Gozitan archpriest steps down to take government job

How he got the job and his qualifications remain unclear.

 

Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti

A senior Gozitan cleric, who for the past 18 years served as the archpriest for the village of Xaghra, has resigned from his position and taken up a job with the government.

Gozo Curia sources told The Shift that Monsignor Carmelo Refalo, once touted by the Labour-leaning newspaper (it-Torċa) as the best-suited candidate to become Gozo Bishop, has suddenly decided to leave his parish post.

While the priest is close to retirement age, no reason was initially given for his resignation, but The Shift was then informed he was placed on the State payroll as a full-time ‘social welfare professional’ at the Gozo Directorate of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS), which has offices in Xewkija.

The FSWS, a government agency, facilitates social welfare services for the vulnerable.

The small Gozitan office of the FSWS is managed by another monsignor, Joe Vella Gauci, through a political appointment in 2018. Vella Gauci was appointed Malta’s ambassador to UNESCO.

Mons Vella Gauci

The Shift tried to reach both Refalo and Vella Gauci at their workplace in Xewkija. However, over five working days, no one answered the phone at the FSWS Gozo branch during working hours.

Government sources described the FSWS Xewkija office, where the two monsignors are based, as “very small” and rarely operating full-time.

“Most of the time, its officials are holding meetings out of office”, they said.

Monsignor Refalo was the archpriest of Xagħra between 2005 and last September. His resignation took his parishioners by surprise.

Like Vella Gauci, Refalo is politically well-connected as his brother was the driver of Minister Anton Refalo for a number of years.

The situation in Gozo, where hundreds have been put on the government’s payroll through schemes, agencies, and private contractors providing services to the Gozo ministry has earned a rebuke from Gozo Bishop Anton Theuma.

                           

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
                           
                               
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

20 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
4 months ago

“How he got the job and his qualifications remain unclear”

As the adage goes ‘ask no questions and you’ll be told no lies’

Patricia
Patricia
4 months ago

Thank you once again for keeping the public informed about things which would otherwise remain under the radar.

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
4 months ago

In the end everyone has to choose between Jesus and Barabba. Excellent timing Mons as to when to formally join the bandwagon

Adrian camilleri
Adrian camilleri
4 months ago

Did the Bishop of Gozo give him his consent?

Antoinette Borg
Antoinette Borg
4 months ago

I don’t know this priest personally. All I know of , is his good reputation. But before we judge him … Could it be that the bishop himself asked him to take this job knowing what a man of principles he is, precisely to prevent corruption? If the post was vacant , someone had to fill in. At least he knows the man and his capabilities. I am not saying that things are like that , As I repeat, I don’t know them personally. Yet it is amazing how we judge with different measures when the person involved is a priest. We fight for everyone’s rights, but it seems that a priest is not even a human being? Can’t we give him a fair chance? Should we break him before he even sits on his chair?

Joseph
Joseph
4 months ago

Prosit ghal Religjuzi li ghanna pajjizna. Marru jaqdu nies fil-politika li qatlu mara ta’familja Maltija gurnalista. Prosit jew taqdi l’Alla fis-sewwa jew lix-xitan. Arukaza il-flus ta’Guda.

Josette Portelli
Josette Portelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Joseph

Lanqas il-membri tal-kleru ma baqgħu jagħtu każ. L-ewwel il-but, umbagħad jiġu l-prinċipji morali. Arukaża, qed iwaqqgħu kollox għaż-żuffjet. Kif trid ikollok fiduċja fihom meta huma stess qed jaqgħu daqshekk fil-baxx!

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
4 months ago

ITS INCREDIBLE. THE LONG ARM OF LABOUR CORRUPTION KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES!!!💯☹️👎

Maria Grima
Maria Grima
4 months ago

Are you telling us there is no need for FSWS in Gozo? Because I think here things are getting as bad as in Malta.
And knowing how the former archpriest dedicated himself to the welfare of his parish, I would never believe that he takes up a post in which he doesn’t deliver the work required.

Mjscer
Mjscer
4 months ago

“how he got the job and his qualifications is unclear” and to top it off, he is close to retirement age! Makes one think. Are clerics, especially those in certain posts as parish priests, allowed to take up jobs? Isn’t their allegiance towards the church/archdiocese? Just asking, I have no knowledge of this.

Antoinette Borg
Antoinette Borg
4 months ago
Reply to  Mjscer

As far as I know a priest has all the right to take a job. The difference is that the religious priest ( those who live in the convent) have the poverty vote. So these will give the money to the convent to be shared. While other priests can keep what they earn. The ministry of a parish priest is given by the bishop and changed according to the diocese needs by the bishop. Unfortunately, because we are living in an era of corruption, we stop to think and evaluate every time a bell rings. Yet I don’t think that it is just to put everyone in the same pot. Can we give this priest the chance to prove himself right in his new mission? After all he proved himself right for the past 18 years as a parish priest..

Andrew Farrugia
Andrew Farrugia
4 months ago

ONE of the PHARISEES, this character. One wonders where his loyalty lies……INCREDIBLE …….really, a MAN of the WORLD , rather than a priest. For shame!

Alfred Tonna
Alfred Tonna
4 months ago

But do you know him personally? But I do, he’s nothing of the sort that you’re accusing him with.

makjavel
makjavel
4 months ago

30 pieces of silver ?

Albert Dimech
4 months ago

Apparently this mons. doesn’t know that you cannot serve God and Mammon. Kudos to the Gozo Bishop for speaking out.

Ray Farrugia
Ray Farrugia
4 months ago

Dan ghall Genna, zgur. The pig industry is booming!

C Portelli
C Portelli
4 months ago

Dear Editor and staff of The Shift News,

I am an avid follower of yours. Your articles have me say to myself “they (you) are absolutely right”. All of them, bar this one. In this case I think you took aim at the wrong target.

Granted, there are bad priests, and good priests. I assure you he is a very, very good priest.

I have personally known this priest for well over 3 decades, and can vouch for his integrity and honesty. He is indeed a man of God. Wherever he has served, the community has thrived. Who knows how many he has saved, how many individuals in need he has helped.

Irrespective of this you and your readers must be aware that, no matter what his job title/description may be; I know him well enough to state that he will continue to help families individuals and communities trusted under his care up till his living breath.

That’s what really counts in today’s life, at least in my books.

Caroline Muscat
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  C Portelli

He is not a target. We are stating facts.

Martina Filletti
Martina Filletti
4 months ago
Reply to  C Portelli

Well said.

Martina Filletti
Martina Filletti
4 months ago

I have no doubt about this website’s adamance to state facts. But when facts are presented in a way to cause doubts or assumptions, then it is a different story. I have nothing but good things to say about Mons Refalo. At Xagħra, finances were transparent, disclosed and published.

Related Stories

Spanish lawyer paid €111,000 to defend Malta’s EU bird trapping case
The government has hired a top Spanish lawyer, who
Film Commissioner Johann Grech gets €90,000 raise amid mounting scandals
Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti Prime Minister Robert Abela has

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo