The following statement was sent in by the Gozo Curia in response to this post that reported that Bishop Mario Grech was informed in 2009 that Joseph Sultana was accused of abusing altar boys in Australia. Joseph Sultana was charged last week of sexually abusing a child in Gozo when he returned from Australia. As is the practice on this blog for letters sent in exercising the right of reply, no comments will be published beneath this post.

In the light of the allegations being made about Rev. Joseph Sultana, doubts were raised by the media on how much the Diocese of Gozo had committed itself in favour of the safeguarding of minors.

From the information the Gozo Diocese has on the allegations that were made against Rev. Joseph Sultana within the Diocese of Cairns, Australia, it results that as soon as the Diocese of Gozo learned about the case:

  1. Bishop Mario Grech had prohibited Rev. Joseph Sultana from having any kind of contact with minors, according to the current procedures;
  2. Bishop Grech had expressed his readiness to collaborate with the competent Authorities;
  3. while affirming that until then he had received no complaints of the sort about Rev. Joseph Sultana, Bishop Grech had asked Bishop James Foley of Cairns to keep him informed about the case.

Bishop Foley had submitted Rev. Joseph Sultana’s case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, which in May 2014 declared that those allegations were unfounded.

This decleration had to be taken into consideration in the same way as the original allegations.