Curia clarifies the accusations surrounding priest

The Archbishop’s Curia has denied that Fr Felix Cini is working as a full-time priest in Malta.

The Curia also clarified that the priest was incardinated (placed under the jurisdiction of a particular bishop or other ecclesiastical superior) in the Diocese of Grosseto, Italy.

The Curia’s Communication Office explained that Fr Cini was ordained in Italy and only returned to Malta to look after his ailing mother years ago. Fr Cini is only allowed to celebrate mass in particular circumstances.

Fr Cini was found guilty of inappropriate behaviour around minors and underwent a therapeutic program. He also went through a canonical process by the Holy See which determined that he was not under the penalty of dismissal.

Read the statement regarding Fr Felix Cini in full:

The Communications Office refers 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. In view of the concerns that have been raised, the following clarifications ought to be made in the best interest of the community.

  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 about Church personnel can also contact the Safeguarding Commission on info@safeguarding.mt.