘Ktieb ir-Roża’. Iz-ziju kien moħħu miftuħ, kien jitkellem miegħi u jismagħni. Fil-ktieb tiegħu semmieni kif xtaqt jien.”

U Dun Ġorġ kien gay?

Ma jistax jonqos li nduru wkoll fuq l-orjentazzjoni omosesswali ta’ Dun Ġorġ Preca.

Joseph Chetcuti jippreċiża: “Qed nitkellem fuq orjentazzjoni, fil-ktieb. Fuq ċerti elementi fil-persuna, li jindikaw xeħta ta’ tendenza omosesswali. Ħalli nkunu ċari, qatt ma kont se nikteb dwar Dun Ġorġ qabel ma kien kanonizzat. Għax kieku żgur li kienet tinħoloq problema għall-kanonizzazzjoni tiegħu. Semmejtu b’ammirazzjoni, bħala waħda minn dawk il-persuni li jissublimaw, li juru li f’pajjiżna kellna persuni b’tendenzi omosesswali li għamlu affarijiet importanti f’ħajjithom.

“Madankollu, xorta nħoss li l-knisja nħasdet li semmejt lil Dun Ġorġ. Biss ma nemminx li ma kienx hemm min diġà kellu dan il-ħsieb. L-istess Alexander Bonnici, li kiteb dwar il-ħajja ta’ Dun Ġorġ, jipprova jissuġġerixxi dan, b’mod indirett ħafna. Per eżempju jgħid li Dun Ġorġ kien jimmaġina l-affarijiet. Din hi xi ħaġa serjissima għax jiġifieri li saqajh ma kinux fl-art. Bonnici jagħmel emfasi fuq li ċerti membri tal-Mużew ma ridux jagħtuh id-dokumenti li kellhom ta’ Dun Ġorġ. Isemmi li Dun Ġorġ kien aktar interessat fis-subien. Hemm ukoll is-senswalità li biha jiddeskrivi lil Kristu. Bonnici jinħass li kien hemm xi ħaġa skomda għalih fil-kitba tiegħu dwar Dun Ġorġ Preca.

“Hemm ukoll affarijiet oħra, ngħidu aħna l-istmerrija kbira li kellu lejn il-ġisem. Hemm ukoll doża ta’ misoġiniżmu, bħalma wara kollox juri San Pawl. Nafu li l-għira tal-omosesswali lejn in-nisa hija kbira, l-aktar fejn l-omosesswalità hija ripressa.”

Chetcuti jsemmi wkoll persuni oħrajn li kienu fil-Mużew u li aktarx kienu ta’ tendenza omosesswali. Jgħid li għandu każi f’idejh fejn ċerti membri tal-Mużew ma setgħux jgħaqqdu flimkien is-sesswalità tagħhom mal-ħajja reliġjuża u spiċċaw f’xifer il-ġenn. Jemmen li waħda mir-raġunijiet għaliex naqsu l-vokazzjonijiet hija l-ftuħ li nħoloq fis-soċjetà għal persuni omosesswali biex ikunu jistgħu jgħixu s-sesswalità tagħhom fil-miftuħ.

Nagħlaq l-intervista billi nistaqsi lil Joseph Chetcuti dwar kif inhu sejjer il-bejgħ tal-ktieb…

“Il-bejgħ sejjer tajjeb, naħseb aħjar milli stennejt. Fil-fatt jidher li se jkolli noħroġ re-run tiegħu…”

Lilhinn mill-kontroversji li qala’ “Queer Mediterranean Memories” jidher li se jinqara sew. U dik li sa ftit ilu kienet l-istorja ta’ komunità moħbija, mhijiex se tibqa’ daqstant mistura.

Il-Mument: L-Isqfijiet jikkundannaw kitba fuq San Ġorġ Preca

28 ta' Marzu, 2010 minn Michael Caruana

[Ikklikja fuq l-istampa biex taqra l-artiklu]

Keywords: Joseph Carmel Chetcuti, Queer Mediterranean Memories,
Mons. Mario Grech, Mons. Paul Cremona

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Times: The Church's attitude to gays
Sunday, 28th March 2010 by Joseph Carmel Chetcuti, North Carlton, Victoria, Australia

Joe Borg's admission (The Sunday Times, March 21) that a number of "Church people" have often discriminated against (and also persecuted) gays is interesting.

I wonder whether his misrepresentation of my study of homosexual life in Malta and his assessment of it as not academic (it has 22 pages of footnotes) is yet another example of discrimination by a "Church person" against a gay scholar. Or his claim that I described St George Preca as having a repressed sexuality when in fact I wrote that he was fiercely misogynist, that kind of misogyny that can find its source in repressed sexuality?

Or the impression created by him and others that I branded St Paul a homosexual when it was John Shelby Spong, emeritus Episcopalian bishop of Newark (USA), who so described him? Or his allegation that I equated homosexuality with paedophilia, which I deny?

Fr Borg nowhere states that the book describes St Preca as an exemplary priest who refused honours, disdained popularity and turned down photo opportunities. Or that I praised his work as an evangelist and a pioneer in Catholic catechesis. That St Preca was a misogynist is well known; no attempt to rewrite history will change that.

Fr Borg chastises me for having a negative attitude towards the Church. What cheek! What about the Church's negative attitude towards gays and lesbians?

How sensitive is the Church's description of our sexuality as "a grave depravity" and of homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered" and of our 'inclination' as "objectively disordered"? And I wonder why Fr Borg is so negative of Queer Mediterranean Memories? Is there anything good in the book?

The gay movement does not need a Catholic priest to tell it what is good for it. Gays and lesbians form a heterogenous community. We take up various positions on a range of subjects. We agree to disagree because we are mature.

Not unlike the bishop of Rome, that of Gozo seems to be preoccupied with homosexuals and homosexuality. He no doubt has his reasons.

The good bishop has accused me of having a malicious agenda which includes discrediting the Church. I am sure the good bishop has many gifts. I was not aware he was able to read into the minds of people.

With all due respect, the discrediting of the Church is being undertaken by those inside the Church who abuse minors entrusted to their care and by those ordinaries who repeatedly conceal, or are party to these abuses.

I am heartened by the bishop's assurance that he will act if he becomes aware of abusive priests within his diocese. Does this action include the reporting of such abusers to the police? Will he and the archbishop tell us what has happened to those priests who have been charged with various offences against minors?

The bishop's allegation that I am throwing mud at the Pope's white frock is indeed hilarious. What an interesting choice of words; but how apt.

I accept that the book may throw doubt on the professions of the priesthood and the religious life and may help explain why some young men and women may seek to enter them. I also appreciate that the good bishop will not agree that a link exists between the rise of the gay and lesbian movement and the dearth of 'vocations' to the priesthood and the religious life.

As an activist homosexual I have a right not only to set out what I think but also to explain why the Church is so antagonistic towards gays. What has upset the bishop is that what I submit is all too obvious.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Times: Homosexuality and undeserved publicity

Saturday, 27th March 2010 by Joseph Farrugia, Valletta

I was disgusted by the publicity given on the national TV station, via Xarabank, on the theme of the history of homosexuality in Maltese society.

For me homosexuals are just persons with a different orientation. But to give so much publicity to a book that tries to make people believe that among such people were dead persons who the Maltese in their culture hold so dear, is an insult which cannot be tolerated in the civilised country we pretend to be.

I never watch such trash programmes but the programme itself was over-publicised during other shows.

Maltese mediocrity has no limits.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Friday, 26 March 2010

Independent: Major discrimination against gay and lesbian people still takes place in all spheres
26.3.10 by Annaliza Borg

There are major cases of discrimination against gay and lesbian people everywhere, including in employment and the social rights sphere, said a Malta Gay Rights Movement representative last Wednesday during a debate entitled ‘Move Opens the Closet’.

The debate was organised by the progressive students organisation Move and led by Alistair Bugeja. Psychologist and university lecturer Mary Borg Cunen, Cyrus Engerer from the Malta Gay Rights Movement, Anthony Galea, a psychologist from LGBT Labour and Xarabank presenter Peppi Azzopardi were on the panel. A number of students (although much fewer than the number of those who confirmed attendance on facebook) participated.

Mr Engerer, who is also a Nationalist Party councillor, said the road ahead was very long but we must start with defining family and adoption regulations in state legislation. Cohabitation, adoption and marriage rights were MGRM’s priority, he noted. Pointing out that single people and heterosexual couples who lived together could adopt children but gay or lesbian couples could not, Mr Engerer said this was unfair. Moreover, several LGBT people were having children from heterosexual encounters just for the sake of having children. Even children’s rights were not being protected because of lack of legislation, he said.

Addressing LGBT in education was very important, Mr Engerer said, as teachers did not know how to tackle bullying cases against students of particular sexual orientations. Gay people were still being sent away from home and deprived of shelter when they came out to their families explaining their sexual orientation. Cases of 14 to 20 year olds who sought refuge away from home were common, Mr Galea agreed.

Ms Borg Cunen said studies showed no problems in the upbringing of children by gay couples however discrimination in schools against children brought up by gay couples existed. She explained that homosexuality was not an orientation people chose, but which they realised when growing up. Some research points out it is genetically inherited. Slight differences in chromosomes, the brain and biology of heterosexual and homosexual people were noted.

Asked whether there was a need for a specific LGBT group within the Labour Party and whether this emphasised differences rather than ironing out difficulties, Mr Galea said the PL had taken the first initiative to give LGBT people a direct voice. The group was to help the PL in its work and work to abolish discrimination against gays.

However he did point out this group was made up of five to 10 members and “still very fluid”. It was working on a set of guidelines for its members and proposals for the party. “The PL may not agree with our ideas but we will push for them,” he said.

Peppi Azzopardi accused the PL of trying to make everyone happy but taking no particular stand in favour of LGBT. Being a left-wing party, it should act otherwise, he said.

“Imagine the case of a man and a woman who decide they want to get married and have children but the state does not allow them. This is the situation with gay couples and it is totally unfair,” he said.

Although before the last general elections, the Nationalist Party had called for a stop against gay discrimination, promised that cohabitation would be recognised and the promotion of equality would be taken care of by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, nothing was done.

Alternattiva Demokratika was the party speaking in accordance with full LGBT rights.

Meanwhile, the state was still providing books with illustrations of the stereotype cereal box family – a man and a woman with two children, a boy and a girl.

“I have to show and explain to my son that other family structures are normal,” Mr Azzopardi said.

He also noted that homophobia was linked with false impressions that LGBT people abused others.

Participating students had harsh words about MEP Simon Busuttil who attended the last gay pride parade but then took a particular vote against gays recently.

“What did he come for,” they wondered.

Similarly, students complained against a recent statement which President George Abela made in favour of traditional families while excluding other family structures, during a conference on the family. Gozo Bishop Mario Grech also seemed to pick on gays, discriminating against them time and time again.

The panel believed the Church had its own ideals and should only act as a lobby group. State legislation should be completely independent.

L-Orizzont: Tfal ta’ koppji gay bla drittijiet - Il-Malta Gay Rights Movement

[Dan l-artiklu mhux fuq is-sit ta' L-Orizzont s'issa.]
26.3.10 minn CHARMAINE CRAUS

Il-Malta Gay Rights’ Movement (MGRM) iddikjarat li hemm bżonn b’mod urġenti li tiddaħħal leġislazzjoni biex tfal li jgħixu ma’ koppji li huma gay jiġu rikonoxxuti b’numru ta’ drittijiet. Waqt diskusjoni għall-istudenti li saret fuq il-campus tal-Università ta’ Malta orgnizzata mill-għaqda MOVE dwar l-omosesswalità u d-drittijiet tal-persuni omosesswali, Cyrus Engerer mill-MGRM qal li f’pajjiżna għad hawn numru kbir ta’ każi ta’ diskriminazzjoni u nuqqas ta’ ugwaljanza fost il-komunità gay għax il-Gvern għadu ma rrikonoxxiex li koppji gay jistgħu jiżżewġu u jistgħu jadottaw tfal.

Qal li l-iżjed partit li ddikjara l-opinjoni tiegħu fil-miftuħ dwar l-omosesswalità u d-drittijiet ta’ dawn il-persuni hija Alternattiva Demokratika waqt li rrikonoxxa li fi ħdan il-Partit Laburista inħoloq grupp biex jgħin iżjed lil-komunità gay.

Madankollu, żied jgħid filwaqt li l-Partit Laburista għadu ma ddikjarax biċ-ċar xi tkun il-pożizzjoni tiegħu dwar dan is-suġġett ladarba jkun fil-Gvern, agħar minn hekk huwa l-Partit Nazzjonalista li ma għamel l-ebda ċaqlieqa fil-konfront tad-drittijiet tal-komunità gay.

Qal li minkejja li kien hemm moviment żgħir favur dawn id-drittijiet, ikkundanna l-fatt li l-wegħda elettorali tal-ugwaljanza baqgħet fuq l-ixkaffa u sal-lum, ma teżisti ebda aġenzija tal-Gvern li tieħu ħsieb il-promozzjoni tal-ugwaljanza tal-omosesswali.

Cyrus Engerer fakkar li l-MGRM ikkundannat il-fatt li l-Ewro-Parlamentari tal-Partit Nazzjonalista Simon Busuttil kien ivvota kontra d-dritt ta’ moviment ħieles ta’ koppji gay fil-pajjiżi membri kollha tal-UE.

Min-naħa tiegħu, Peppi Azzopardi li kien fost dawk li ndirizzaw din id-diskussjoni, qal li kulħadd għandu tendenzi xi ftit jew wisq omosesswali u ma jeskludix il-fatt li jekk raġel jintefa’ fi gżira ma’ raġel ieħor għal 10 snin, dawn jispiċċaw ikollhom x’jaqsmu sesswalment flimkien.
Qal li koppja gay tħossha diskriminata daqt li kieku l-Gvern iqum ġurnata fost l-oħrajn u ma jibqax jaċċetta li raġel u mara jiżżewġu jew li jkollhom it-tfal. Huwa ddeskriva bħala “tal-mistħija” li llum fl-iskejjel għadhom jagħtu eżempji lit-tfal b’raġel u mara u uliedhom biex jispjegaw x’inhi familja. Qal li huwa b’hekk li t-tfal li jkunu ġejjin minn koppja gay iħossuhom emarġinati jew jiġu bullied’ minn sħabhom. Qal li l-edukazzjoni trid tgħallem lit-tfal li dawn huma koppji bħal kulħadd.

Kelliem ieħor qal li l-Partit Laburista kien l-ewwel partit li ħa l-inizjattiva li jwaqqaf grupp li jgħin lil din il-komunità biex tkun il-leħen dirett tal-persuni gay. Dan bl-iskop li kull individwu, irrispettivament mill-orjentazzjoni sesswali tiegħu, ikollu l-istess drittjiet daqs persuni oħrajn.

Intant, lecturer’ fl-Università qalet li l-omosesswalità mhijiex xi ħaġa li l-individwu jagħżel iżda li jinduna biha meta jkun qiegħed jikber. Hija qalet ukoll li ma jeżisti ebda effett negattiv fuq tfal ta’ koppji gay.

MGRM: Touring Malta's Gay Past - Queering the City [Valletta]

[Click on image to enlarge]

Queering the City by Dr Joseph Carmel Chetcuti
Saturday 27th March; Valletta Waterfront (near BoV ATM)
€5 Donation for the Malta Gay Rights Movement

Times: PN councillor urges action by government on cohabitation

Mary Ann Borg Cunen, Anthony Camilleri, Cyrus Engerer and Peppi Azzopardi at the debate on homosexuality organised by Move. Nationalist councillor and gay rights activist Cyrus Engerer said the government was doing nothing to advance gay rights.

Nationalist Party councillor and gay rights activist Cyrus Engerer has criticised the government saying it was not doing anything on cohabitation, even though the issue featured on the party's past three electoral manifestos.

"We can't keep on speaking about discrimination, marriage and adoption as if gays were any different," the Malta Gay Rights Movement activist said after commending Alternattiva Demokratika for being the only party that was clear in its policies on homosexuals.

Mr Engerer was speaking at a debate on homosexuality in Malta, organised by student group Move on the University campus.

"When it comes to the Labour Party, we hear (leader) Joseph Muscat mentioning these issues a lot but it is still not clear what he would do if elected in government," Mr Engerer said, pointing out that even though a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender section had been set up within the party, it still had homophobic members.

Speaking as a PN councillor, Mr Engerer said the party had members who were homosexual and he had no problem contesting the local council elections, even though he was openly gay.

"The Prime Minister had said he had no problem with his candidates being gay as long as they had no problem with it," Mr Engerer said.

Anthony Camilleri, a member of Labour's LGBT section, said the group only had "five to 10" people in its ranks and the positions taken by the section would not necessarily be reflected by the PL at large.

Mary Ann Borg Cunen, a counsellor at the University and a psychologist specialising in sexuality, said no study she read had said children brought up by homosexual couples exhibited any psychological disorders. "The only problem is that they might be discriminated against in schools," she said.

TV presenter Peppi Azzopardi said children in schools were constantly being fed images of a stereotypical family with "a man and a woman with a boy and a girl," which contributed to homophobia in society.

Homophobia was worse in Gozo than in Malta, according to Mr Camilleri. He said that in his job as a support worker he often met boys as young as 14 who were kicked out of their homes for "coming out" as homosexuals to their parents.

Mr Engerer encouraged people who were gay to admit it and come out eventually but "only when they were in a stable situation to do so". If, for example, the person knew their parents would kick them out of the house, they had to come out when they knew they could afford living on their own.

He also said homophobia was fuelled by the Church's statements, with "us getting used to Gozo Bishop Mario Grech speaking about homosexuals very regularly".

Mgr Grech said the other day that a book claiming that St Ġorġ Preca and St Paul had homosexual tendencies tried to discredit the Church.

While Mr Engerer defended the move, saying perhaps these saints could not come out in their lifetime, Mr Azzopardi said it was not fair to make such statements as those contained in the book because these people had never expressed their sexual orientation in their lifetime.

The book, Queer Mediterranean Memories, by Joseph C. Chetcuti, was recently discussed on Mr Azzopardi's programme Xarabank.

The presenter said he was shocked, however, that he was hearing comments implying gay people could not be saints.

Ms Borg Cunen said studies had shown that most homophobic people often had homosexual tendencies themselves.

She said women were more fluid in their sexual orientation while men tended to be more set in their ways, even though members of both sexes had homosexual tendencies to some degree or other.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Thursday, 25 March 2010

MOVE: Reazzjoni għad-dibattitu MOVE opens up the Closet

Thursday 25th March 2010

L-għaqda studenteska MOVE – Progressive Students tellgħet dibattitu ġewwa l-Universita’ bl-isem ta' MOVE opens the Closet li għaliha attendew numru sabiħ ta’ studenti universitarji. It-temi prinċipali kienu d-drittijiet tal-persuni omosesswali kif ukoll id-diskriminazzjoni li dawn isofru. Mistiedna għad-dibattitu li tmexxa minn Alistair Bugeja kienu il-kelliema Joe Azzopardi (Peppi), Cyrus Engerer mill-MGRM, Anthony Camilleri minn LGBT Labour, u Mary Ann Borg Cunen (psikologa u lecturer ġewwa l-Universita’).

Maryanne Borg Cunen wasslet il-punti tagħha mill-isfond psikoloġiku. Hi sostniet li persuna ma tagħżilx hi jekk tkunx omosesswali jew le u sostniet ukoll li l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tal-persuna tista’ tvarja maż-żmien. Dwar dak li jirrigwarda l-addozzjoni tat-tfal, sostniet li r-riċerki jippruvaw illi dawn it-tfal ma jiġux affettwati b’mod negattiv mill-fatt li jitrabbew f’familja mhux tradizzjonali. Dak li jistgħu jbatu minnu, huma problemi soċjali bħal bullying li huwa r-riżultat ta’ nuqqas ta’ aċċettazzjoni fost it-tfal.

Anthony Camilleri mill-LGBT Labour saħaq kif din il-fergħa tal-Partit Laburista hija l-leħen dirett għall-komunita LGBT fi ħdan il-Partit. Din il-fergħa qed tfittex li, mill-Partit Laburista, tgħin lil din il-komunita’ sabiex ma tibqax diskriminata u jkollha l-istess dmirijiet u drittijiet bħal kull ċittadin ieħor.

Cyrus Engerer mill-MGRM stqarr kif l-istat Malti għadu ma jirrikonixxix koppji gays bejn mara u mara u raġel u raġel u għaldaqstant hemm bżonn ta’ lobbying mal-partiti politici. Min-naħa tal-PN sal-lum il-ġurnata ma kien hemm l-ebda ċaqliq dwar żwieġ bejn koppji omosesswali u lanqas drittijiet oħra iżda sar moviment zgħir ħafna f’dak li għandu x’jaqsam mal-ġlieda kontra d-disrkiminazzjoni minkejja l-wegħda elettorali rikorrenti mill-1998 sal-2008 dwar il-promozzjoni tal-ugwaljanza tal-omossesswali. Dan kellu jseħħ fi ħdan l-MCPE iżda din il-wegħda għadha ma seħħitx. Bħala MGRM jikkundannaw ukoll lil Simon Busuttil li ivvota kontra ir-rikonoxximent ta’ żwieġ bejn omosesswali f’pajjiż partikolari minkejja l-fatt li dan ikun diġa ġie rikonoxxut f’pajjiz ieħor. Cyrus ikkumenta wkoll fuq kif il-knisja għandha tkun biss lobby grupp. Iżda sfortunatament il-knisja stess kienet hi li ġabet din id- diskriminazzjoni kontra l-omosesswali anki fid-dawl tal-kummenti tal-Isqof t’Ghawdex.

Joe (Peppi) Azzopardi saħaq li huwa diskriminatorju u offensiv li żżomm kwalunkwe dritt milli jasal għand il-komunita’ LGBT. Hu akkuża l-Knisja, kif ukoll lill-gvern u lill-partiti politiċi li ma jieħdu l-ebda azzjoni biex jipproteġu u jissalvagwardjaw lill-persuni omosesswali.

MOVE temmen li fis-sena 2010 id-drittijiet tal-persuni LGBT għadhom lura ħafna. Għalhekk min-naħa tagħna nħeggu lill-Gvern sabiex flimkien mal-oppożizzjoni, immedjatament, jilleġislaw favur id-drittijiet umani ta' dawn il-persuni sabiex verament ikunu rispettati u trattati b’mod ugwali.

Ta' min wieħed isemmi li skont stħarriġ li l-għaqda MOVE ikkummissjonat matul freshers' week wera li l-maġġoranza tal-istudenti unversitarji jaqblu mad-dritt ta’ koabitazzjoni (rikonoxxuta mill-istat) bejn il-persuni tal-istess sess. Għalhekk huwa importanti wkoll li fuq livell universitarju ssir ħidma kontinwa mill-KSU u l-għaqdiet l-oħra tal-istudenti, sabiex inwassslu messaġġ ta' ugwaljanza u aċċettazzjoni bejn l-individwi kollha hi x'inhi l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tagħhom.

DOI: Studenti Mħeġġa jkomplu jistudjaw

Department of Information (Malta) – 24.03.2010; NO 0516

50 anniversarju mill-ftuħ tal-iSkola Sekondarja Bniet fil-Kulleġġ San Ġorġ Preca

Il-Ministru tal-Edukazzjoni, Xogħol u l-Familja, Dolores Cristina, appellat lill-istudenti biex ikomplu jistudjaw anke wara li jtemmu l-iskola sekondarja tagħhom.

Il-Ministru dalgħodu ħawwlet siġra u kixfet plakka kommemorattiva bħala parti miċ-ċelebrazzjonijiet li qed isiru fl-okkażjoni tal-50 anniversarju mill-ftuħ tal-iskola sekondarja tal-bniet fil-Kulleġġ San Ġorġ Preca, li qabel kienet magħrufa bħala l-Iskola Marija Assunta.

F’kelmtejn tal-okkażjoni l-Ministru Cristina qalet li din l-iskola kienet waħda mill-ewwel skejjel sekondarji tal-bniet li nbniet wara t-Tieni Gwerra u minnha għaddew eluf ta’ tfajliet li ħafna minnhom għamlu karriera u isem għalihom u għal pajjiżna.

Maż-żmien l-iskola tkabbret u kienet modernizzata skont il-ħtiġijiet edukattivi tal-lum u l-aħħar xogħlijiet fiha saru tul is-sajf li għadda meta kienet installata sistema ġdida tal-elettriku fl-iskola kollha u nbidel il-gymnasium.

Il-lum hi l-iskola sekondarja tal-bniet ewlenija fi ħdan il-Kulleġġ San Ġorġ Preca u toffri l-aqwa faċilitajiet ta’ tagħlim lil mijiet ta’ tfajliet kif ukoll ambjent sabiħ u l-bogħod minn kull periklu.

Il-Ministru Cristina qalet li anniversarju ta’ 50 sena hu avveniment ta’ min jiċċlelberah għax ifakkar il-ħidma kbira li saret minn mijiet ta’ għalliema u amministraturi li ħadmu f’din l-iskola tul dawn is-snin kollha kif ukoll il-ġid li sar mal-eluf ta’ studenti li studjaw fiha kemm ilha mwaqqfa.

Kien xieraq għalhekk li l-Prinċipal, is-Surmast u d-diriġenti l-oħra ħasbu biex ifakkru dan l-avveniment importanti b’diversi ċelebrazzjonijiet fosthom fejn se jitħawwlu siġar fil-masġar tal-iskola.

Din il-forma ta’ tifkira – tħawwil ta’ siġar – għandha sinjifikat importanti fi żmien meta kulħadd qed isir aktar konxju mill-importanza li nibżgħu għall-ambjent ta’ madwarna. Is-siġar isebbħu u jsaħħu l-ambjent li ngħixu fih u għalhekk l-appell tal-Ministru lill-istudenti hu li jindukraw dan il-masġar u żżommuh sabiħ, nadif u dejjem iħaddar.

Il-Ministru tal-Edukazzjoni qalet li l-masġar hu dedikat ukoll lil San Ġorġ Preca, l-ewwel qaddis Malti u patrun ta’ dan il-Kulleġġ. Hija tenniet li f’dan hawn messaġġ li ghandna nieħdu. Sfortunatament, dan l-aħħar kien hawn fostna min ipprova jżeblaħ u jkasbar lil dan il-qaddis li fi żmienu tant għamel ġid lis-soċjetà Maltija. Il-Ministru qalet li l-istudenti kollha għandhom ikunu kburin li l-Kulleġġ tagħhom hu dedikat lil dan is-saċerdot qaddis u ghandhon jżommu lil San Gorg Preca bħala mudell fil-ħajja tagħhom u jgħożżu t-tagħlim li għaddielna.

Il-Ministru ħadet l-okkażjoni biex filwaqt li rringrazzjat lill-għalliema dedikati li jagħtu sehmhom f’din l-iskola, awgurat lill-istudenti suċċess fl-istudji tagħhom u ħeġġithom biex jibqgħu jistudjaw anke wara li jispiċċaw minn din l-iskola li qed tippreparahom biex ikunu mhux biss studenti preparati akkademikament imma wkoll biex ikunu ċittadini tajbin.

Times: Church accused of promoting homophobia

Wednesday, 24th March 2010 - 17:25CET

The church in Malta still promoted homophobia, where it had become a “regular” thing for the Gozo bishop to speak against gays, according to a gay rights activist speaking on campus this afternoon.

“It should be a crime to speak against a minority” Cyrus Engerer, a member of the Malta Gay Rights Movment and a PN councillor said, adding that unfortunately, gays were still fighting discrimination.

Mr Engerer was speaking at Move debate on homosexual people’s rights in Malta.
Giving an example, he said that while a gay person could adopt a child individually, a gay couple could not.

He spoke about the recently launched book by Maltese Australian Joseph C. Chetcuti, in which the writer said that St Gorg Preca and St Paul had homosexual tendencies.
Mr Engerer defended this claim by saying these people might not have been able to come out during their lifetime.

Television presenter Peppi Azzopardi, however, disagreed, saying the Gozo bishop was right in his recent criticism of the book because he did not agree that Dr Chetcuti should have mentioned people who were dead and who never spoke about their sexuality.
He said he was hurt most by people who were scandalised at the claims made in the book, “as if gay people could not become saints”.

Mary Ann Borg Cunen, a counsellor at university, said there was still ambiguity on what made people gay.

However, it was clear that people did not wake up at 14 and decide they were gay. Research suggested being gay might be genetic and it also seemed to run in families.
She said that there was new research which showed that women’s sexuality was quite fluid and a woman who earlier in life identified with being gay, could later on train her mind to be straight, and then change back. Men, on the other hand, seem to be more fixed in their sexual orientation.

Speaking on adoption by gay couples, Ms Borg Cunen said every research she read showed that children brought up by gay couples exhibited no disorders. However, they might be subject to discrimination at school.

Mr Azzopardi blamed this on schools for continuously presenting the stereotypical family with a man, a woman, a boy and a girl.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

L-Orizzont: Se jiddiskuti d-drittijiet tal-gays lokali [Move Opens the Closet]


“MOVE Opens the Closet” se tkun it-tema ta’ dibattitu li l-għaqda studenteska MOVE – Progressive Students se torganiz za llum, l-Erbgħa, f’nofsinhar fil-Quadrangle ta’ fuq il-campus tal-Università ta’ Malta. Kif tixhed it-tema tad-diskussjoni, id-dibattitu se jittratta s-suġġett tal-omosesswalità u d-dritti jiet tal-gays fil-gżejjer Maltin.

“L-għan ta’ dan id-dibatti tu huwa li nagħtu ċans lill-istu den ti universitarji jesprimu l-opinjoni tagħhom. L-għaqda MOVE tixtieq twassal messaġġ li l-istudenti ma jitkellmux biss dwar il-parkeġġ fl-Università, il-‘condoms’ jew l-istipendju, iżda huma żgħażagħ intelliġenti u b’ideat konkreti,” qal kelliem għall-organizzaturi.

Huwa spjega li għal dan id-dibattitu se jkunu qegħdin jattendu studenti kif ukoll persuni mill-qasam tax-xandir, fosthom il-preżentatur tal-programm televiżiv “Xarabank”, Peppi Az zopardi.

Dan se jkun it-tieni dibattitu ta’ din ix-xorta din is-sena minn MOVE. Ta’ min isemmi li l-ewwel dibattitu kellu bħala tema “Sex for L(a)unch” u kien qanqal interess kbir fost l-istudenti. (ara wkoll paġna 13)

Ħarsa lura lejn l-istorja

Mixja mhux tas-soltu se tkun qiegħda tiġi organizzata fl-10:30 ta' fil-għodu tas-Sibt li ġej, 27 ta’ Marzu, fejn mistennija tingħata ħarsa mill-qrib lejn dawk il-lokalitajiet li ħallew it-timbru tagħhom jew b’xi mod jew ieħor għandhom ċertu sinifikat għall-istorja u l-imgħoddi tal-komunità ta’ persuni gay u lesbjani fil-gżejjer Maltin.

Il-mixja se tibda mill-Valletta Waterfront u tkompli fil-Belt u l-Floriana. Matulha, l-awtur tal-ktieb li għadu kemm ħareġ fis-suq lokali “Queer Mediterranean Memories”, l-Avukat Joseph Carmel Chetcuti se jkun qiegħed jagħti tagħrif storiku riċerkat minnu stess dwar dawk il-postijiet li għandhom post ċentrali fl-imgħoddi tal-persuni gay f’Malta.

Il-parteċipazzjoni f’din il-mix ja informattiva se tkun b’do nazzjoni ta’ €5 li se tmur b’risq il-Malta Gay Rights Move ment. Għal aktar dettalji wieħed jista’ jibgħat imejl fuq jew iċempel fuq 2143 0009.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

It-Torċa: Ittra lill-Editur fuq Xarabank u Queer Mediterranean Memories

[Dan l-artiklu mhux fuq is-sit tat-Torċa s'issa.]
Minn John C. Debattista

Jien ma nafx jekk Dun Ġorġ Preca kienx omosesswali mhux dikjarat. Kien jew ma kienx ma tagħmel differenza, għalija, għax min jgħix ħajja tajba jkunx iħobb in-nisa jew inkella lill-irġiel ftit li xejn jiswa.

Tgħiduli, biex int ġej dal-għodu Ġann?

Kont qed insegwi x-Xarabank tal-kunduttur u tqajjem is-suġġett għax kien mistieden l-awtur ta’ ktieb ġdid dwar l-omosesswalità f’Malta. Dan l-awtur ma jgħixx hawn Malta, imma fl-Awstralja, fejn jekk qbadt sew it-tagħrif dwaru huwa avukat imqabbad sew.

Jien il-ktieb ta’ dan l-awtur ma qrajtux, ħalli nkun qed ngħid kollox, imma kont nistenna li jkun hemm aktar tagħrif fil-programm dwar il-kontenut tiegħu. L-għatx klubi għas-sensazzjonaliżmu li għandu l-kunduttur u dawk li għandu madwaru spiss iżommu suġġett interessanti milli jiżviluppa sew u tgħid tal-anqas it-telespettaturi jieħdu xi ħaġa minnu.

Biex ikompli jgħaqqadli l-bùbù, ma setax jonqos li ma jkunx mistieden l-aktar bniedem antipatku li l-Mulej għoġbu jwaddab fuq din id-dinja, dak is-sapjentun ta’ Dun Ġużepp Borg, li tisimgħu jitkellem taħseb li sa mnalla kien hu biex idawwal l-imħuħ tal-Maltin. Dan l-għaref qassis, li allajbierek jista’ jgħid li jrid għax dejjem qisu għandu l-imprimatur tal-Kurja, iħobb joqgħod ifakkarna li hu akkademiku u ma setax jonqos li anke f’din l-okkażjoni ttanta jniggeż lill-avukat tal-Awstralja li xogħolu mhux akkademiku u x’naf jien. Issa, għeżież qarrejja, jien akkademiku bħal dan il-prifissur ta’ s***i miniex, imma wieħed akkademiku bil-laudi kollha, li iżda mhux miġbud bħal Dun Ġużepp, spiss nisimgħu jgħid li anke jekk tiġbor sala salun ta’ għorrief lanqas jaqblu bejniethom dwar x’inhu l-għerf. Issa ħalliha li dan San Ġużepp Borg qisu d-dawl divin, jew tal-anqas hekk iridu jġibuh li hu l-akkolti kollha li xebgħu jippumpjawh u jonfħuh daqs li kieku kien l-uniku espert dwar ix-xandir f’pajjiżna. Ma nafx eżattament fiex daħal is-sehem tiegħu fi programm dwar l-istorja tal-omosesswalità f’pajjiżna. L-importanti li kien hemm, idardar lill-Maltin u l-Għawdxin, kollu pompa u prożopoppea, tistħajlu xi li ġie jaqta’ s-sentenza aħħarija tal-ġudizzju divin. U ħalluna!

U naċċertakom li dawn l-argumenti mhux l-ewwel darba li tqajmu, għeżież qarrejja. Jien niftakar li meta konna għadna żgħar konna nafu sew x’inhi l-omosesswalità, u niftakar ukoll li kien hemm bosta li lil tal-Mużew ma tantx kienu jafdawhom, proprju minħabba f’dil-biċċa xogħol. Kienu jħarsu lejhom bl-ikrah dak iż-żmien, u dan minkejja li kienu għadhom ma ħarġux fil-beraħ l-iskandli li faqqgħu dan l-aħħar dwar pedofilija fil-knisja. Imma n-nies titkellem. Bħalma kienet titkellem dwar ċerti qassisin u dwar x’kien jiġri fis-skiet ta’ ċerti kunventi. Imma x-xarabank tal-kunduttur, għax moħħu ffissat, u għax dejjem irid idaħħal fin-nofs lill-istess allat li dejqulna għajna jippretenduha ta’ nixxigħat tal-għerf, dak li hu tassew ta’ interess iħallih għaddej. Puhhhh!

It-Torċa: Fr Colin Apap: Eżerċizzi b’differenza 2010 u Queer Mediterranean Memories

[Dan l-artiklu mhux fis-sit tat-Torċa s'issa.]

Hello Mr Apap,

Irċevejt l-e-mail minn xi segwaċi tiegħek il-“poster” tal-Eżerċizzi B’Differenza u xi sessjonijiet ta’ “eżerċizzi spiritwali” li se tagħmlu fil-hotel Excelsior, il-Floriana, minn nhar it-Tnejn 22 ta’ Marzu 2010 fis-7 pm.
Indunajt li fil-poster hemm miktub: “Iż-Żwieġ Possibbli? Adam and Steve”. Forsi qed nasal f’konklużjonijiet ħżiena imma meta min jikteb b’dan il-mod ikun irid iwassal messaġġ kontra r-relazzjonijiet bejn l-omosesswali.
Well, Mr Apap, għandi l-pjaċir ngħarrfek li jiena wara li tlaqt mill-gżira żgħira fil-Mediterran għax kont fgat mill-Knisja Kattolika, jiena, li jien raġel, irnexxieli nidħol f’esperjenza li verament illiberatni u ħelsietni u għamlitni bniedem sħiħ meta żżewwiġt raġel ieħor, hawnhekk fi Spanja fejn qed ngħix.
Aħna żżewwiġna. Huwa r-ragel tiegħi u jiena tiegħu. Ahna familja.
L-uniku dispjaċir li għandi li ma nistax ngħix hekk f’Malta, s’issa, minħabba l-influwenza tal-Organizzazzjoni tiegħek.

Brian John Horne
Tenerife, Spanja

Omosesswali u kattoliku?

Napprezza ħafna li ktibtli minn Spanja fejn qed tgħix mas-sieħeb tiegħek u tidher li kemm inti u kemm huwa tinsabu kuntenti.
Nittama mill-qalb li tkomplu tkunu ferħanin mill-qalb u li tkomplu tgħinu lil xulxin u tissapportjaw lil xulxin.
Din hija għażla ta’ bejn adulti – u jiena u l-“Organiz-zazzjoni tiegħi”, kif sejjaħtilha inti, il-Knisja Kattolika, tirrispettaha.
Nista’ niżgurak li t-tema tal-EŻERĊIZZI B’DIFFERENZA 2010 mhux biss mhumiex se jkunu kontra l-omosesswali, anzi se jkunu nklużivi u għal kull min għandu rieda tajba li jfittex ir-rieda t’Alla f’ħajtu u fir-realtà konkreta li qed jgħix.

F’dawn l-eżerċizzi, li ilna nagħmluhom għal dawn l-aħħar għoxrin sena, jattendu dawk kollha li jridu jkunu eqreb lejn Alla – ġieli sejjaħ-nielhom eżerċizzi għall-“imqarbin” (dawk li jridu jkunu iktar qrib lejn Alla u l-imħabba TiegħU).
Nista’ niżgurak li bosta fil-Knisja Kattolika jippruvaw jifhmu lill-omosesswali. Jiddefenduhom. Jagħmlu ħafna mill-ġlidiet tagħhom bħala l-ġlidiet tal-Knisja. Il-Knisja hija l-poplu t’Alla, inkluż min qed ifittex lil Alla li għadu ma jafx u għadu ma ltaqax miegħU. Kemm “tort” tiegħu jew tagħha u kemm “tort” ta’ bosta nies fil-Knisja li flok iwasslu messaġġ ta’ mħabba jwasslu messaġġ proprju l-kuntrarju: ta’ mibegħda, preġudizzju, u persekuzzjoni.
Xi kultant nies fil-Knisja saru l-kelliema uffiċjali ta’ dawn in-nies imsallba. Tawhom vuċi. Iddefendewhom ħarġu għonqom għalihom. U ħallsu prezz.
Ħafna drabi saru martri biex jiddefendu lill-fqir, biex iniżżlu l-fqar minn fuq is-salib. Il-Knisja hija l-Knisja tal-Fqar: hija għal kulħadd, imma b’mod speċjali hija l-Knisja tal-Fqar (Papa Ġwanni XXIII). Trid tkun il-vuċi għal min m’għandux vuċi, il-ponta ta’ quddiem tal-moviment tal-ħelsien tal-bniedem sħiħ.
INĦOBBOK BLA KUNDIZ-ZJONI. Dan huwa l-mod, l-uniku mod, ta’ mħabba vera. Il-mod kif iħobb Alla. Din l-imħabba bla kundizzjoni tfisser li naċċettaw lil xulxin kif aħna, nirrispettaw lil xulxin. Imma tfisser ukoll dik il-libertà li ngħid il-verità kif naraha u d-dritt tiegħi li ngħid għaliex qed nara l-verità b’dak il-mod. Anki l-Knisja għandha dan id-dritt bħalma int, jiena u lkoll għandna dan id-dritt.
L-40 ħsieb tar-Randan li qed nagħmel fuq diversi staz-zjonijiet tat-television għand-
hom it-tema li biex inħobb lil Alla u l-proxxmu rrid nir-rispetta d-drittijiet funda-mentali tal-bniedem. Il-ġid komuni jfisser l-akkumu-lazzjoni tal-ġid tal-individwu li qed jgħix f’soċjetà.
Dan hu l-messaġġ li se nippruvaw inwasslu lil kull min jattendi għal dawn l-EŻERĊIZZI B’DIFFERENZA għada t-Tnejn 22 ta’ Marzu sal-Ħadd 28 ta’ Marzu mis-7 sad-9 pm. Fis-6.30 se niltaqgħu għall-Ewkaristija. Matul il-ġimgħa se jkollna l-FREESPIRIT ACTING ta’ Carlos Farrugia li se jagħtuna siltiet mill-Play TAMARA li mbagħad se ssir fis-City Theatre 27, 28 u 30 ta’ Marzu.

L-omosesswali, il-knisja u l-eżerċizzi b’differenza

Fr, Colin,

L-ewwelnett ikun xieraq li nuri l-apprezzament tiegħi għall-opportunità li qed tagħtini biex inwieġeb il-kummenti tiegħek fl-istess ħarġa tat-TORĊA.
Ir-rabja kontra l-ktieb kienet tkun ġustifikata sakemm, u dejjem sakemm, dak kollu li ntqal minn fuq Xarabank dwar il-ktieb hu minnu. Min jaqra l-ktieb, għallinqas kif nifhimha jien, għandu jasal għall-konklużjoni li dan il-ktieb hu bbilanċjat, forsi bbiljanċjat iżżejjed.

Jien nirrispetta d-dritt ta’ persuna li ma tiddikjarax l-orjentazzjoni (omo)sesswali tagħha. Queer Mediterranean Memories jinkludi ismijiet ta’ persuni omosesswali ħajjin li tawni permess inxandar isimhom. Kontra kif intqal minn fuq Xarabank, ma hemm ebda persuna ħajja li ma tafx u li ma tatnix il-permess tagħha li nsemmiha fil-ktieb.
Il-ktieb isemmi wkoll persuni omosesswali mejtin. Semmejthom għax dawn il-persuni kellhom konnessjoni mal-komunità omosesswali f’Malta. Iktar minn hekk. Kienu parti minn din il-komunità. Ebda persuna m’għandha d-dritt li tibqa’ tinsisti għall-privatezza tagħha meta din il-persuna tibda tiffrekwenta postijiet pubbliċi li jiffrekwentaw l-omosesswali. Fil-fatt dawk kollha li semmejt fil-ktieb kienu magħrufa ma’ Malta kollha. Ħadd m’għandu jkun sorpriż b’dak li jien ktibt.

Hemm xi ftit persuni oħra, mejtin, li jien semmejt għax huma ta’ interess għalina l-omosesswali. Forsi għax issubblimaw l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tagħhom. Forsi għax ħolqu xi organizzazzjoni li kienet jew setgħet kienet tkun kalamita għall-omosesswali.

Ikkritikajt ukoll kummenti ta’ xi persuni prominenti Maltin. Lil dawn jien tajt “the rigħt of reply”. Ir-risposti tagħhom jinsabu fil-ktieb. Għarraft ukoll familjari ta’ xi nies li semmejt fil-ktieb. M’għamiltx dan bl-iskop li nitlob il-permess tagħhom. Jien nemmen li l-istorja ta’ l-omosesswali hi proprjetà tagħna l-omosesswali u mhux tal-familjari iktar u iktar meta hu magħruf li ħafna huma dawk l-omosesswali li jaħbu l-orjentazzjoni tagħhom mill-familjari tagħhom stess.

Min jaħseb li l-omosesswalità hi xi “timbru” li tħammeġ il-persuna – ħajja jew mejta – ikun, b’kull rispett, qed ixandar il-preġudizzju tiegħu stess kontrina.
Il-ktieb jikkonsisti f’diversi studji. Hemm ukoll rakkont tal-komunità omosesswali f’Malta. Kif wieħed ma jistax jikteb studju fuq il-papiet mingħajr ma jsemmi l-papiet, wieħed anqas ma jista’ jikteb l-istorja tal-omosesswali mingħajr ma jsemmi l-omosesswali. Kelli d-dmir u l-obbligu li nkun onest u kredibli mal-qarrej.

Anqas ma naqbel mal-opinjoni tiegħek li qed nuri nuqqas ta’ sensibilità ma’ dak kollu li hu Malti. Malta tal-lum hi iktar demokratika, iktar ċivili u iktar konxja għad-drittiijiet umani speċjalment dawk tal-minoranza omosesswali. Taf daqsi li f’Malta mhux kulħadd jaħsibha l-istess. Hawn diversità ta’ opinjonijiet. Napprezza l-fatt li hawn min ma jaqbilx miegħi. Hu d-dritt tagħhom. B’daqstant ma jfissirx li dak li ktibt hu invenzjoni.

Ma nafx x’wasslek tikkonkludi li jien żvelajt l-ismijiet ta’ xi nies biex il-ktieb jinxtara iżjed. Fuq hiex ibbażajt din il-konklużjoni? Attivista omosesswali jaf jilqa’ l-attakki. Jaf ukoll jattakka. Ma nifhemx kif il-knisja jidhrilha li għandha d-dritt li tattakka l-omosesswali –li tagħmel ta’ sikwit – u tippretendi li l-omosesswali m’għandhomx igawdu d-dritt li jattakkawha. B’kull rispett, dak iż-żmien ilu li spiċċa u għadda.

It-tama tiegħi kienet u tibqa’ li l-ktieb jibda’ dibattitu u mhux kontroversja liema dibattitu għandha jkun f’kuntest Malti. Min jgħid li jħobb l-istorja ta’ Malta għandu jiftakar li l-istorja tal-omosesswali hi parti mill-istorja ta’ din il-gżira.

Joseph Carmel Chetcuti

Alla jħobbok bla kundizzjoni... imma n-nies tal-knisja?

Bħalma jaf kull min jafni sew jiena għamilt għażla preferenzjali f’ħajti li nkun vuċi ta’ min hu bla vuċi, ta’ min hu mwarrab fis-soċjetà, ta’ min qed ibati, ta’ min hu msallab. Għamilt din l-għażla konxjament, bħala bniedem, bħala nisrani u wkoll bħala saċerdot kattoliku.
Ta’ din l-għażla, li hi l-istess bħal ta’ Kristu li Huwa l-Mudell u l-aspirazzjoni tiegħi ta’ Bniedem Sħiħ, naf li rrid inħallas il-prezz anki ta’ min, b’intenzjoni tajba kemm hi tajba, isallab lil kull min ma jaqbilx ma’ din l-għażla. Din il-persekuzzjoni tiġi minn min hu fil-Knisja Kattolika, min hu barra minnha, u minn min ma jappartjeni għal ebda reliġjon. Il-Fundamentalisti m’għandhomx tikketta u ssibhom kullimkien anki jekk jiddeskrivu lilhom infushom bħala “reliġjużi”, “kattoliċi”, “tal-Lemin”, “tax-Xellug”, “anjostiċi”, “ateji”, eċċ. Il-Fundamentalisti ssibhom kullimkien u huma ntolleranti għal kull min jiċċalenġjahom b’xi mod jew ieħor fil-pożizzjoni komda tagħhom. Huma biss għandhom il-verità u l-verità assoluta.
Jiena m’għandix il-verità assoluta. Ninsab f’mixja. Insejħilha mixja ta’ fidi. Ikolli ħafna dubji dwar it-twemmin tiegħi u tal-Knisja li twelidt fiha. Illum jien dak li jien grazzi għal din il-Knisja. Ma nistax nimmaġina lili nnifsi u l-istorja tiegħi barra minn din il-Knisja. Għaġnitni dak li jien. U nirringrazzja lil Alla ta’ dan.
Naf li l-istorja tal-Knisja Kattolika, il-Knisja tagħna lkoll, hi mimlija b’nies ipokriti, juru wiċċ b’ieħor, jużaw lil Kristu u t-tagħlim tiegħu biex imexxu ‘l quddiem l-interessi tagħhom (Apartheid, dittaturi u reġimi militari fl-Amerika Latina, Pinochet, Franco, eċċ., li użaw ir-reliġjon kattolika biex jikkonsolidaw il-poter tagħhom). Anki f’Malta d-drittijiet tal-Bniedem mhux dejjem kienu rispettati f’isem ir-reliġjon. Imma din il-Knisja magħmulha minn ipokriti, għandha post, spazju, għal ipokrità ieħor, bniedem in-konsistenti ma’ dak li jemmen u dak li jgħix – jiena stess!
Imma din il-Knisja Kattolika, il-Knisja tagħna lkoll, hi mimlija wkoll b’nies li huma qaddisin, martri għad-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem, champions li għallmu u mietu għat-tagħlim tagħhom favur il-fqir (Romero, Mother Theresa, Sheila Cassidy, Charles de Foucauld, eċċ.). M’humiex biss social workers jew revoluzzjonarji għal dinja iktar ġusta imma wkoll għax għamlu l-għażla preferenzjali tal-fqar f’isem Kristu. Kristu kien fqir u għex ta’ fqir. Kien sempliċi mastrudaxxa iben mastrudaxxa. U kien theddida għal kull min għandu l-poter. U taf xi ġralu.
Għada fil-Programm “1205 Programm għan-Nies” ma’ Ray Calleja fuq TVM bejn is-2.00 u t-3.00 pm “Favur jew Kontra”, mistieden biex nieħu pożizzjoni dwar dak li ktibt fil-ktieb tiegħek “Queer Mediterranean Memories – Pe-netrating the secret history and silence of gay and lesbian disguise in the maltese archi-pelago”.
Għadni qed naqrah u ma nħossx li hu ġust li nikkum-menta dwar ktieb li għadni ma qrajtux kollu.
Imma għadni ma nħossnix komdu f’dak li ktibt li jekk omosesswali kien jiffrekwenta komunità omosesswali qiesu ma jibqagħlux id-dritt għall-privatezza u ħajja privata tiegħu. Qiesu tilef id-dritt għad-“data protection” u anki kontra qalbu ikun hemm min imur jgħid bil-ħajja privata sesswali tiegħu fil-pubbliku.

Times: In defence of the Church (1)

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010 by Anton R. Borg, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK

John Guillamier (March 19) labels the Roman Catholic Church a disgraced institution as a consequence of the recent (and past) sexual scandals which have rightly attracted so much attention in the Western world.

He is quite right to castigate the Church for blundering so badly in dealing with the issue of paedophile priests; the evidence is there for all to see, and His Holiness the Pope addressed the subject in a pastoral letter this weekend and has made his profound distaste and dismay over this awful issue very plain. The Church no longer naively attempts to deal with these people in-house; I know (personally) a priest who has felt the full weight of British law recently having been reported by his Bishop to the police for such crimes.

Mr Guillamier is, however, selective in his assault over the issue of sexual activity between priests and other adults; priests have also been involved in banned activity with women, too! However, this problem has, in my view, been brought about by the ban on clerical marriage. It means that many men, who would otherwise make excellent priests, are prevented from exercising a vocation. Mr Guillamier's strident tone is also extremely unfair to the hundreds of thousands of priests worldwide, who, over the years, have exercised their duties (whatever their sexual orientation), often in very difficult circumstances, and sometimes in peril of losing their lives, with great distinction and without any moral or ethical misbehaviour.

In addition, to label the Church homophobic is also unjust - one cannot on the one hand accuse an institution of hatred towards a group of people, and, in the same sentence, castigate it for allowing them to belong to it! The Church bases its rules on the Bible; the Bible states repeatedly that homosexual activity is wrong; that is the nub of the problem. It is the activity that is frowned upon, not the sexual orientation. I can understand why gay people feel discriminated against as a result of this regulation. I would, too, had I been gay and wished to enter into a physical relationship with another man and remain a Catholic. It is a very difficult area which has to be addressed with great sensitivity.

Finally, Mr Guillamier has to realise that the Church is made up of human beings who reflect the actions of society at large as it prevails at the time. Incest and paedophilia went unpunished throughout society for far too long. Look at contemporary Maltese criminal law; how many paedophiles have been handed suspended sentences by the courts in recent years?

Such a heinous crime deserves punishment of the utmost severity as it does very serious harm to the victims. I have been a GP for 25 years and have witnessed numerous examples of this damage to people. Internet child pornography is created at the expense of innocent children being terribly abused in front of cameras, yet, in Malta, a prison sentence seems to be a rare consequence of this most disgusting crime. Society as a whole needs to address this very challenging area of human behaviour.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Monday, 22 March 2010

Il-ĠensIllum: L-Isqof Mario Grech ikkundanna ktieb li jallega li San Pawl u San Ġorġ Preca kellhom tendenzi omosesswali

L-Isqof t'Għawdex l-Monsinjur Mario Grech
L-Isqof t'Għawdex l-Monsinjur Mario Grech

21 ta'Marzu 2010

L-Isqof t’Għawdex, Mario Grech ikkundanna ktieb li jallega li San Pawl u l-ewwel qaddis Malti, kellhom tendenzi omosesswali. Qal li dan il-ktieb, jitfa dawl ikrah fuq il-Knisja.

L-Isqof Grech, qal li dan l-allegazjonijiet huma serji u bbażati fuq aġenda malizjuża.

Il-ktieb, Queer Mediterranean Memories miktub mill-Malti Awstraljan, Joseph Carmel Chetcuti, jispekula dwar l-orjentazzjoni sesswali ta’ diversi personalitajiet prominenti, fosthom San Gorg Preca u Agatha Barbara.
Mario Grech tkellem ukoll dwar dak li hu fisser bħala kampanja kontra l-Papa Benedittu Sittax, li qed jiġi assoċjat ma inċidenti ta’ pedofelija u qassisin omosesswali.

Fi kliem l-Isqof t’Għawdex, dan qed isir biex tixxejjen il-kredibilita’ tad-dutrina Nisranija. Bħalissa, l-Vatican qed jindirizza allegazzjonijiet ta’ abbuż sesswali u fiżiku minn qassisin fl-Irlanda, Germanja u Żvizzera.

L-Isqof Mario Grech, ikkundanna kull tip ta’ abbuz sesswali, filwaqt li appella sabiex jittieħdu mizuri stretti mhux biss mill-Knejjes imma minn istituzzjonijiet oħra kontra dawn it-tip ta’ abbużi.

Hu wiegħed li ser jieħu l-azzjonijiet neċessarji f’każijiet simili, madankollu, stqarr li mhux ġust li minħabba numru ta’ individwi, jeħel kulħadd.


Priedka ta' Mons. Mario Grech, Isqof ta' Għawdex, 19.3.2010 Qala Għawdex

Priedka fl-okkazzjoni tal-Festa ta' San Guzepp

Iċ-ċelebat saċerdotali huwa teżor

San Guzepp ma kienx sacerdot, imma kellu mohh u qalb sacerdotali! Il-Papa Gwanni Pawlu II, sejjah lil San Guzepp bhala l- “kustodju tal-Feddej”. Dan t-titlu japplika ukoll ghas-sacerdot li huwa l-ghassies ta Kristu, mhux biss billi jghasses b’hafna ghozza l-Ewkaristija u l-grazzja li huwa jqassam f’isem Kristu kull meta jxandar il-Kelma u jiccelebra s-sagramenti; imma ukoll meta huwa jghasses fuq il-poplu t’Alla. Ghalhekk, bir-ragun li xieraq li f’din is-sena ddedikata lis-sacerdoti, nirriflettu dwar il-figura tal-Patrijarka San Guzepp u nitolbu bl-intercesjoni tieghu halli fil-Knisja ta Kristu s-sacerdot jibqa jghix is-sejha tieghu bil-fedelta.

Biex seta jkun il-kustodju ta Gesu, Guzeppi irrinunzja ghal paternita fizika. Guzeppi u Marija kellhom il-pjan li jizzewgu u jiffurmaw familja, tant li kienu diga tgharsu ufficjalment;imma mbaghad Alla jidhol fl-istorja taghhom u jaghzilhom. Lil Marija sejhilha ghal maternita verginaliL kellha tnissel il-Verb bil-qawwa ta l-Gholi u tibqa vergni. Minn Guzeppi, Alla talab li jibqa vergni u fl-istess waqt jifrex il-paternita affettiva u spiritwali fuq Gesu. Kien Guzeppi li ghen lil Gesu jikber fiz-zmien, fl-gherf u l-grazzja! Guzeppi jaccetta li jghix hajja kasta biex hekk jintelaq f’idejn Alla u jkun tieghU f’kollox.

Il-Knisja Kattolika Latina titlob li s-sacerdoti ma jizzewgux. Huma jibqghu celebi mhux ghax bohol, jew ghax ma jhossuhomx migbudin biex jidhlu f’relazzjoni ma mara u flimkien jibnu familja; imma ghax fuq l-ezempju ta Kristu, is-sacerdoti jibqghu celibi “ghas-saltna tas-smewwiet” [Mt 19.12]. Minbarra dan l-aspett eskatologiku, ic-celibat huwa ghajnuna biex is-sacerdot ikun ghall-ohrajn u ghalkemm jirrinunzja ghal dik il-paternita li hija proprja tal-mizzewgin, huwa jikseb paternita u maternita godda ghax bil-maghmudija u bil-predikazzjoni huwa “jnissel fi Kristu” [1Kor 4.15] u “jhoss l-ugiegh tal-hlas” sakemm Kristu jissawwar fihom [Gal 4.19]. Biex jassigura din il-qalb pastorali, is-sacerdot celibi jistinka biex ihobb lil Alla u lill-ohrajn b’qalb shiha u ghalhekk jaccetta li imhabbtu ma jaqsamha ma ebda persuna partikulari!.

Kemm ic-celibat sacerdotali kif ukoll ic-celibat li jhaddnu dawk li jikkonsagraw ruhhom lil Alla u ohrajn li huma moghtija ghal Alla bhalma huma s-Socji tal-Museum, ma jifthiemex jekk ma jkunx hemm vizzjoni ta din il-finalita soprnaturali. Mhux ghageb li Gesu ma kienx mifhum! Mhux biss in-nies ta zmien Kristu ma fehemux il-valur tac-celibat, imma lanqas in-nies ta zmienna! Nghid dan mhux ghax ghandi xi dubju mill-kunvizjoni li ghandhom is-sacerdoti taghna dwar ic-celibat, imma ghax inhossni ippreokkupat bid-diskors li ghaddej mhux biss fl-Ewropa, bhal fil-kaz tal-Germanja, l-Irlanda u l-Swizzera, imma ukoll f’pajjizna – diskors mahsub biex jiskredita c-celibat tas-sacerdot kattoliku. Bhalissa, anke f’pajjizna, hawn mewga kontra s-sacerdozju bl-akkuzi ta sacerdoti nvoluti fil-pedofilija u l-omoseswalita. Dan nghidu b’ghafsa ta qalb ghax inhoss ghas-sacerdoti u l-Knisja.

Waqt li f’pajjizna ahna qed inhejju ghaz-zjara fostna tal-QT il-Papa Benedittu, fuq ix-xefaq ghaddejja kampanja kontra tieghu. Xi uhud qed jippruvaw jimplikawh f’incident ta sacerdoti pedofeli u omosesswali. It-tajn li qed jiftghu fuq is-suttana bajda tal-Papa, huwa hmieg li iriduh jaqbad mal-Knisja! Nidrob ir-raghaj biex il-merhla tixxerred! Dan il-hmieg qed jitwaddab lejn il-Knisja bil-hsieb li jkissru l-awtorita morali taghha u jnisslu dubji serji dwar l-attendibilita tad-duttrina nisranija! Il-filosofu Taljan Marcello Pera iddeskriva dan il-fenomenu bhala kampanja tal-lajcismu kontra l-Kristjanita! Jekk naghtu harsa lejn l-istorja ricenti, nintebhu li maz-zmien tbidlu l-mezzi li bihom sar l-attakki, imma l-ghan baqa dejjem l-istess: il-qerda tat-twemmin nisrani. Macello Pera ikompli jikteb li din il-kampanja mhix biss aggressjoni fuq il-Papa, imma ukoll fuq id-demokrazija – “jekk il-Kristjanezmu jinqered, tintilef l-istess demokrazija”.

Dan l-ahhar smajna li mhux biss San Pawl kellu orjentamentr omosesswali, imma anke San Gorg Preca. Dawn huma kalunji serji! Verament meraviljuza r-raguni li nghatat biex tfisser il-fatt li n-numru tas-seminaristi fi zmienna naqqas: ghax snin ilu fis-seminarju kienu jidhlu dawk li ghandhom orjentament omosesswali! F’dan kollu hemm agenda malizjuza biex jiskreditaw is-sacerdot u l-Knisja!

Xejn ma nistghageb jekk il quddiem jigi xi hadd u jghidilna biex ma nibghatux lil uliedna ghad-duttrina jew il-Museum, biex it-tfal taghna ma jibqghux jaqdu l-artal bhala abbatini, biex ma nhalluhomx imorru fl-iskejjel tal-Knisja … ghax jistghu jmissuhom!!!

Mhux qed nghid li fil-Knisja ma hemmx dawn il-perikli! Imma nixtieq nara fi hdan kategoriji u professjonijiet ohra fis-socjeta taghna, dik l-istess rigorista u serjeta li ghandha l-Knisja llum biex imgiebiet bhal dawn jigu mrazna. Filwaqt li ghal darba ohra nikkundanna kull forma ta abbuz sesswali, partikularment fuq il-minuri, naghti kelma li meta nkun naf b’imgieba bhal din fil-kamp pastorali, jien nagixxi. Minn naha l-ohra, mhux gust li jekk jizbalja wiehed, mieghu jehel kulhadd.

Ghalhekk huwa providenzjali li llum qed niccelebraw din is-sollenita ta San Guzepp – ghax San Guzepp ghandu messagg attwali hafna li jghinna nifhmu din id-dimensjoni celibatarja tas-sacerdot kattolliku. Nitlobkom twieznu lilna s-sacerdoti bit-talb taghkom biex ahna nharsu dan it-tezor tac-celibat u nghixu bil-fedelta s-sejha taghna. Nitlobkom ukoll biex ikollkom gharfien ta dawk li jaghtu lilhom infushom lil Alla, partikularment tas-sacerdoti.

Il-ĠensIllum: Ittri fuq Xarabank u Queer Mediterranean Memories

Jgħid li 'Xarabank' jiżgura diskussjoni bilanċjata u serja

20 ta' Marzu 2010 minn Norman Vella, Gwardamanġa, Manager ta' Xarabank tim
Sur Editur,

It-tim ta’ Xarabank jaqbel ħafna mat-titlu tal-editorjal tiegħek: “Xarabank verament ma jitlifx okkażjoni!” Xarabank ma tilifx l-okkażjoni li jkun l-ewwel, u sal-lum l-uniku programm fid-dinja li jxandar programm live minn Pjazza San Pietru fil-Vatikan fl-okkażjoni tal-kanonizzazzjoni ta’ San Ġorġ Preca. Xarabank ma tilifx l-okkażjoni li ġimgħa wara dan l-avveniment storiku jxandar programm ieħor dwar dak li kien qed jiġri fil-Vatikan f’din l-okkażjoni tant speċjali.

Xarabank ma tilifx l-okkażjoni lanqas meta l-ewwel f’Għawdex, imbagħad f’Malta nħatru Isqfijiet ġodda. Xarabank lanqas ma tilef l-okkażjoni meta fil-Jum tal-Milied li għadda wassal programm dwar il-vokazzjonijiet u wassal fid-djar tal-Maltin u l-Għawdxin x’jiġri fis-Seminarju u fil-Konkatidral ta’ San Ġwann meta jiġu ordnati saċerdoti ġodda.

Xarabank ma tilifx l-okkażjoni li jingħaqad fis-sogħba tad-dinja Kattolika meta miet il-Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II, tant li konna preżenti live mill-Pjazza tal-Vatikan. Bl-istess mod, Xarabank mhux se jitlef l-okkażjoni li jwassal iż-żjara tal-Papa Benedittu XVI f’Malta x-xahar id-dieħel.

Xarabank lanqas ma jitlef l-okkażjoni meta jiġi biex jgħin organizzazzjonijiet u għaqdiet filantropiċi fi ħdan il-Knisja. Per eżempju, għamilna erba’ programmi sħaħ bi sħab ma’ Caritas Malta li fihom ġbarna eluf kbar ta’ ewro għall-vittmi tad-droga li din l-organizzazzjoni tant tieħu ħsieb b’ħafna dedikazzjoni.

Programmi bħal dawn nista’ nsemmi ħafna aktar, għax kif intqal fl-editorjal, Xarabank qatt ma jitlef l-okkażjoni li jkun kurrenti, analitiku, investigattiv u, fuq kollox, forum ta’ diskussjoni fejn kulħadd huwa meqjus bl-istess mod.

Xarabank ma tilifx lanqas l-okkażjoni li jiddiskuti ktieb kontroversjali ppubblikat dan l-aħħar dwar l-omosesswalità f’Malta. Għal dan il-programm kien mistiedna l-istess awtur ta’ dan il-ktieb, li ġie intervistat u mistoqsi dwar il-punti kollha ta’ kontroversja li fih dan il-ktieb, kemm dwar dak li jikkonċerna l-Knisja, kif ukoll dwar dak li jikkonċerna persuni oħrajn.

Kif jaf kulmin ra l-programm, id-diskussjoni fuq il-panel kienet waħda mill-aktar bilanċjata. Fil-panel kien hemm jiddefendu l-ktieb l-istess awtur Dr Joseph Carmel Chetcuti u Gabi Calleja mill-Malta Gay Rights Movement. Jikkontestawh kien hemm Karl Engerer, persuna li ddikjarat li hija omosesswali u li tħaddan ir-reliġjon Kattolika, u lil Fr Joe Borg, saċerdot u espert tal-midja. Il-formazzjoni tal-panel ċertament kienet waħda li tiżgura bilanċ sħiħ.

B’dan il-programm, Xarabank ta prova oħra li huwa programm li jiżgura diskussjoni bilanċjata u serja, fuq kollox li żgur qatt mhu se jkun programm li jipprattika l-omertà fuq suġġetti li xi wħud iqisu li m’għandhomx jiġu diskussi.

L-editorjal ta’ IL-ĠENSILLUM online li qed inwieġeb dwaru, ukoll ta opinjoni dwar il-ktieb in kwistjoni u jagħmel riferenza ċara u diretta għall-iktar punti kontroversjali tiegħu, b’enfasi dwar dak li nkiteb dwar qaddisin tal-Knisja Kattolika. Id-diskussjoni dwar dak li jkun qed jiġri madwarna hija dritt ta’ kull individwu fis-soċjetà. Għalina l-ġurnalisti huwa wkoll dmir, u dan il-prinċipju jgħodd għal Xarabank u għal IL-ĠENSILLUM online bl-istess mod.

Xarabank weġġagħni għal erba' raġunijiet

20 ta' Marzu 2010 minn John Zammit, Birkirkara
Sur Editur,

Il-programm Xarabank ta' nhar il-Ġimgħa 12 ta' Marzu lili weġġagħni għal erba' darbiet: weġġagħni bħala Malti, bħala Kattoliku, bħala membru koperatur tas-Soċjietà tad-Duttrina Nisranija (MUSEUM), iżda l-aktar bħala missier ta’ seminarista li wasal fl-aħħar tal-formazzjoni saċerdotali tiegħu; qiegħed fil-ħames sena.

Weġġagħni meta Dr Chetcuti qal li llum tbattlu l-kunventi għaliex l-omosesswalità saret fil-miftuħ u allura ma għadx hemm il-bżonn li wieħed jidħol reliġjuż sabiex ikollu l-iżvog sesswali tiegħu.

Weġġajt meta Gabi qalet li 30 fil-mija tas-seminaristi huma ta' orjentazzjoni
omosesswali. Dan il-kliem ma huma xejn ħlief qlajjiet biex iħammġu lill-Knisja inġenerali u lir-reliġjużi in partikulari.

Nibda bl-ewwel waħda. Ħija ta' qabli għamel għaxar snin Ġiżwita; kien novizz Loyola House, in-Naxxar, u l-Kulleġġ San Alwiġi f’Birkirkara, imbagħad mar jistudja f'Heythrope College, barra minn Londra fl-Ingilterra. Kelli okkażjoni nitkellem miegħu u qalli li fl-għaxar snin li dam Ġiżwita qatt ma ltaqa' ma’ omosesswali fil-kunventi fejn kien. Biss, ħaġa waħda rrid ngħid. Li ħija ma għandu l-ebda 'chip on his shoulder' kontra l-Ġiżwiti, anzi għall-kuntrarju għadu ħabib tagħhom. Illum ħija huwa miżżewweġ u missier.

Niġi issa għas-seminarju ta' Malta. Bħalma naħseb li taf int, qabel ma jiġu aċċettati, is-seminaristi jridu jgħaddu minn psychometric test; iridu jgħaddu minn test simili wara s-sena intermedjarja, jiġifieri qabel ma jibdew il-ħames sena li fiha jiġu aċċettati mill-Arċisqof f'isem il-Knisja bħala rġiel li qed iħejju ruħhom għas-saċerdozju.

Nista' nserraħ ras Gabi, li dawn it-testijiet jitmexxew minn psikjatra professjonali, u kandidati li fil-fehma tiegħu ma jkunux adattati biżżejjed għas-saċerdozju, ma jitħallewx ikomplu.

Lil Dr Chetcuti nista' ngħidlu wkoll li ltqajt ma’ eks-pulizija li għal seba' snin kien wieħed mix-xuffiera tal-eks-Kummissarju Viviene de Gray. Dan qalli li hu qatt ma ra xi għajn ħażina minn din il-persuna, u f'dak iż-żmien hu kien għadu żagħżugħ fl-għoxrinijiet.

Naħseb li jkun żball jekk inħallu l-kurżità tegħlibna u nixtru l-ktieb ta' Dr Chetcuti, għaliex b'hekk inkunu waqajna fin-nassa tiegħu li jakkwista kemmxa flus sewwa.

Fir-rigward tal-programm Xarabank, naħseb li jkun tajjeb li tittieħed xi forma ta' azzjoni kontra dan il-programm. Da parti tiegħi qiegħed inħeġġeġ lin-nies li niltaqa' magħhom sabiex jagħmlu dan.

Xarabank: Kummissjoni jew paniku?
20 ta' Marzu 2010, minn Ronald Pisani L-Imsida

Sur Editur,

L-aħħar parti ta' Xarabank ta' nhar il-Ġimgħa, 13 ta' Marzu, verament kien nieqes minn kull sugu ġurnalistiku. Kellu biss riħa ta' sensazzjonaliżmu u xejn aktar. Ngħid għaliex wasalt għal din il-konklużjoni.

Nies li suppost waqgħetilhom żokorthom fil-ġurnaliżmu suppost jafu li qabel jittrattaw storja, għandhom jagħrblu l-valur ta' aħbar. Mela billi ġie ppubblikat ktieb b'titlu kemmxejn kontroversjali, naqbdu u noħorġu nperrċuh bl-addoċċ? Lanqas ħaqq il-ħsibijiet u d-dubji li jiddaħħlu fl-imħuħ ta' Ċikku l-Poplu. Dan wieħed seta' jisimgħu l-għada minn kif xi wħud iddiskutew din il-parti tal-programm. U dan huma responsabbli għalih, quddiem Alla!

Ħaġa waħda donnu ħafna li tkellimt magħhom qablu magħha. Li bl-istorbju kollu li għamel Peppi bħala propaganda għall-programm, ma ħareġ xejn tanġibbli. Pjuttost bi kliemhom bdew iwaqqgħu għaċ-ċajt lill-awtur u lill-preżentaturi ta' Xarabank. U ma tagħtihomx tort għaliex verament ħlief suppożizzjonijiet imniżżlin fil-ktieb imsemmi ma ħarġux.

Possibbli Peppi Azzopardi, li waqgħetlu żokortu fix-xandir, ma jirrealizzax li din ma kien fiha ebda sugu?