Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield launched an attack on Twitter against Archbishop Charles Scicluna after he shared an article by The Shift News that compared the government’s performance with Sicilian mafia.
Bedingfield, a ‘blogger’ from the Office of the Prime Minister whose task is to propagate the government spin on everything, regularly targets critics of the government.
On Friday, the Archbishop retweeted a post by The Shift News on an article entitled ‘The System we Created’ that was based on Roberto Saviano‘s bestseller ‘Gomorra,’ a book that delves into organised crime in Scampia, Napoli – where unemployment is sky high and criminal records are as long as the Holy Scriptures.
The article compared Saviano’s description of Napoli with the current system in Malta where political parties create dependencies to ensure their power: “What in Sicily is known as Cosa Nostra, what in Calabria is known as Ndrangheta, what in Naples is called Camorra, in Malta we call ‘il-gvern’ [the government]”.
The Archbishop’s retweet of the article led Bedingfield to signal his troops that this was not on: “Pity the Archbishop didn’t give up bashing the government for Lent. That would have been too big a sacrifice”.
According to the Bible by Glenn Bedingfield, the Archbishop sharing an article that was critical of the political system is tantamount to sin. And according to the world he lives in, it is not ok for the Archbishop to share criticism of the government but it is absolutely fine for the government to bash the Archbishop.
The troops followed suit with even more colourful attacks on Scicluna and the Church, joined by other members of the administration (there are too many tweets attacking the Archbishop to reproduce here – visit our Twitter feed for the full list).
The Archbishop was called a “hypocrite” and “unfit for purpose” with Labour supporters saying he should be ashamed of himself. He was defined as someone who chases “pedofiles” (sic) and a person consumed by jealousy of the government’s “benevolence” in distributing charity.
On Friday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat ‘donated’ €5 million “on behalf of the government” to Puttinu Cares, a charity that provides accommodation for the families of Maltese receiving medical treatment in the UK.
It was widely criticised as a PR stunt using taxpayers’ money that smacked of tactics used by dictators.