Maltese diocese investigates priest accused by Foley

Maltese diocese investigates priest accused by Foley

The Diocese of Gozo in Malta has begun an investigation into the case of a priest who admitted to “crossing boundaries” with former Congressman Mark Foley. Foley resigned last month after admitting he was trolling for sex among underaged male congressional pages. Afterward, Foley admitted by turns that he is gay, he is alcoholic, and that he was molested by a priest as teenager. Father Anthony Mercieca, a native of Malta who was living in Florida at the time, came forward to a reporter and acknowledged skinny-dipping with Foley, giving him naked massages, and spending time in a sauna with him, again naked. Oh is that all?

Mercieca claims that there is nothing wrong with such behavior because—and this is his claim—that there was no sex. Assuming that he’s telling the truth, such behavior is still sinful and shows very poor judgment. The fact that he has no remorse makes him a danger to other children. The Diocese of Gozo appears to be taking it seriously.

  “In the light of all this ... Bishop Grech will instruct the response team to investigate these allegations according to the policies established by the Maltese Ecclesiastical Province with regards to cases of sexual abuse in pastoral activity,” the statement said. “Grech will pass all information he receives pertaining to this case to the response team as he has done in similar cases.”

Meanwhile, as attention shifts to this bizarre priest—who’s a perfect character for salacious media stories—Foley succeeds in diverting attention from himself and his actions. While Foley merely wrote emails and IMs, this priest admits to naked encounters with the young man while claiming there’s nothing wrong with it.

The Republicans and Foley are happy and the Church takes another punch in the mouth.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli