Father Charles Fenech, the Dominican brother accused of sexually assaulting a mentally unstable patient, is asking people for ads in the February issue of a religious magazine.
The magazine in question, Xandar il-Kelma, is published by the Dominican Province of Malta. An email written by Fenech and seen by MaltaToday read: âI am sending you this attachment for advertising in a special edition of XK Magazine, Malta’s # 1 religious magazine distributed to homes. Can you help us by confirming an ad. Thank you, P. Charles Fenech OP.
The attachment is a poster of Pope Francis, with the words Xandar il-Kelma: The No.1 Religious Magazine in Malta: 70,000 copies overlaid.
The poster includes advertising rates and a message from Fenech, editor-in-chief of the magazine.
âOutside of Western Europe, many people still believe in God,â Fenech’s message read. âHere we tend to think of religion as outdated – something they did centuries ago, when unenlightened Europeans followed the advice of the burning bushes. But beyond the EU, millions of people stubbornly continue to trust the Almighty. The West may enjoy comparative power and wealth, but our attachment to secular liberalism is a minority opinion â.
However, Dominican Provincial Father Frans Micallef told MaltaToday that there was nothing inappropriate about Fenech’s solicitations for announcements, despite the lawsuit hanging over his head.
Fenech, who founded the Kerygma movement, faces sexual abuse charges against a mentally unstable patient, holding the woman against her will and committing indecent acts in public.
One of Fenech’s victims testified in court that the brother had “targeted vulnerable women” and that she knew at least 15 other women who claim to have fallen for Fenech’s advances.
A suspected victim who spoke to MaltaToday claimed that Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona offered him a “large sum” to remain silent – an allegation strongly denied by the Curia.
The case came before the Church Response Team when Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Mercieca was the head of the Archdiocese of Malta, with internal investigations continuing when Cremona, who like Fenech is a Dominican friar , was appointed Archbishop in 2007.
Despite knowledge of the allegations, Fenech was not removed from his post as director of the Kerygma movement.
The case will continue next month, but Fenech has already been removed from his post as director of Kerygma and banned from administering the sacraments.