It was the weatherman, Mark Vella Gera

Published: April 23, 2008 at 5:00pm

Mark Vella Gera

Mark Vella Gera was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for four years, for sexually propositioning primary-school boys at St Michael’s independent school. He was also a teacher at tal-Muzew, but of course, we haven’t had any court cases about that one. What did we tell you about never trusting a man who wears a goatee?

The law is specific in that magistrates and judges may only ban the publication of details (any details) of a court case, or discussion about it, while it is underway. Once the matter has been decided, and even if the decision has been appealed against, the magistrate or judge may ban only the name/s of the victim/s, and that to protect their privacy where there has been abuse. The name/s of the perpetrator/s may be banned only if he/she/they are minors.

So, if the name of a criminal has been banned by the court in blatant disregard of what the law specifies, and more particularly if the crime in question is a sexual offence against children, then I feel obliged to ignore that ban and to ask the magistrate to justify his stance.

Would that the editors of our newspapers were to get together and challenge these offensive bans on the publication of the names of criminals once and for all.

The man who was sentenced, yesterday, to two years in prison suspended for four years, for sexually propositioning primary-school boys – not secondary-school girls – when he was their religion teacher is Mark Vella Gera, born June 1970. The incidents occurred when he taught at St Michael School. He has since been dismissed.

Mark Vella Gera also taught doctrine classes for the MUSEUM (tal-Muzew). Call me prejudiced, but I would never trust a man who actively seeks to spend his afternoons and evenings in the company of young children, to teach them ‘religion’, especially when it is not his job and he is not getting paid for it. Why would a mentally healthy man want to spend his free time doing that, instead of running around with women or taking up some normal hobby or interest? How many men do you know who find other people’s young children in sizeable groups (and even their own) anything other than exhausting and irritating after anything longer than 10 minutes?

Mark Vella Gera is an amateur meteorologist who runs the organisation Malta Weather (on the net, at maltaweather.com). He has been fascinated by the weather all his life, he claims on his site. So now we must ask ourselves whether he got into teaching, and more specifically, teaching religion, purely to put himself into contact with large numbers of young children. You don’t get that with the weather.


369 Comments Comment

  1. M. Bormann says:

    Finally you’re doing something which serves some non-political good.

    [Moderator – Is your name really M. Bormann, or do you model yourself on the Nazi Martin Bormann? If it is the latter, please stop doing so.]

  2. Marku says:

    Thank you!

  3. SB says:

    Illalu! You’ve got guts!!!

  4. Anon for ethical reasons says:

    your defence will be taken care of as and when necessary…..

  5. Robert P Galea says:

    check out the forum page on maltaweather……..

    http://www.maltaweather.com/forum/

    advert placed for new courses (placed on 20th May)

  6. Jason Spiteri says:

    This is one initiative worthy of unequivocal applause. Now let’s hope there are no libel suits – but if there are, we should pass the hat around. I’d certainly chip in on this one.

  7. amrio says:

    Fully agree with you mentioning the guy’s name.

    Someone also mentioned the publication of an offender’s register. That is sometime the Gonzi govt. should carry forward and do ASAP.

    What I don’t quite agree with is:

    1) Everyone seems to agree that sometimes, the names of the offenders should not be published to protect the victim, in cases where there is a close relation (children, nephews, etc). So what? The victim’s lives are already F’d up, and not mentioning their names won’t make them lead a better life. On the other hand, by not publishing names you may be maybe protecting the victim, but you are SURELY protecting the offender! So, once the offender is found guilty, publish the names and put them into a sex offender book for all to know and be wary of!

    2) I also do not agree with Daphne’s ‘habit’ of generalising sometimes, especially (it seems) when it comes to religion. If some nuns are sadistic swine, then that doesn’t mean ALL nuns are swine. I went to a school where 25 years after I left, some priests where accused of paedophilia; does that mean all priests of that order are pedos? If close contact with young kids makes you a pedo, then all Tal-Muzew, Scout leaders, NGO staff who work with kids, Appogg staff, are all these pedos?

  8. Amanda Mallia says:

    Daphne – Well done for naming the pervert.

    ___________________________________________________________

    I’m still wondering whether or not he teaches/used to teach at Muzew in St Julian’s, because his face is quite familiar and I can’t place him. Maybe somebody could confirm whether or not that it the case.

    Meanwhile, how right I was in my first comment on the original article on The Times online yesterday, wherein I said that this man could easily teach at MUSEUM. (My words were “where parents send their children so blindly (to MUSEUM), all in the name of religion”.) Such comment has obviously now been taken offline, along with the original article. I at first suspected that the owners of the private school may have had something to do with the removal of the said article. Hearing that bit about the MUSEUM now makes me wonder whether or not it may have been due to pressure exerted by the Curia.

  9. C. Cauchi says:

    Well done Daphne.

  10. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Amrio – I’m not saying that all men who work with children do so because they want to abuse them. I’m just saying that those who are sexually attracted to children seek out these jobs because that’s how they can have access to lots of children.

  11. Michael Falzon says:

    Daphne, I’ve been trying to persuade editors to challenge absurd unjustified Court publication bans for some time. I think that most of them would not stand the ‘freedom of expresion’ test in the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
    Nobody has taken it up before you just did.
    My congratulations on your decision.
    Michael Falzon

  12. Alex says:

    Well done and thank you Daphne, and all those involved, in putting a name and face to this pervert (or paedophile). Hopefully, this is the beginning of the change of how our courts, the media and society in general, deals with these horrific cases.

    Having said that, let us not forget that paedophilia is a mental disorder, so this Mark should be tested and see whether he suffers from this mental disease. In any case he should be ordered psychological help, amazingly this is not included in the court sentence.

  13. Mario Debono says:

    Daphne………..prosit. Please allow me to chip in if u need to defend yourself from libel….although I may be in the dock with you. What FUN!!!!!

  14. me says:

    In an injustice one can only say ‘Thanks’ for those who put their neck on the block.

  15. Chris says:

    Just to correct a misconception – he used to teach at St Michael Secondary School (Church School and tal-Muzew) – though this should not in any way reflect badly on the excellent work that this school and its head offer to their students.

  16. amrio says:

    @Daphne

    I agree perfectly with your last comment.

  17. David Buttigieg says:

    People,

    There are two St Michael schools, a church school and a private one. Please can you clear up which one is the school in question?

    It is very unfair on the other school otherwise. I have my children attending one of them and would like to know!

    [Moderator – He taught at this school.]

  18. Amanda Mallia says:

    Chris – Are you sure about that? Why did the local media (The Times online – although that report was eventually withdrawn, Maltastar, etc) state that it was a PRIVATE school? Did they get that wrong, too?

  19. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Alex – sexual attraction to children is no more a mental disorder than homosexuality is (though homosexuality was once thought to be so), or for that matter, heterosexuality. The only difference is that it is dangerous to those who are not sexual (children). It’s the psycho-sexual make-up of the person, and it can’t be corrected or ‘normalised’ through psychiatric treatment. The only thing that even remotely works is the 12-step programme used for addicts, but first there must be the will to stop.

  20. Sirking says:

    He used 2 teach me………

  21. Chris says:

    This is even more worrying:

    http://www.xaghra.com/article/?p=64

    “Weather Club for boys and girls aged 11 to 15 years old”

  22. Amanda Mallia says:

    He’s a convicted cybersquatter too …

    http://www.internet-patent.com/patent.net/Eng/news_e.html

  23. rach says:

    he thaught at st michaels foundation. i dont know which boys he abused in which school but he thaught in a mixed school…i know…i was one of d students.

  24. Chris says:

    Check these sites:

    http://www.worsleyschool.net/communicate/visitors/info/malta.html

    http://www.peda.net/veraja/ipm/esp?vp=singlemodule&m_id=26139&sp=thread&t_id=13723

    But do not click on the st michael link in the second link if you are affected by nudity!

  25. rach says:

    UFF i dont know if he thaught at two but i know for a fact im a girl and he thaught at our school too! its at tal- balal mixed. i cant believe he just got a suspended sentence.

  26. Chris says:

    As far as I know there was never any male religion teacher at St Michael’s School Pembroke – though I do not know in the secondary school as my kids left that school after primary.

    • S K says:

      Thats one of the most shocking things I have ever read! Has anyone checked to see if he has been ‘working’ in Europe?

  27. Amanda Mallia says:

    And here’s another one …

    http://www.homeworkelephant.co.uk/SchoolsByTypeIndependentCatholicSecondaryforBoys.shtml

    It looks like this guy really goes out of his way to “help” minors.

  28. Amanda Mallia says:

    Given the fact that the guy’s been convicted, maybe the police should inform the website owners concerned to remove his contact details from their sites.

  29. Amanda Mallia says:

    By my previous comment, I was referring to the websites where Mark Vella Gera’s contact details are listed for HW help, etc

  30. Liam says:

    Hello Guys, he taught at St. Michael’s School in St. Venera (the MUSEUM one), I know because he taught me English in it.

    This might sound a bit strange in such a situation but I actually feel sorry for the guy – don’t get me wrong, I feel way more sorry for his victims – but I remember that he was a good teacher and did a lot of good wherever he went and some moments of weakness will ruin all his life’s work.’

    Just wanted to give my two cents… and I agree, it was a good thing for the name to come out, people have the right to know such things, especially when the person involved is allowed to remain free.

  31. John Schembri says:

    I know for sure that he thought English Language at St,Michael’s School Santa Venera.
    I heard that he was fired by the board of directors of the school ,and asked to resign from the Society of Christian Doctrine .
    From my part I fully trust the “Soci tal- Muzew”. They handled the situation impeccably.
    @ Daphne: do not generalise , Dun Gorg and Tal-Muzew members and Don Bosco and his Salesians have been doing this mission (teaching religion to kids) for decades .You would have been correct if you said that paedophiles can be found anywhere ,even in religious institutions.
    At least this time there where no coverups from the Catholic school.
    Parents who have their children attending St Michael’s school can put their head at rest , that their children are in safe hands .

  32. Zaren tal-wied ta' Hal Qormi says:

    @Daphne

    in asking “Why would a mentally healthy man want to spend his free time doing that, instead of running around with women or taking up some normal hobby or interest?” you automatically shed a negative light on all men who actually DO like helping out at various initiatives around the island that involve direct contact with children and youth, which work does not involve a cheque at the end of the month.

    I, for one, have spent much of my 22-year-old life partaking in such ventures both in Malta and abroad, but have never as much as raised a finger on a child in my care, regardless of how deviant his/her behaviour may have been. sweeping statements, whether phrased as outright assertions or as questions, such as the above, hurt me personally.

    while admiring your guts in your pursuits to present the truth for what it is, i cannot help pointing out that repeated overlooking that there are different kettle of fish shows lack of insight that everyone is dissimilar, regardless of how alike one perceives certain individuals to be. it’s a pity that a witty person like yourself loses her mark through generalisations of this type.

  33. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – I do not agree with you that the Society of Christian Doctrine “handled the situation impeccably”. How could they have, by simply asking him to resign?

    They should not have taken the law into their hands, but should have gone to the police themselves. God only knows how many other children he’s preyed on. Things like this don’t “just happen”. He’s planted himself in various situations and places where he is and can be surrounded by children.

    He’s even on a HW help website in the UK, where children can contact him directly by email. See the link in one of my posts above.

    You said that parents whose children attend St Michael’s School (in tal-Balal) can put their minds at rest. What about all the other parents who are unaware of his conviction, especially the ones of the Xaghra weather club? (See Daphne’s latest post.) He’s enticing children to the club with stuff like Nintendo Wii, sleepovers in Gozo and trips to Sicily.

  34. unkown student says:

    he did all this to me and i am not joking about this …. the things that he told me were disgusting. i think that he should be jailed up and for more than 2 years

  35. Chris says:

    Amanda – Do you have any knowledge that the St Michael (Sta Venera) officials did not co-operate or report this to the police?

  36. ex-student says:

    I’m assuming he’s taught at both, as he was my religion teacher for a few months at St. Michael’s foundation in tal-balal.

  37. Bernard says:

    All I know he was a good English teacher at St Michael’s School Qormi/St Venera. HE IS NOT TEACHING THERE ANYMORE. THe school was and still is a good school with dedicated teachers.

    He always though well and discipline was his primary issue which I thank him.

    About the issue there is nothing to say, if he did so then he should be punished and that is the end of it. We all do mistakes BUT CHILD ABUSE SHOULD ALWAYS BE PUNISHED SEVERELY

  38. Amanda Mallia says:

    unknown student – I sympathise with you, and sincerely hope that time will help you overcome what this man done, which was through no fault of yours. As an adult – and a teacher at that – he should have known better. Do speak to your parents about it, and get any help you need.

    The sentence handed down to him is shameful, especially with the ban on the publication of his name. (Not everybody uses internet, and so not many will be aware of his name.) That in itself is shocking, because I believe that if his name is made public, most parents would make sure that he does not – and has not – come into contact with their children. As a mother of two young children myself, I find such bans worrying.

    Good luck, unknown student.

  39. Amanda Mallia says:

    Chris – No, I don’t. Maybe I was jumping the gun (as I often tend to do), but I was replying to John Schembri about what he wrote, and nowhere did he mention any police involvement.

    Here’s what he said:

    “John Schembri Wednesday, 23 April 2100hrs
    I know for sure that he thought English Language at St,Michael’s School Santa Venera.
    I heard that he was fired by the board of directors of the school ,and asked to resign from the Society of Christian Doctrine .
    From my part I fully trust the “Soci tal- Muzew”. They handled the situation impeccably.”

  40. unkown student says:

    i alread spoke to my parents and they are helping alot thanks alot for all your support but what i want to say now is IMPORTANT there were more than 15 people involved but only me and another guy gave evidance so only 2 people were mentioned . thanks for all your help!!!:P

  41. Amanda Mallia says:

    Chris – If I understood the sequence of events correctly (and if The Times original (now vanished) online report of yesterday was correct, about it being a PRIVATE school – not a church one), then he first taught English at St Michael’s MUSEUM Boys’ School in Qormi, was fired/made to resign (see John Schembri’s comment above), and subsequently went on to teach religion (if you please) at St Michael’s School in Tal-Balal (the independent, mixed school).

    Had the MUSEUM school authorities been aware of any similar misdemeanors (which could be, I assume, the reason he was “fired/made to resign”), then they should have reported the matter to the police (as opposed to “the relevant authorities”, which, being the MUSEUM, I would take to be the Curia).

  42. Anthony says:

    These peoples’ photographs and personal details should be exhibited on every church, local council and police station noticeboard for everybody to be warned. That is if our Church and Government really mean to be serious on these matters as they should be. That will be the day.

  43. Amanda Mallia says:

    UNKNOWN STUDENT – Glad to hear you have your parents’ support.

    EVERYONE ELSE – The fact that there were 15 children involved – despite only 2 giving evidence (presumably, the others chose not to/were advised not to, possibly by their parents) – just proves the point that this case is probably not a one-off incident where he simply got carried away. He seems to be a paedophile of the worst kind, so why give him protection? It is children who need protection from him, and the only way this can be ensured is by making his name public (ie by lifting the ban on publication of his name in the traditional media).

  44. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Well, at least Unknown Student and his friend had the guts to testify against this man, with the backing of their parents (which is essential, because they are under-age). It doesn’t say much for the parents of the other 13 boys, who seem to have preferred to do the Maltese thing and keep their heads below the parapet instead of doing their duty. A woman I know, whose eight-year-old daughter was molested by a family friend who lived next door, repeatedly when she slept over at their house, was brow-beaten by her ex-husband (the child’s father, if you please) and his lawyer into not pursuing the case against the man (what for stick your neck out, too much trouble, bad for the kid to testify in court, what for draw attention to this, etc etc). The result? She never came to terms with it or the sense that she had failed her child, and she has never recovered though 10 years have gone by. Fighting back is really important, even if only for your own sanity.

  45. david s says:

    well done daphne for revealing his name.
    I am appalled by the lenient sentences handed out by the court and prohibition of naming persons found guilty of paedophilia.
    Can you pls remind us who the judge was who prohibited naming the perpetrator. Sometimes I just wonder whats the real motive behind some judgements ….just like that slime Judge Vella

  46. Amanda Mallia says:

    david s – Whilst http://www.maltastar.com state that the magistrate was Silvio Meli, http://www.timesofmalta.com have reported the magistrates name 3 times as being Anthony Vella. I’m more inclined to believe that The Times is correct.

  47. antonella says:

    Unknown student, well done for your courage to speak and reveal these horrible things. You probably prevented other children from falling prey of this disgusting person.

  48. Kaci says:

    I’m lost for words really…..why shouldn’t his name be published???? He is an offender, and a grave one at that, so he should be made to suffer for his wrong doings…which after all (and let’s cut the BS of him slipping) were intentional!

    Why, after all should he be left to live a normal life after what he’s done?
    He should be firstly made public so everyone can shame him, secondly his name should be on a sex offenders list and thirdly he should be imprisoned…and forgotten in there!

    When shall I ask will such matters start being taken seriously by the state???

    To unknown student: I sympathize with you and hope you can put all this behind you and lead a normal and happy life…you are very lucky to have your parents’ backing!

    To others: While it is true that said teacher might have been a very good teacher at that, it still doesn’t change the fact that he is a scumbag!

    Back when I was at school in my secondary years at a church school, I had an exceptionally good teacher for maths, and I used to praise his efforts to make us learn properly….so imagine how surprised I was when I heard that he had been arrested on child molesting in UK!!!
    In all the five years I spent in this school, I never ever saw or heard anything about this teacher’s dark side!

  49. Drake says:

    he was my science and english teacher at st. michael school during years 1994-1999

  50. John Schembri says:

    @ Amanda Mallia: I wrote what I knew .
    I suppose the school authorities could not take legal action against crimes committed outside the school and school hours , sending SMS’s could have easily been done this way.
    My employer cannot fire me if for example I defrauded someone.
    I only wrote what I knew.

    [Moderator – Of course they can.]

  51. andrew borg-cardona says:

    @david s – before you start calling people slime, you should think. magistrate (not judge) vella is not slime, his integrity is well known, though being human, he makes mistakes.

  52. Why do these people get protection? Why don’t they stick posters in every school so that children see who these bad and sick guys are? Why do we leave our children at risk? Why are we living in a country that protects such people? I hope that the Museum comes out with a statement!

  53. robert says:

    I fully agree with Daphne stand and approach regarding nameing and shameing the person involved. While doing so we have to safeguard the interests of pupils/students who attend this particular school, the staff – who the majority of them are giving a sterling service – and parents. We have to point out that this person was ‘fired’ from this particular school and his warrant revoked prior to the case surface to the media/court. thanks

  54. Carl says:

    I’ve been doing voluntary work with youths since I was 15 or 16. I am still doing this at 51 years and married with 5 kids. What’s wrong doing voluntary work with kids and youths? You can’t throw everyone in the same sack. If someone made a mistake, that doesn’t mean every member of the group is the same.

    I beleave he who does such things, must be punished. But not the society or club he was a member with,

  55. OIMer says:

    Good on you for naming him.

    Our children need protecting from evil perverts.

  56. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Andrew Borg Cardona – I think the Judge Vella that David S referred to is actually Patrick Vella, not Tony Vella.

  57. Biker Bob says:

    Good on you to expose this sicko Daphne.

    The convicted perv should be known and thus be prevented from ever being in a position to prey on innocent children.

    Remember that case of the MFA groundsman a couple of years ago? …. absolutely shameful and all because his conviction was hidden.

    On the other hand, and I might be going against the flow here, I do agree that the identities of the accused, victim and other particulars of the case remain strictly undisclosed until judgement is handed out. (A person is innocent until proven guilty).

    A case in point was when a young Libyan was accused of raping a woman in the Floriana subway. He was met by a quasi-lynch mob near the Law Courts and then it transpired that it wasn’t him after all.

    In an ideal world, a public register of offenders should be kept. Failing that, if not to the general public, such a register should at least be made accessible to organisations such as schools, social and sport clubs, etc. to check on prospective job applicants.

    A police code of conduct should also be a requisite when a person applies for posts in organisations catering for children. Does such an offence go into a person’s conduct or is it hidden from there too?

    [Moderator – I remember that case of the young man who was wrongly accused. It was a terrible combination of clodhopping police work, racism and The Times pandering to the sentiments of the mob by publishing a large colour photo of the man on the front page. What incredible double-standards.]

  58. Carmel Scicluna says:

    Meta kont Form 1 u 2 jien kelli ghalliem ta’ l-Istorja fi Skola tal-Knisja li tghidx kemm konna mmorru tajjeb mieghu, kien jghallimna kif xieraq, u kien jidher li jhobbna hafna – no pun intended. La jien u lanqas hbiebi qatt ma rajna ghajn hazina fih. Tista’ tahsbu x’baqa’ fija meta smajt x’kien u ma kienx. Illum il-gurnata qieghed il-habs minhabba kas ta’ pedofilja. Naqbel li jixxandru l-ismijiet tal-pedofli – jien minn Hal Qormi u ghandi zewgt itfal taht l-eta’ – imma ma naqbilx li ninsew li i) il-pedofli huma persuni wkoll mahluqin fuq ix-xbieha t’Alla. ii) Min jemmen hu fid-dmir li jitlob ghalihom, u ghall-vittmi. iii) hemm talinqas tliet tipi ta’ pedofli – tistghu tfittxu fuq l-Internet u taraw b’ghajnejkom. Is-sadisti huma l-aghar fosthom ilkoll, imma hemm minnhom innokwi – jikkuntentaw bil-masturbazzjoni ghal ritratti tat-tfal biss, imma ma jmissux liz-zghar.

  59. David Schembri says:

    “Why would a mentally healthy man want to spend his free time doing that, instead of running around with women or taking up some normal hobby or interest?”

    Obviously Daphne, tal-Mużew are all sick, perverted paedophiles, who use “Jesus” and his “teachings” in order to be able to spend their afternoons with the whole gamut of male pre-adulthood and satisfy their perverted instincts.

    Keep it up.

  60. David S says:

    @ andrew borg cardona , daphne
    I was indeed referring to Judge Patrick Vella (not Magistrate Tony Vella) as slime. My point is that the sentencing policies of some judges/magistrates beggars belief…and then bang one judge “confesses” that he was bribed by a drug dealer – no wonder some sentences dont make sense. Did the police bother to look into some “weird” pattern of sentencing by ex Judge Patrick Vella … which may indicate whether his admission was an isolated case or not ?
    And prior to that case Judge Patrick Vella was also considered of high integrity, so ABC you cant vouch for anyone!
    Another point .I cant understand why paedophiles are treated so softly in Malta, and that includes the Church. If for example a priest was ever found to have murdered someone surely the Curia would report him to the police and not just remove him from priesthood or even worse move him to another parish…so why treat paedophiles differently?

  61. amrio says:

    @David Schembri

    … remember there are female MUSEUM members too. So what are these then, lesbian pedos?

    I think that you should be advised that in this blog, we try and have open-minded, sometimes heated, sometimes humourous, discussions about all subjects under the sun.

    Everyone is free to speak his mind, but stupid generalisations showing a bigotry attitude are normally frowned upon………

  62. A. Thera says:

    “Why would a mentally healthy man want to spend his free time doing that, instead of running around with women or taking up some normal hobby or interest?”

    Well Daphne, for some people, taking care of children, teaching them, taking them on outings, etc, is more rewarding than trying to justify existence by writing in a newspaper.

    Otherwise your contibution this time is to be applauded.

  63. David Schembri says:

    @amrio

    Oh, are they now?

  64. marie gatt says:

    dear daph, believe or not THERE ARE actually people do wish to dedicate their time to children and yes WITHOUT getting paid and yet NO they are not perverts, sickos, pedos or whatever you wish to call them…. i know this might be very hard for you to understand but some actually have certain hobbies without financial rewards and without making them known to everyone…unlike YOU.

    Also, without justifying this man’s behaviour at ALL, would you please let someone who is more competent to judge another’s actions since here i’m sure noone is without fault. and surely daph could you not allow the law to perform its own functions and not contradict it? i’m sure that if it decided against publishing his name it was in everyone’s interest especially the students attending the school and the muzew classes and the investigations taking place. surely no one but you can rise above the law……..

    [Moderator – This was a case were the magistrate himself rose above the law to protect the identity of the convict. If he hadn’t, then you wouldn’t be reading this post.]

  65. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – A school is morally obliged to protect its charges – the children. If they were aware of his “misdemeanors”, they should have reported him to the police at the very least.

  66. Andrew S says:

    @David Schembri

    the so called ‘tal-muzew’ are nothing but bachelors or spinsters who through a funny ritual end up ‘teaching’ young boys or girls with no certification or credentials whatsoever.

    No matter how many saints could have founded the Muzew, I would not send my children to a place where men decide that they are well suited to run their own little nursery.

  67. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @David Schembri – of course they’re not all like that, but I do believe that the combination of sex (bad) with religion (good) in the minds of children who shouldn’t have to think about these things is a form of perversion in itself.

  68. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @David S – to answer your question about the way paedophiles are treated lightly here: so are men who perpetrate violence on women. The long and short of it is that Maltese society values the dignity of women and children far less than it does the dignity of men, and men’s rights over women and children. You can change the law, but changing the culture takes a whole lot longer.

  69. Carl says:

    Jiddispjacini dwar l-argument ta’ Daphne fejn tistaqsi ghalfejn imur jahli l-hin jaghllem flok imur jiggerra ma xi tfajla. Jien ghandi t-tfal jattendu l-MUSEUM u nirringrazzjahom lil-membri tal-Museum. Ghax zbalja wiehed ma jfissirx li l-membri kollha huma hekk. Allura nistu ma navdawhomx lanqas l-iskola jew il-private lessons jew dancing lessons jew football training u mitt haga ohra.

    Jekk dawn ghandhom difett ahna x’ghandna. It-travu kbir li ghandna f’ghajnejn naghmlu ta’ bir-ruhna m’ahniex narawh. Irridu niggudaw lil kulhadd u ma rridux min jiggudikana. Il-qorti qrat is-sentenza u ha l-kastig, issa inhallu f’idejn Alla jekk nemmnu f’Alla.

  70. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Marie Gatt – no, it is not normal for men to actively seek the company of children. Most men I know actively seek to avoid them, unless they are their own or directly related to them, and even then five minutes are usually enough. The normal men who spend their time with children usually do so not for the sheer delight of it, but to achieve a wider end: training the next generation of footballers or sailors, say, or passing on a love of mathematics (tough job). Any wild guesses as to why there isn’t a strong demand for male nannies, and why there aren’t any men queuing up to do the job? If you put out an ad for a babysitter and a middle-aged man applied, wouldn’t your alarm bells go off? Mine certainly would.

  71. Anastasia says:

    Daphne can you explain why, in your opinion, we shouldnt trust a man with a goatee? Is it an appearance flaw which marks some obsure mental illness?? I would also like to say that you are generalising too much! The MUSEUM Society are dedicated and do a great job, not only with children but even with adults. getting to know them makes you a better person! I think more people should do so! Men and women who work on a voluntary basis are not sick, they just answer there call to vocation. It seems you are answering your own call to journalism (and also getting paid) but you are doing something you like then why shouldnt people help children and adults without getting paid? What about mentioning all the pedophiles, such as that grandfather who abused his 8yr old niece. I am not saying that Pedophiles are justified since they are mentally disturbed (ansi!!) but its only fair that ALL the pedophiles have the same treatment as this case. My point, to conclude, is not to generalise and depict the MUSEUM Society or NGO’s or any another voluntary service as being monstrous societies.

    [Moderator – Maybe next time we should put a flashing banner: Warning! Joke about goatees with a subtle reference to Joseph Muscat ahead! WOOPS! It’s no longer subtle – but here’s the joke anyway!]

  72. David Buttigieg says:

    If a middle aged man (or any age for that matter) applied as a nanny I would probably call the police straight away.

    However I do love my children’s company thank you very much, but as you said that is because they are mine.

  73. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Anastasia – paedophiles are not mentally disturbed or mentally ill. They are men who are sexually attracted to children. It’s a form of sexuality. The only reason we can’t accept it, ever, is because it involves others who are not sexual, children, and who cannot consent. In the 1950s they thought homosexuals were mentally ill, too, and that they could be ‘cured’ and made to fancy women instead.

  74. K Mercieca says:

    Daphne,
    Paedophilia is in fact classified as a mental disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-IV), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. This publication is considered to be the definitive handbook in the understanding of psychological disorders.

    [Moderator – But the movement in psychotherapy seems to be against the treatment of paedophilia as a mental disorder. To this date, no psychotherapeutic treatment for paedophiles has been developed. I think it is only classified as a mental disorder because the social pressures that work against practising paedophiles drive them into madness. Here you go: Sexual offenders can not be cured – The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.]

  75. Amanda Mallia says:

    Marie Gatt – You said to DCG “without financial rewards and without making them known to everyone…unlike YOU.”

    As a public person, my sister Daphne is open to scrutiny, however that does not leave you free to state as a fact something which most certainly isn’t. Take it from one who knows.

    Just as many people see Daphne as “bad”, there are several others who do not even know her but who have been at the (good) receiving end, thanks to her alone. It is not in our family’s nature to publicise any good that we may do; any such things are done purely because we want to. (To put it in bible-basher speak, maybe it will make things clearer for you “Let the right hand not know what the left hand is doing”.)

  76. Edward Camilleri says:

    So here we go again…

    another pretext to attack the church and all those involved in it. Certainly i totally disapprove what happened and i completely condemn such actions. But why on earth every time, its a good excuse to launch an offensive on all sides against the church (and btw even if Daphne doesnt want to hear it yes she’s also part of the church)…we are all part of the church, at least those who have been baptised. Please Mrs Caruana Galizia, i ask you to refrain from launching all these non-sense attacks against those who are actively involved in the church.

    Yes, i agree that all crimes, especially these, have to be adequately treated and given the according punishment but please stop being sooooo judgemental.

    Thank you

  77. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Edward Camilleri – you can call what I write a lot of things, but you can’t call it nonsense. On a separate thread, there’s a discussion going on about the way men dismiss women’s opinions. Maybe you should read through it.

    No, I am not part of The Church (which church would that be, by the way?). I was not an active participant in my baptism at two days old, and certainly not a consenting one. The minute I was old enough to remove myself, I did so immediately.

  78. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @And another thing: yes, I consider it a perversion to drill the brains of young children full of religion and sex, until the two are confused and intertwined, with the resulting mess in the sexuality of Maltese adults, most particularly men. Perhaps you need to speak to a few women about just how many men here are still psyched up to think of sex as Bad and something that only Bad Girls do, and so can’t perform without the aid of pornography, most particularly in marriage because the wife is Good and sex in marriage is Good. I think you’d be surprised to find how many of the current spate of marriage breakdowns are related to sexual rather than financial problems.

  79. John Schembri says:

    Why are many contributors here, assuming that the school did not talk to the police , and that only two ex-students were ready to take to the witness stand against the pedo.As far as I know the prosecution always tries to present its case backed with sound evidence , and beyond any doubt.Could it be that some hard evidence was erased from computers?
    I encourage any other victims to report their case to the police, even if there was no physical contact, I believe it helps in the healing process of the victims
    If a person is found guilty and handed a suspended jail sentence, would it be shown on the police conduct certificate? If the answer is “yes” , then, all a good school has to do before employing ANYBODY , is to ask for a recent conduct certificate.

    @ Amrio : I think David Schembri’s comment was sarcasm directed to Daphne’s generalisation.

    @Daphne : I, for one don’t trust men with goatees and impeccably manicured, I prefer dealing with people who look like Albert Einstein or Roberto Benigni , I feel ill at ease in front of soft spoken people who spend half an hour or more every day grooming .Somehow I feel I can trust Ignazio La Russa , he has a goatee.

    For the sake of being precise , a paedophile means “one who likes children”

    My grand-grand father used to like holding children in his arms, in the beginning of the twentieth century Luqa ,like all other villages in Malta, everyone was given a nickname .My ancestor was no exception , he was nicknamed : “Sant Antnin” , because it was not common to see a man , with a mustache of coarse , holding two kids in his arms. I suppose he was a paedophile , well meaning of coarse.

  80. Anastasia says:

    Well…to start with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-IV) states which disorders should be classified. It does not mean that if a disorder is not treated it can be classified as a “social pressures that work against practising paedophiles drive them into madness.” Daphne you told Mr Edward Camilleri that he should better visit the thread on how men dismiss women’s opinions well i think that you have a full load against men and especially (it seems) men within the church or church society. Marriages are being broken down due to the lack of GOOD VALUES, of having the meaning of ‘family’ all mixed up. You also commented that the MUSEUM SOCIETY are not healty men as they should run around women. WHo are you to classify who is healthy and not healthy? What about the lay people who leave their homeland,work,family and friends to go and do some missionary work? What about those people who do harsh activities (VOLUNTARY) to raise money so others may benefit…are those all unhealthy and hide some sort of devious mastermind???? Daphne and all, please dont get me wrong…I am really hurt with what happened to those boys and even more to all the children victims of paedophiles and believe that justice should be done, and also that there should be a sort of protection BUT PLEASE DONT OFFEND PEOPLE WHO DO SO MUCH GOOD! If you are not part of the church I respect that but you should respect the people who are part of the church and WHO GENUINELY DO GOOD!

  81. Louis says:

    It looks like the Vella Geras have very good contacts as the judgement was also deleted from the list of judgements of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs site.

  82. JGalea says:

    Suspended sentence?! What kind of system are we running here?

    “Ok mister child-sexer, that was a bad thing you did there. Now, don’t let us catch you doing it again, or it’s the slammer for you. Now run along home and get back to your “meteorology”.”

  83. Amanda Mallia says:

    Louis – I noticed that too, and mentioned it. Yesterday one could only see “Il-Pulizija vs Mark Vella Gera”, though the file was inaccessible. Today it has been totally obliterated.

  84. David Schembri says:

    @Daphne,
    I think you might be slightly confused at what MUSEUM actually teach. They do NOT give guidance regarding sexual issues until the youngsters attending there are in their adolescent stage, which stage-if I recall well- is quite sexual.

    If therefore you look at religion as a way of life, and sexuality, well, as a part of life, there is no perversion whatsoever in trying to impart values in these youngsters minds.

    When however, such topics are exposed to children by ANY MEDIUM (not excluding other non-religious outlets including television, books, music and so on), the matter becomes morally questionable, and it is only here that I can endorse your stand on the matter.

  85. Alison says:

    Prosit ehh Daphne, ta min nikxfulhom wicchom dawn in-nies halli almenu ma nafdawx it-tfal taghna maghhom u kulhadd ikun jaf min huma,haqqhom is-swat dawn in-nies..

  86. Joe says:

    Without exception all writers on this blog condemn this person for all he did. I too agree that people like him have no place in society especially caring for children.
    But, by the same token all of the above have forgotten one important thing, namely, that he too has rights! Criminals have rights, including murderers, thieves, paedophiliacs and the whole gamut of criminals.
    The idea of not publishing the names of paedophiliacs is not to protect them but rather the children who had been abused as well as their parents. If gossip start making the rounds, as usually the case, the grief to the victims and their parents will be unmeasurable.
    The court has ruled that his name is not to be published and Daphne has in fact, committed an act which is in contempt of court. In any civilized country she would have to suffer the consequences.
    The seriousness of this particular case does not lie around the prohibition of the paedophile’s name, but rather the lightness of the sentence. Two years ‘suspended’ sentence is usually meted out to some careless driver who causes a slight injury to a person. In a case such as this two things usually happen: 1. Any sentence is SERVED – not suspended! 2. The perpetrator while serving his sentence undergoes psychiatric testing in order to determine whether he is apt to offend again upon his release. If he is found likely to re-offend, he is then declared to be a ‘dangerous offender’. When that happens his right to an early parole is revoked and he has to serve the full sentence and after serving the full term and is released, the community he settles in is informed of his whereabouts so that parents can keep an eye on their children.
    So, while wholeheartedly condemning Mr. Vella Gera’s wanten acts, it is the light sentencing which does not help in bringing closure to this unhappy event.

    [Moderator – In ‘civilised countries’ the publication of the names of convicted paedophiles is not banned. They are inserted in a publicly accessible sex offenders’ register, so that if you’ve got a family with kids and paedophile moves into the house next door, you’ll know.]

  87. patricia falzon says:

    Hi Daphne

    Prosit – we need more people like you!

  88. David Buttigieg says:

    I believe that in the US in certain states you can even download maps to the paedophile’s house. However this only applies to those who were not minors at the time of the crime.

    Also (again in the US) apparently you are put on the list if the judge believes you are likely to repeat the offence – which should be every single case but apparently is not according to some!

  89. Mark says:

    Is this official though?!

    [Moderator – Yes, it’s him.]

  90. Joseph says:

    Amanda Mallia thought she knew the pervert. Well, some months ago he was being aired on a sport/hobby programme giving advice/info re weather.

    These perverts, without any exception should be jailed and their names published. The sufferers – although one needs to give them all support – will eventually grow up so let us not use this excuse anymore…..This one just got a suspended sentence.

    Thank GOd no, but if it were my kid……………

  91. marie gatt says:

    @ amanda mallia- my point in commenting to daphne was not on commenting on all the bad things or good things she has done, by no means i am able to comment on that. My point was to put it also in bible-basher speak as you said maybe YOU can understand it better is- LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE. and as for daphne who she herself stated is not part of the church and thus bible jargon is certainly not for her- People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    my point was that since the court has not published his name…it just well shouldn’t have been. many other child abusers have had their name protected and i cannot find a reason why this person should be treated differently. Yes they’re pedos, weirdos, sickos, perverts or anything you like but yes….they actually have rights too and that for equal treatment is one of them.

  92. David says:

    Well done , we should have a petition or something going to show the government that we need to know who they are .They need, hanging and not prison or suspended sentences . I am Printing his Face and put it up in my Bar , i don’t care about this stupid idiot and have no reason to do so .

    Please note that not all man with goatees are bad , like not all Blondes are Daft and Stupid !! Ha ha just a humour .

    [Moderator – I hope we are not seriously calling for the return of capital punishment.]

  93. Joe says:

    David et al, why not go one step further?
    Why not have a lynching party and hang the bastard?
    And to Daphne – yes indeed in civilized countries when a judge deems necessary to ban the publication of an offender’s name, the Press heeds the ruling and does not publish the name. Releasing his name and picture to boot, you have gone against the court’s ruling and as such you should be be found guilty of contempt. Taking the law into your own hands smacks of arrogance in its worst forms.
    And yes, a registry is kept of Dangerous Offenders but it would not be readily accessible to every Joan, Alice or Daphne but rather to police and court officials for investigation purposes.
    Releasing the offender’s name, does not protect the victims or their families in any way.

    [Moderator – Then how are you expected to know when a convicted sex offender moves into the house next door to you?]

  94. Corinne Vella says:

    Marie Gatt: The courts are not the supreme authority on all things moral and they certainly aren’t any sort of authority on common sense. The courts can issue all the bans they wish. Those bans are not necessarily going to be obeyed and thank heavens – and the internet – for that.

    The ban on publishing Mark Vela Gera’s name was meant to protect nobody but him. It certainly doesn’t protect his victims, and it does absolutely nothing to make sure that Mark Vella Gera is never, ever again allowed to have any sort of contact with children. So he lost his teaching warrant, did he? So what. He’s still advertising his weather club for children and he’s still offering children help with their homework.

    Maybe you’re of the mindset that abuse only occurs through physical contact? Oh dear, how very naive of you.

    MARK VELLA GERA molested CHILDREN. Mark Vella Gera is a child ABUSER. Mark Vella Gera is a PAEDOPHILE. Mark Vella Gera is a risk to ALL CHILDREN EVERYWHERE. And you poke your head in here to criticise someone for doing the only thing that can be done to protect children – let everyone know who Mark Vella Gera is so that they can keep their children away from him.

    There is NO OTHER social or legal mechanism for preventing someone like MARK VELLA GERA from ever doing the same thing again.

    We agree on one thing at least. There is no reason for any paedophile to be singled out for special treatment but we clearly disagree on the other aspect of the issue. Mark Vella Gera’s name is not the only one that should be published. All paedophiles’ names should be. That is the only way people can know that someone is a risk to children.

    I can already hear you putting your foot into the stirrup of your moral high horse. When you’re back in the saddle, please gallop in the way of common sense, drop the biblical cliches and engage your brain before speaking in defence of paedophiles, rather than their victims.

  95. Joe says:

    Daphne, you are forgetting that most paedophiles are successfully rehabilitated while incarcerated. Therefore when one serves his sentence and is deemed to be rehabbed, there is no need for anyone to know his whereabouts. It is those who are on the Registry listed as ‘dangerous offenders’ that need to be identified and their whereabouts known. Besides, sentences meted out to serious offenders are usually long enough that their victims are no longer minors by the time they are released.
    Hence the ‘injustice’ of handing out meaningless suspended sentences but the way laws are, the judge has to dish out sentences within the parameters of the law. Therefore it is the law that has to be changed first before we start criticizing the judges for meting out short suspended sentences.
    Also, another thing you forget is the penalty the offender (in this case) has already suffered – that of disgracing himself, his family, the loss of his job(s)and therefore his income not to mention the distancing of his former friends from him. He is probably (and this is my guess) going through a lot of guilt, and rightly so, for all his wrongdoings. All of this should be also taken into consideration.
    Once more, I feel very little sympathy for Mr.Vella Gera but I still maintain that by revealing his name you went against the judge’s dictum and would not be the least surprised if the matter is being actively discussed within the AG’s office – as it should be.

    [Moderator – And rest assured that if the AG does prosecute, there will be a national outcry.]

  96. Corinne Vella says:

    Joe: I see that we’re never going to be short of fools who are shocked at Mark Vella Gera’s name being publicised because big daddy court said ‘no’ and – shock horror – someone actually disobeyed.

    Here’s an earlier post on this blog that you missed:
    http://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/?p=369#comment-7854

    “The law is specific in that magistrates and judges may only ban the publication of details (any details) of a court case, or discussion about it, while it is underway. Once the matter has been decided, and even if the decision has been appealed against, the magistrate or judge may ban only the name/s of the victim/s, and that to protect their privacy where there has been abuse. The name/s of the perpetrator/s may be banned only if he/she/they are minors.”

  97. Corinne Vella says:

    And now for disobeying ‘authority’, let’s take 100 lines.

    1. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    2. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    3. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    4. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    5. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    6. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    7. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    8. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    9. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    10. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    11. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    12. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    13. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    14. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    15. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    16. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    17. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    18. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    19. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    20. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    21. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    22. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    23. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    24. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    25. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    26. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    27. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    28. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    29. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    30. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    31. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    32. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    33. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    34. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    35. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    36. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    37. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    38. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    39. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    40. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    41. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    42. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    43. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    44. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    45. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    46. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    47. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    48. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    49. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    50. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    51. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    52. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    53. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    54. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    55. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    56. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    57. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    58. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    59. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    60. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    61. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    62. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    63. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    64. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    65. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    66. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    67. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    68. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    69. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    70. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    71. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    72. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    73. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    74. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    75. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    76. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    77. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    78. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    79. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    80. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    81. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    82. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    83. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    84. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    85. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    86. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    87. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    88. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    89. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    90. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    91. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    92. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    93. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    94. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    95. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    96. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    97. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    98. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    99. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.
    100. Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sexually propositioning children who were his pupils.

  98. Joe says:

    Bravo Corinne you have mastered the copy and paste technique to perfection!
    You now can tell me how by revealing Mark’s name it is going to help anyone?
    By not wanting him to live next door? Whose next door? Does this man now have to flee from place to place because no one would like him to live next door?
    There are laws and there are laws ‘of the jungle’.
    You seem to relish the latter!

    [Moderator – Joe, until a better system is developed, everyone has the right know when their neighbour happens to be a sexual predator.]

  99. Vanni says:

    Joe
    You defend the perv admirably. Wish you would defend so ably the children he had abused and the children he might still abuse in the future.

    You wrote that :
    Daphne, you are forgetting that most paedophiles are successfully rehabilitated while incarcerated.
    When in jail, these are the lowest of the low. They are hated by all, and believe you me, they don’t want to go back there in a hurry.
    Finally, it is quite normal at least abroad, for paedophiles to be named once they have been convicted. What is odd in Malta is that whilst Mark Vella Gera was protected by the court, even after he was convicted, another man, who had only been accused had his name published.

    @ Corinne
    Did you type the lines out ? If you copied and pasted, you have to them again :)

  100. Corinne Vella says:

    Joe: Since we’re in teacher-pupil mode, the correct question form is:

    “Now can you tell me how by revealing Mark’s name and is it going to help anyone?”

    Since you asked, I shall do so.

    If you know who Mark Vella Gera is, then you can keep your children physically away from him.

    Here’s the thing though: How do you know who he is when he’s online or at the other end of a text message?

    Let me answer that question for you. You can’t identify him online, though he can do so himself by publishing photos or videos or sending them to individual recipients.

    For the record, I do not relish the law of the jungle and would welcome the introduction of proper controls that prevent the abuse of children.

  101. Amanda Mallia says:

    Joseph – Thanks, but it’s not a program I’d have seen (seeing that my kids hog the TV when I’m around, and seeing that they prefer cartoons). His face is familiar elsewhere, though I’m not 100% sure of where.

  102. Joe says:

    Daphne – that is exactly my point! A better system has to be established.
    There is a difference between a rehabbed offender and a repeat offender labeled as ‘dangerous offender’ whose name should be on a register and revealed once released.
    The sentencing of such offenders should be revised, drastically upwards and not given any suspended sentences.
    Vanni – what gives you the idea that I am defending Mr. Vella Gera? Can you not read? Having said that, yes, most are rehabbed and will not offend again. You wrote, “When in jail, these are the lowest of the low.They are hated by all, and believe you me, they don’t want to go back there in a hurry”. Is that not further proof that most do not re-offend if for nothing else, it’s for not returning to jail?
    No, it is not normal that pedophiles names are released if the victims are minors and it is for the latters’ protection, not the criminal’s. The offender’s name is released of the victims are adults and if, after serving their sentence, they are still deemed to be prone to re-offend.
    Corinne – when we have a blog solely devoted to correctness of grammar and spelling, I can assure you that I will proof read and spell check, but when time is limited and I take short-cuts, the odd slip occurs – so my apologies! I can assure you that I often do much better.
    You wrote, “If you know who Mark Vella Gera is, then you can keep your children physically away from him”. Great! Now you want to keep tabs on his whereabouts and get some kind of monitoring device which tracks him down so you can alert the public? So, on top of serving whatever sentence given to him, you, a private citizen will try to impose a restriction of movement on him? Yes, children should be protected but more importantly street-proofed and educated and supervised so that they may become immediately aware of preditors like Mr. Vella Gera turned out to be. But paranoia will not protect children. How do you know whether your next door neighbour, your priest, your uncle or indeed your husband are not of the same ilk as Mark, yet still not caught? You don’t. So protecting your children means preventing them from associating themselves with the above? Prudence yes, but extremism definitely not!

    [Moderator – Pre-pubescent children can not be ‘street proofed’. And I am not Daphne.]

  103. Corinne Vella says:

    Joe: I never suggested monitoring devices. You did. What I said was that if you know who Mark Vella Gera is, then you can keep your children away from him.

    You say children should be ‘street proofed’ (whatever that means), educated and supervised so that they will be aware of predators. I agree with the second and third point and that is why I think that Mark Vella Gera should be identified. There is no system in place to keep predators away from children, so the next best thing is to keep children away from predators. A necessary first step is to know who they are. How is that possible without their being identified?

  104. Charles Zahra says:

    I was told to have a look at this blog or whatever you call it. Your comments on trusting men to spend time to teach religion and stay with young children are in poor taste. you seem to know nothing about MUZEW even though less than a year ago Malta was celebrating the Canonisation of the founder. The sterling work that these people do with children is imaginable. You can recognise the youngsters that have remained attending MUZEW from their manners and how they look at life. This is even reflected in the families that they bring up. To put the record straight i never attended MUZEW myself but my son did and still does. Your comment that to be happy, men should always be chasing women instead of doing something fantastic to the community reflects your poor mind, at least you did not say that they should be raping women. What Mark did is one of the worst crimes being against the innocent, but then ‘he who has not sinned should throw the first stone’. Also, will you start naming whoever performs abortion? isn’t this a crime against the innocent? will wait and see.

    [Moderator – STOPTAKINGEVERYTHINGLITERALLY]

  105. Paul Camilleri says:

    Dear Daphne,

    Whilst I appreciate your verve and commitment to this cause, I have to regretfully inform you of some errors and misconceptions in your last blog comments (I am unfortunately unable to read these from my desert based work location but I am nevertheless informed about your courage and steadfastness). My 14-year old son, who also attends the same school, has also been verbally abused over the internet by the same perpetrator. On hearing of this incident, the first thing my wife did was report everything to the school. She was also notified that they would forward her complaint to the police and that my son may also have to testify in court over the case. The school also confirmed that my wife’s complaint was forwarded to the police but it seems that the case was rushed to court and only two students were approached to testify. One just can’t barge into the courts at whim and fancy.

    We all feel bitter that such a lenient hand was used against the perpetrator. My son, particularly, again feels betrayed that the law courts have not lived up to their purported standards of righteousness (two years ago my son was savagely attacked by a neighbour’s dog who willingly let his beast onto a 12-year old boy, yet the law courts would not listen to my son’s testimony and that of a witness, and the coward got away with a LM20 slap on the hand).

    However that incident has taught my son not to trust so freely; the downturn being that he neither has a lot of confidence in the law, so much so after this incident. On receiving the perpetrator’s ‘invitation’ to certain handiwork sexual practices, my son used abuse and offensive language in retaliation and logged him off. This too was also reported to the school who also confirmed that the Police had also been informed. I guess we may not always be too proud of hearing our sons use blasphemous words, right Daphne, but I can assure you my son’s explosion of words had a more just cause than the pre-election mobbing at the University and your own son’s ‘effing’ caught on the web (please don’t take this politically, I didn’t feel I should vote for anyone this time around).

    It is painful being hit below the belt when your son has just been succumbed to sexual harassment, and then to top it all the law courts and some of the press seem to have rush-hushed this scandal under the carpet in a very undemocratic way (who are they really protecting?), and so I urge you to re-direct your attention to the matter in hand, and not to the parents of the other boys. You are/were doing such a good job and I, for one, feel indebted to your sense of justice. In the meantime my wife has remained constantly in touch with the school, ‘unearthing’ other websites used by or in the name of the perpetrator, which also bear the name of the school, and which unfortunately continue to add further shame to its name, in a misleading manner, due to their sexual connotation and content.

    One perhaps should not feel so surprised at these moderate judgements passed down by the merciful courts. It is after all an art in job creation, a question of supply and demand. If penalties were harsher, fewer people would be tempted to commit crimes; fewer cases would be brought to court; lawyers would have lesser work; reporters would have lesser things to write about, etc. etc. You may say it’s a vicious cycle (excuse the pun) but please don’t tell me or my wife that we have not done our duties as parents or shied away from our responsibilities.

    Paul Camilleri

  106. Jon says:

    he used to teach me at st.michaels school qormi and was the strictest sir that ever taught me….he should have been strict on himself i believe…i was at school at the time this happened…he was suspended immediatly from both school and museum…he is not a museum member anymore i can confirm that….some errors there are in the story are he used to teach english not religion and secondly not primary but secondary students….

  107. whoever i am says:

    i couldnt read all the comments,too many of them!i just read the article and first few comments
    now I was in the last class he taught before getting fired,the thing with MIRC chating he did it with soe of my friends,and even tried with me,although I always diverted the subject when he started talking about certain topics…
    from what i got to know,some of my friends didnt…
    anyway at least one of them told another responsable teacher who took care of the case,

    I’m putting in this comment cause the article is biased (sorry to admit) and it’s not fair,because at St.Michael (Qormi) I had the best time of my life,I’m very gratefull,and now that I’m in 6th form,I miss the old memories :p anyway my point is that one man’s deed souldn’t put a bad name for a good school,or on a society of dedicated man of faith.
    thats all i have to say,i ask the moderator to contact me if more coments are added
    thnkx
    about the name i agree our society sould be informed

  108. whoever i am says:

    and btw jon is right,he taught english form3 students,
    he was strict true
    but still a good teacher,most students iproved our english thanks to him

  109. Corinne Vella says:

    Charles Zahra: I have not abused children, so I’m going to throw a few stones.

    Mark Vella Gera abused children and he can and will probably continue to do so unless people know who he is. Your defensive stance about MUSEUM need not blind you to the fact that this man entered the organisation, taught its pupils and abused several of them. He was cast out into the darkness but there was not weeping and gnashing of teeth because he was able to get another job where he could again abuse his pupils, only this time he didn’t entirely get away with it.

    Mark Vella Galea got away with this behaviour several times because there is nothing in any of Malta’s systems to prevent people like him ever being in contact with children. There are too many loopholes. Naming him might help – but only partially – close one of them. It will only be a matter of time before people stop talking about this. And then it will be possible for Mark Vella Galea to put himself in a situation where children will be at his disposal.

    You see, it is not Mark Vella Gera himself that bothers people so much. It is his access to children and what he did and can do to them and, in all probability, will do again given that he’s free to roam around and use ICT to extend his reach to any child anywhere in the world who also has access to ICT.

  110. Charles Zahra says:

    excuse my ignorance dear moderator, but as i consider this subject very serious and sensitive, i did not notice what should not have been taken literally, maybe you can explain?

    One or two other questions, did you do the same when some years ago another teacher, not religion, had his name banned from publication for a similar or worse offence? maybe its the subject that induced you or maybe that he is an ex-Socu tal-MUZEW?

    [Moderator – A sense of humour acquired over a lifetime and can’t be transmitted over the Internet. On your other question: this blog was set up a couple of weeks ago, and funnily enough, we haven’t been to travel back in time to ‘some years ago’.]

  111. Corinne Vella says:

    whoever I am: One man’s deed shouldn’t give a school a bad name, but one man’s deeds did – and then the school made it worse by releasing the man and not involving the police. So that same man was able to get a job in another school and do the same thing all over again.

  112. edward gatt says:

    Dear Daphne,

    I just cannont stand your anti-labour beliefs, however, kindly keep exposing ‘people’ such as Vella Gera to the public; at least we can all be aware as to who the pedophiles are.

    Moreover, I think it is high time we parents should lobby for an index issued by the Commissioner of Police (given that this entity has a record of offences committed by all and sundry) indicating all persons who have been convicted of crimes against public morals, involving minors.

    I am just fed up of hearing excuses from politicians, high ranking members of the clergy etc and seeing few people Guilty of such henious offences behing barrs.

    Regards,

    Dr. Edward Gatt

  113. Amanda Mallia says:

    Joe – Paedophiles cannot be “rehabilitated”, as you chose to put it – Just as you can’t make a straight man gay, or a gay man straight, for that matter

  114. Amanda Mallia says:

    Corinne – You said “The law is specific in that magistrates and judges may only ban the publication of details (any details) of a court case, or discussion about it, while it is underway. Once the matter has been decided, and even if the decision has been appealed against, the magistrate or judge may ban only the name/s of the victim/s, and that to protect their privacy where there has been abuse. The name/s of the perpetrator/s may be banned only if he/she/they are minors.”

    I then take it that the magistrate himself has broken the law, right? If I have understood that correctly, then why dooesn’t someone appeal to have the ban lifted?

  115. Amanda Mallia says:

    I think that Joe meant “street-wise”, though you probably realised that too

  116. Charles Zahra says:

    Dear Moderator, I could not see any humour particularly in such a serious matter. excuse me again for being stupid. as for the blog, there were ways and means, other than the blog, how put up a crusade, which i would agree with, if it is used in the same manner with everyone.

  117. irate mother says:

    Charles Zahra – You simply cannot vouch for anyone.

    When I first saw the picture of Mark Vella Gera, my first reaction was that he was one of the helpers (a “sagristan” type with a microphone) at the Muzew activites I always reluctantly took (and accompanied, please note) my daughter to between October 2006 and June 2007 – less than one year ago. By “activites” I mean the ridiculous things she was “obliged” to attend as “preparation” for her first Holy Communion, not the regular lessons.

    Today I showed the photo of Mark Vella Gera to a woman whose son used to attend Muzew in the same village, without saying a word to her about it. Her reaction was “Tal-Muzew of X place!” Apparently, some other friends of hers confirmed with her that it’s him, too.

    I can’t vouch for the fact that it IS him, however, let’s say that I’m 99.99% sure.

    He may not be a MUSEUM member – that’s what they’re saying, after all – and apparently hasn’t been since he was sacked from St Michael’s MUSEUM school 3 years ago.

    How do you then explain how he is present at the MUSEUM activites in this village? As a volunteer? Because he “loves” children? Excuse the pun.

    It’s true that you can’t generalise, but you have to admit that paedophiles do exist, and they surround themselves with children, putting themselves in positions of trust, enough trust to weed themselves in even where they are (supposedly) banned.

  118. irate mother says:

    Paul Camilleri – Ring 112 and ask for the Vice Squad. They are still working on the case, and the more proof they have, the better.

    Don’t rely on the school doing it – Contact the police directly yourselves, at least that way you’ll know that the police have your details.

    For the sake of your son, and that of others who may be Mark Vella Gera’ future prey, do it.

  119. Amanda Mallia says:

    Jon, that’s the trouble with hushing things up, you see.

    Mark Vella Gera first taught at St Michael’s MUSEUM School in Qormi, as an English (and possibly also science) teacher.

    He committed at least one sexual offence of some sort, and was sacked or asked to resign. He was not longer a member of MUSEUM, either.

    The trouble is, your school (in Qormi) hushed it up. That left Mark Vella Gera free to get another teaching job, this time as a religion teacher at St Michael’s Foundation School in Tal-Balal. The court case is regarding pupils of the Tal-Balal school.

  120. David says:

    Wow, daphne…. you’ve got balls. This ‘paedophile register’ is a big issue worldwide right now. I think i speak for all of us when i say we are happy to live in a place small enough where one person with balls, like you, can provide the service that all of us really want, yet are too reluctant to demand it from our governments, lest we appear to be degrading the rights of known perverts in our civilised world…
    Prosit… keep the info coming, it’s what makes you an excellent journalist..
    David

  121. marie gatt says:

    @corinne vella- for one thing naive+ lacking common sense is someone who actually had to use a 100 sentences to make a point which unfortunately everyone already new with a big thanks to daphne.
    and for the 100th time (sry no pun intended) i am not in favour of pedos far from it i’m just saying that one shouldn’t take the law into his hands and thats it and that one shouldn’t judge. i can’t think why a person who just seemed to have sent an sms (still extremely wrong just saying its less with respect to other cases)should have his name published plus his photo commented upon when other worse perpetrators and there have been a lot of them, have had their name protected. just because daphne has had to have her ultimate nag at the muzew people and just because he happened to be the weatherman are still not good enough reasons for him to be treated in a different way.

    @amanda- also comparing pedos with gays is not exactly correct. one is born gay and should be allowed to remain one…i hope you wouldnt believe pedos are born in that way…..noone is born a criminal, destined to live in prison profiled in daph’s site..thus yes they can be REHABILITATED if one tries in many ways to do so and stigmatizing isn’t one of them.
    and as for my bible basher-well you should comment about that to amanda

    [Moderator – Mark Vella Galea did not ‘just send an sms': he is a convicted paedophile. And paedophilia is a sexuality. It may seem strange to you, but the human mind is incredibly complex, and allows for a full gamut of sexuality. The black and white distinctions of straight or gay are a social construction. There are people who are sexually attracted to adults, people who are sexually attracted to trees, people who are sexually attracted to supernatural forces and people who are sexually attracted to children. You can’t ‘cure’ a paedophile, just as you can’t turn a gay person straight. (Although one group of scientists managed to modify the sexual behaviour of flies on demand, by genetically modifying their nervous system to respond to flashes from a laser beam.)]

  122. i currently go to this school and i was devestated at this news but i was so happy he got what he deserves or did he no he didnt that pervert got a 2 year term bull crap in america he would have got 10 years in malta what u get dont ever do it again stupid maltese courts his name shoul;d have been published i have also recieved an email sayting that h on his hi5 facebook and myspace in total he had more than 1200 and yes i mean 1200 kids from the ages of 9 till 14 and on the news paper it said he abused 12 to 14 year old when it was afrom the young age of 8 too this is something that must be stopped this sun of a bitch is still out there and he must be stopped

    alot of personal info about him was sent on email and i got it and i was asked to sent it to all my contact list and i did so that all malta knows about him already a quater knos lets go international he has done this to my closes friends’ family and to some of my friends too

  123. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Marie Gatt – the expression ‘people in glass houses should not throw stones’ means that if you have done something in particular, you shouldn’t condemn others for doing the same thing. I am not a paedophile and have never sexually molested children. Therefore I am free to condemn Mark Vella Gera’s actions.

    The same goes for ‘let he who is without sin throw the first stone’. Oddly, I seem to know more about the New Testament than you do, for all your MUSEUM-going. A woman was being stoned for having sex with a man to whom she was not married. The stoning was carried out by men. Women were stoned for adultery. Men were not stoned for adultery. And yet women could only commit adultery with men, therefore for every adulterous woman there must have been an adulterous man. Among the men doing the stoning, there would have been adulterous men. And that’s why Christ said what he did. It was a direct reference to adultery, and not to sin in general.

  124. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Joe – I can only conclude that you are (1) a child-fancier yourself, (2) related to Mark Vella Gera, (3) Mark Vella Gera, or (4) quite unwell.

  125. Claudia says:

    I suggest that we ask Toni Sant, MaltaMedia manager, to remove his weather services, as they are being used wrongly, redirecting children to weather courses. In my opinion MaltaWeather.com should be closed. Maltamedia should find another weather service provider.

  126. David Buttigieg says:

    @David
    Can you add a surname or something – there are quite a few Davids here.

    I agree with the points you made.

  127. Vanni says:

    Joe
    When I wrote this:
    “When in jail, these are the lowest of the low. They are hated by all, and believe you me, they don’t want to go back there in a hurry”
    I thought that you could read between the lines as to why they don’t want to go there. Unfortunately it seems you didn’t. I’ll try and be clearer, but still have to keep in mind that the readershhip here can be of those of a young age. The rehabilitation that I spoke of is carried out not by experts in phsycology, but by the inmates. This where the penny (soap?) should drop. You see they are considered fair game by all.

    You asked me if I can read. After a lot of struggling I managed to read this part of your original post::
    “But, by the same token all of the above have forgotten one important thing, namely, that he too has rights! Criminals have rights, including murderers, thieves, paedophiliacs and the whole gamut of criminals.”
    When I wrote that you defend the pervert, I was refering to the fact that you seem to have missed the fact that the abused have rights as well. And their rights should be paramount. As far as I, and it seems most sane people, are concerned, the pervert’s rights should come a far second to the security of children.

  128. Charles Zahra says:

    dear daphne, since you seem to know something probably even more than me about the New Testament, was that part about the ‘tibna and travu’ referring to adultery? and no humour please when discussing such a serious subject, i find it appalling.

  129. Amanda Mallia says:

    Marie Gatt – Let me ask you a question myself:

    Let us say that Mark Vella Gera, the convicted paedophile, was not a religion teacher and was not a MUSEUM member (or an ex-member, for that matter), but was simply Joe Borg ta’ wara l-kantuniera, and Daphne “exposed” him (excuse the pun) the way he has been exposed here (though that is debatable, given the amount of emails circulating – what came first?). WOULD YOU STILL HAVE COME OUT ON THE ATTACK AGAINST DAPHNE, not to mention me?

    Now please answer that one TRUTHFULLY. No matter how much you come back trying to say that you would have taken the same stance, nobody (except people with your holier-than-thou mindset, of course) will believe you.

    Have some respect for all innocent children, for concerned parents, and maybe even more importantly, for the courageous children who gave evidence and are still willing to do so.

    You attitude is just as damaging to society as the paedophile’s actions. No wonder people like him are able to continue with their abhorrent behaviour. Shame on YOU!

  130. Christianne says:

    We all feel desires and attractions which should never be unleashed. Mark Vella Gera destroyed his life’s work by not being able to restrain his desires. What is worse he affected other people’s lives negatively by doing so.

    First and foremost, the pupils he revelled on. He may not have gone farther than an sms and an email, but that is only because he was stopped in time. Those who had the courage to come forward deserve a huge thanks also from those who would have suffered their same fate in the future. I do not condemn those who did not step forward.

    I sympathise with them fully and fear that the lenient sentence passed on Mark Vella Gera will only discourage other children in the same situation from stepping forward. Justice needs to come down hard so that other such pedophiles might be scared stiff from actually bringing their fantasies to life.

    The virtue of forgiveness should not be put to act over here since by forgiving him one is only condemning other innocents, not just those which will be corrupted by him but also by other pedophiles who would be willing to risk a couple if years suspended sentence. God knows how many of these go through life without ever being caught.

    He did not only harm those pupils. He harmed ‘Trust’ in selfless people who have a vocation to help young people grow into adulthood. Some people, including myself, chose the profession of teaching not because the pay cheque or the work conditions are rewarding (believe you me, nobody without dedication would go in for the teaching profession for either of those) but because they actually feel that they can contribute to creating a better society.

    Whilst fully agreeing with Daphne to name and shame, I am not ready to condemn all those who work with children and do volontary work. We are seeing groups of good people whose name is being marred because of the errors of a few; nuns in orphanages, priests working with children, museum workers and now even teachers who extend their work beyond the strict dictates of the curriculum. A stereotype is being generated because of the sins of a few. Unfortunately the good work the others do,does not make headlines. Like Amanda Mallia said, few are those who make a show of the good things they do. Besides, scandal travels much faster than good example.

    So please, by all means, do not defend people who act out their perversions on the innocent and unconsenting. Yet, please do not generalise and put a black mark against the name of those who actually go in for such jobs with good intentions.

  131. Anthony Galea says:

    So i will talk about the case regarding St.Michael’s School runned by Tal-Muzew.

    After blaming this wonderful school, did you as a professional journalist or what u are, asked the Curia if the case is already being investigated? From my true sources , the school had taken action immediately as it informed all the education division and the curia, and the case is being investigated, yet, no legal actions where taken, as the parents involved didn’t wish to do so, but in the mean time his warrant was stopped.

    But can you wonder if Mark Vella Gera has alot of power. I think yes as he also brought it back again to teach in another school. He also has power with magistrate, not to meantion his name , and good one Daphne to mentioned to us.

    There are few problems:

    Why St.Michaels Foundation (Ta Balal) did’t make any findings about the past activity of this man. I think he showed in his records that he taught in another school before. The foul is here , that (Ta’ Balal) school didn’t asked why he left the other school, or maybe phone the ‘Tal-Muzew’ school to clearify some information about this person, example his achievement or so.

    So why your blaming Tal-Muzew as they didn’t inform no one. I assure you they did inform all concern , but MVG has power, and will have power agian to make a libel against you Daphne and to all of us.

    So blame him not the school. Doing weather club was not a Muzew activity, but a personal activity, in which was making loads of money from it.

    Thanks and would like that this comment is showed to clearify things!!!!! Trust me !!!

  132. Vanessa Vella Tabone says:

    Well done Daphne and those who testified against him! Hip hip hurray!!!It is thanks to people like you that our society can move forward!! People who have the guts to do the right thing !!We now have a name and a face to this perv. I would really like to see such court decisions (re-pedophiles)challenged more. Looking at the blogs above I read about the so said directory of offenders. How can we go about about making it happen???
    As a teacher (not at st Michael’s)I feel that I have to always to be on the look out for my students, you never know what ideas pervs can come up with so they find themselves on their own with a student( me and my suspicious mind…). Thank God our students are not afraid to speak their minds (often loudly, to the embarassment of the person on the other end)when they feel uncomfortable in a situation. It is also a high probability why such pervs (if any…I hope…where is the directory???)are kept at arm’s length and so far, to everyone’s knowledge, no such cases were reported to anyone. I know that we teach our children to repect everyone especially those in authority but how do you go about explaining about respecting but not trusting…there is a really fine line and students too seem to find it difficult to grasp it. So it is either trusting blindly those in authority especially those in a religion order, including the Museum or else being wary of everyone everywhere. It makes you paranoid…that is why saying who the pervs are and actually making sure that they are PUNISHED for it…would improve our society and would put our minds, at least for a short while, to rest. Again well done Daphne!!

  133. Jesmond Navarro says:

    It should the the law itself that gives rights to publish the details of such people. Employers and organisation leaders (even the church) have the right to investigate before hiring people.

    It is in our interest (parents) to be assured that our children are staying in a safe place when not at home.

    Nothing personal again this particular person, but may I ask what will he do when he comes out of jail? Is he going to go back to teaching??!! Food for thought.

  134. John Schembri says:

    I cannot find yesterday’s comment which I wrote , but it answered part of Amanda Mallia’s question .
    First of all Daphne not only exposed the pedo but also made a sweeping statement regarding people in voluntary organisations who dedicate their lives teaching good values to children.
    I have my doubts regarding Daphne going against a court sentence ; exposing MVG.If he appeals his case and his appeal is upheld , what happens?
    Yesterday I wrote about the case of an employer who fired an employee who allegedly was caught stealing, the employee brought his case in front of the Industrial tribunal and was awarded a compensation payable by his employer because the employer did not involve the police to proceed according to law. Nowadays employers prefer asking an employee to resign rather than opening a case in court which will last for years.
    The way I see it is that if the school took MVG to court , it could still end up stuck with him as a teacher. If there would have been court procedures underway , the school could not name and shame the guy , because it would have been very difficult for the school to prove that SMS’s were being sent to its students.MVG would have been in a position to sue the school.
    So the same people writing against tal-Muzew would have done the same thing they are doing on this site, because the school had to wait for the court to pronounce MVG guilty. The accused is considered innocent unless proven guilty.
    I am not a legal person , perhaps some lawyer can enlighten us on what I am stating.

    [Moderator – Some comments are being lost among the hundreds of spam messages we receive each day. I’m sorry about this, and I’m trying to sort out the problem.]

  135. Corinne Vella says:

    Marie Gatt: “i can’t think why a person who just seemed to have sent an sms (still extremely wrong just saying its less with respect to other cases)should have his name published plus his photo commented upon when other worse perpetrators and there have been a lot of them, have had their name protected. ”
    You can’t think why, etc. yet you do nothing about it. If you feel so strongly about Mark Vella Gera being identified, then find out the names, photos and case histories of the lot of them and publish them. You’ll help protect lots of children that way.

    You are very naive if you believe that the only incident involving Mark Vella Gera was the one for which he was found guilty and sentenced. There have been several incidents involving the man. Perhaps you should talk to the police. Or to a few parents of children who attend the school that reported him to the police, rather than the school which expelled him from its jurisdiction leaving him free to prey on other children elsewhere.

  136. Corinne Vella says:

    Jesmond Navarro: “This person” will not be coming out of jail. His sentence was suspended.

  137. Corinne Vella says:

    Anthony Galea: The competent authority in investigations of criminal acts is the police force, and not the curia. Your devotion to the curia as the supreme authority would be touching were it not so dangerous. So the Curia is investigating the case, is it? Exactly what is it investigating – whether the accusations against the man were true or whether they should do anything about it? Informing the education division and informing the curia are useless actions if they are meant to protect children. St Michaels school in Qormi informed the curia and then see what happened – the man was sacked and free to find another job. With perverse irony, it was another St Michael’s school that actually did something about the man. They didn’t report him to the curia. They reported him to the police.

  138. very irate mother says:

    Anthony Galea – You’ve just said it yourself: St Michael’s MUSEUM School in Qormi “reported the case TO THE CURIA”.

    THE CURIA SHOULD HAVE REPORTED THE CASE TO THE POLICE.

    Shame on the Curia, shame on the Headmaster, shame on the MUSEUM and shame on people like you who leave these abhorrent people free to prey on our children. Shrouding such matters in “holy” secrecy only allows these perverts to carry on with their abhorrent actions.

    This man – at least till some time last year – was still wearing his MUSEUM badge, even if he was not a member of MUSEUM.

    As far as I know, he was also at MUSEUM activities (as a helper, and some say even as a teacher) between October 2006 and June 2007.

    Now please try to explain that. Shame on the “authorities” concerned. IT WAS A MATTER FOR THE POLICE AND NOT FOR THE CURIA.

  139. very irate mother says:

    Jesmond Navarro – It looks like you haven’t understood. Mark Vella Gera has got a 2-year sentence SUSPENDED FOR 4 YEARS.

    That means that he is currently free (not in prison). He will only go to prison if he commits another crime within the next 4 years. (Assuming that he is caught, that is.)

  140. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – One of my daughters did her first Holy Communion last June.

    Kindly explain how Mark Vella Gera (for I am almost 100% certain that it was him) was usually present at the “extra” sessions, helping the “Superjur” (whose name was never divulged.)

    He may have been banned as a MEMBER of MUSEUM, but he was almost certainly there as a helper.

  141. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – He may appeal, but he confessed that it happened … He’s still admitted his guilt. (Are you implying that although he was not charged re the St Michael School QORMI incidents he did not commit them?)

  142. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @John Schembri – surely you realise that if a school head suspects one of the teachers of abusing children or making improper suggestions to them (as in this case), then he/she is in duty bound to remove that teacher immediately, rather than waiting for the outcome of police prosecution?

  143. marie gatt says:

    @amanda- dear dear dear you managed to get it all wrong again. i am certainly not a churchy person and definitely do not consider myself as holier than anyone else. if the church should be condemned it should be condemned just as anyone else should and maybe even worse since it portrays itself to be so morally correct and all. i believe this as i believe that noone and i mean noone is above the law, no church and certainly not daphne….thus she should not have published the name. she should not have generalized either that all muzew people are like that or that any man who wihes to dedicate a part of his time to children is like that that’s my point and not to protect the church and any religion for that matter. you don’t have to be religious or with a holy mindset as you put it to have your own beliefs and principles and if i believe i should defend anyone (not the pedo act for heaven’s sake but the fact that his name is to be protected for the time being)i will defend him no matter his religion, beliefs, and muzew hobbies.
    as for your valid question, please allow me to answer it without judging beforehand. yes i would have certainly objected once again to daphne even if he was ganni borg from the kantuniera you mentioned. this because in my opinion it was wrong from daphne’s part to take the law in her hands. the court decides not to publish the name to protect first and foremost the victims, the school where he taught and the muzew(whether you like it or not) so as people attending there wouldn’t have second thoughts or feel under some sort of bad light. also to stop people from generalizing about the school, muzew society and all men who volunteer with children(as daphne did). if he acted wrongly which he did he should serve his time just like everyone else and not treated less favourably than other wrongdoers.

    [Moderator – I think you are unaware that several of the victims and their parents have been commenting here, and they seem to be quite happy that Mark Vella Gera’s name has been published. Do you still think they need protecting? You are failing to consider that publicising his name will help to prevent him obtaining access to potential victims, and that it is the magistrate who rose above the law in banning the publication of a convicted paedophile’s name.]

  144. John Schembri says:

    @ moderator :I wrote it and it was on this site after moderation at around 18.00. yesterday .I have full confidence in you, I tried to search it on other commentaries on this site regarding the same subject.
    Enjoy the weekend and don’t worry.

    [Moderator – Thank you.]

  145. Anastasia says:

    @ Amanda Mallia

    Amanda, we are not saying that MVG did a good thing! We are just trying to show you that the world has good things in it and especially good people!! Daphne is just generalising too much and she herself admitted she is prejudiced, so how can you have an open minded dialogue with someone who is willing to hurt and willing to attack others especially church and MUSUEM SOCIETY!! There were so many pedos (as you call them) how come did she pick him??? There are so many cases that we hear of! By the way… Pedophilis is not sexuality is a SEXUAL DISORDER. i repeat again if there isnt an exact treatment for pedophilia doesnt underestimate it as a social pressure. So if there is a disease (for example huntington disease) which doesnt have a successful cure then ,dear moderator, according to you does it become a social pressure?? PLease dont add some stale joke on politics, since it is a specific topic dont add political sarcasm!!

    [Moderator – I never said that paedophiles molest children as a result of social pressure. What I said was that some psychotherapists argue that many paedophiles are driven into insanity because they crumble under the intense social pressure that prevents the expression of their sexuality. When a priest cannot deal with the lack of sexual freedom involved with his vocation, he can very easily leave the priesthood. There is no similar option available to paedophiles.]

  146. antonella says:

    I admire the way the parents tackled the situation and the abuser of their children. They kept their rational part in place. I’m sure that to someone might have crossed his/her mind to get rid of the abuser once for good.

  147. Mcomb says:

    Why didn’t u report Mark Vella Gera when you saw him help the Superjur Amanda Mallia? Since you seem to know so much about everything and everyone.

    [Moderator – Because she didn’t know he was a paedophile at the time.]

  148. Corinne Vella says:

    Marie Gatt: You’re sounding more than a little pompous in your attempt to condemn someone for exposing a paedophile’s identity. You’re scandalised that the courts were defied, are you? What would you rather happens in this case – that the man is allowed to walk free to mess around with children?

    Really, since you’re so worked about defending MUSEUM, you should welcome the exposure of Mark Vella Gera as someone who disgraces the organisation and then walks free.

    And here’s the thing: it seems he still hung around MUSEUM classes after he was supposedly banned from the organisation.

  149. Amanda Mallia says:

    Anastasia – Who are “we”? Dun George’s elves, now?

  150. Corinne Vella says:

    Mcomb: I can hear you grinding your axe all the way from where I am. What is it about you and the others here who think the offence is to expose a paedophile’s identity, rather than allow him to prey on children because no one is supposed to know who he is?

  151. Amanda Mallia says:

    Marie Gatt – You are beginning to make me think that you must be Mark Vella Gera or a close relative of his.

    Please do society as a whole a favour and re-direct your do-gooding by harping on at the fact that all children have rights (one such right being protection from known paedophiles), rather than banging on that Daphne has done something wrong by “exposing” (what a choice word!) the paedophile in question.

    Be realistic. Judging by the amount of comments posted on Daphne’s blog, and most importantly by seeing their contents, law or no law, the public is relieved that the name has been “leaked”. She has done society a favour. Many of us are thankful for that.

    Few are the ones who stick their neck out like she has, despite the serous repurcussions that brings. I’m glad that she’s got the balls (metaphorically speaking, of course) that so many sorely lack.

  152. Amanda Mallia says:

    Mcomb – Don’t try to corner me. I have done what I deemed necessary.

  153. Anon says:

    From what I got to understand, this guy was thrown out of St. Michael (Tal-Muzew) and from the SDC. WHY DIDN’T ANYTHING COME OUT IN PUBLIC THEN ? Because I think the Curia hides behind its finger, to sweep everything under the carpet, by usinga special commisiion as a front. The blame lies with the society tal-Muzew for at least ensuring that this sicko never gets close to kids again, not let him teach in another school. What references did they provide ?

    Also, some people above said that the best time they spent was at tal-Muzew. Sorry, but try being a socju like I was and decide to leave, and you’ll see hell gates opening….

  154. THIS IS AN APPEAL says:

    This is an appeal to anyone (including several people who have posted comments on this blog) who knows about any of Mark Vella Gera’s immoral “activities”, past or present, however small or irrelevant they may seem, to get in touch with the Vice Squad (telephone number 112).

    Also, if you know about any other victims or places / internet sites/domains from where such activities where carried out, it is important to forward such information to the Vice Squad.

    This appeal is not being made by the police, but I know that they would welcome the information. The more information they have, the safer it is for our children.

    Thank you.

  155. nada says:

    jaq vera mignun missom qafluh go sptar ghax andu bzonn zgur

  156. Vanni says:

    @ Mod and John Schembri
    The missing post is here:
    http://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/?p=374
    Near the bottom of the page.
    BTW, just a slight moan. Blogs seem to be really difficult to keep track off. I wonder if Daphne ever considered a IPB Board? It would be easier to moderate.

    [Moderator – It’s very easy to keep track of posts and comments by subscribing to the RSS feed using the link at the bottom of this page.]

  157. Joe says:

    Daphne, since you chose to address me personally, I want to reply to your nonsense:

    1. No I am no child fancier. I have two beautiful grown up children of my own and do not need to fancy other’s. You are insulting and of perverted mind yourself to even think so.
    2. I am not related to Mark, don’t even know who he is and really don’t care.
    3. Therefore I am not Mark.
    4. I am quite well, thank you and I do not particularly want someone unqualified in these matters as you are, to diagnose me!

    You are wrong in taking the law into your hands and divulging MVG’s name. I don’t care what you say, what reasoning you gave – you were wrong. I am not siding with MVG. It could have been XYZ, if the judge banned the publication of his name, his ruling should have been heeded.

    For your information, I don’t even live in Malta and thank God I am quite knowledgeable in rulings of this nature, in far bigger countries, more liberal and more sophisticated when it comes to cases such as this.

    There are controversies and different interpretations regarding the treatment of such cases, the penalties that are imposed on offenders but I can tell you one thing – for a clear proven case such as the MVG case, a suspended sentence is never given – it is served and for considerably longer than 2 years.

    So, there, if I were Mark as you erroneously guessed, I would be arguing against myself. Obviously you must have missed two or three of my postings otherwise you would have realized that I am not defending Mark or anyone else who is a paedophile.

    Since, when you look at a mirror you obviously see the ultimate ‘expert’ at everything under the sun, you will probably find another angle to attack someone who has his or her own valid opinions, is older than you and therefore with considerable more life experiences than yourself.

    And, by the way, I have been married over forty years, very happily so and without ever been accused, let alone convicted of any perverted acts or for contempt of court.

    I will not accept any sarcastic apology from you. I know your style and I am absolutely sure that you will consider yourself of a superior intellectual mind and therefore everyone else is of little consequence. Enjoy your brilliance.

    [Moderator – For someone so much ‘more liberal and more sophisticated’ you seem very keen to defend authoritarianism. I can’t understand your reasoning: first you say that we are wrong to defy authoritarianism, and then you say that you are familiar with countries that are ‘more liberal and more sophisticated’ than ours. A ban on the publication of a convicted paedophile’s name is the antithesis of liberalism and sophistication.]

  158. marie gatt says:

    @mod- i am aware that the victim’s family are happy about him being exposed and that is normal. if i were in their place(thanks god no) i would do the same. i would expose him just as you did with photo and all…..but then again I and you are not. i am no speaking about the victims and their family but society in general and both the victims and him form part of it.

    @corinne- I AM NOT DEFENDING MUZEW certainly not neither the church, i have made my point clear earlier on. i have no reason to defend them nor him and neither any other criminals i’m just defending their rights. they’re humans whether you believe it or not and they have rights too. one of the perpetrators rights was broken here thus i’m speaking. me ne frego about the muzew he was in and if he still hung there, all i was saying that by exposing him you exposed him, his family, his victims, the school and muzew he taught in and all his potential victims. and guess what…..he’s still around so nothing was really obtain except obvious damage to the above mentioned people and entities.
    my only point in commenting to daphne was that it was not fair to expose this guy just maybe because he was a known person on the net, when there are another gazillion of pedos around who i’m sure half of them have done worse things than him. apart from sexual abuse, there are other forms of child abuse which are equally wrong and equally disturbing to children and these are sometimes done by the parents themselves…and no their names are not published. like the nuns of lourdes home, like the grandfather abusing a child earlier on this week and many(unfortunately others). i just could not understand while from all people only this guy had to be mentioned and exposed. ( ahh yes of course he was part of the (in)famous muzew people)

    @amanda- no fortunately i’m not part of his family, although they have nothing to be ashamed of as everyone is responsible for his own actions and only he is the culprit.
    yes many of the people here seem to be daphne’s groupees and obviosly agreeing with her…as for me i don’t. wake up to(supposedly) democracy.

    [Moderator – Before you start using the word groupies, look it up. There’s some irony in insinuating that the people here who agree with each other do so for the sake of obtaining sexual favours, and following that up with ‘wake up to democracy.’]

  159. Joe says:

    Moderator and Daphne – You went above the Judiciary, and the fact that nothing has been heard so far raises two possibilities i.e. either the Judiciary is weak and has no backbone or maybe they hold you in such low esteem that anything coming out of you is regarded as waste basket material.

    [Moderator – If it’s waste basket material, then why are you reading it?]

  160. Ernest Vella says:

    In St.Michael School @ Qormi there were no “sexual abuse” – it was more a use of foul language which in that school is too considered a major thing when in other schools this is passed as normal.

    Yes, report him, show his photo etc but that mudslidge others…seems its a Maltese Tradition…

    [Moderator – Foul language is one thing, asking secondary school pupils for sexual favours is another.]

  161. Anastasia says:

    @ Amanda

    How very immature!! You are so BRAINWASHED against the MUSEUM SOCIETY that you cant even decipher properly. We- was being referred to those who are posting threads on this blog and according to you attacking daphne. Did you understand now?

  162. AMANDA MALLIA says:

    Joe – I’d be careful with my choice of words if I were you. You said “No I am no child fancier. I have two beautiful grown up children of my own and DO NOT NEED to fancy other’s.” (My capitals, to emphasise the point; your spelling.) “Do not need to fancy others’?” I take it that you “fancied” your own when they were kids, then? If so, then that puts you in the same class as Mark Vella Gera, and I’d be wary of you being near any kids too!

    You said that you don’t live in Malta. You don’t even have young children, apparently. Therefore don’t feel so free to judge Daphne or anyone else here. You cannot even begin to feel or understand the anger and frustration that parents like myself feel at the way the law is protecting this man without giving an iota of consideration to our children’s right to safety and to protection from him and people like him.

    Thanks to Daphne – at the very least, because there are lots of emails circulating too – many of us have still got to know this man’s name and face. Unfortunately, though, not enough of us have.

    Until you are directly affected by something like this – and hopefully you can’t/won’t be – don’t judge.

  163. Amanda Mallia says:

    marie gatt – You said “i would expose him just as you did with photo and all…”, and yet you come out to criticize all those who have. What double standards you’ve got.

    As for your comment to Corinne, wherein you yet again insinuated that he has been named because of his MUSEUM connection, I assure you that it’s not the case. This man was a teacher, for heaven’s sake. The MUSEUM didn’t make his case known, leaving him free to prowl, and look what happened!

  164. Corinne Vella says:

    Marie Gatt: Something has been achieved in identifying Mark Vella Gera. Anyone who knows who he is and who has any sort of common sense will not allow him to be anywhere near children. You’re incensed that he has been identified because he has ‘rights’ and that there are worse cases of abuse. What utter tosh. No one is saying here that he is the only paedophile who should be identified. On the contrary, the argument is that all paedophiles should be identified – not to shame the paedophile, as you seem to think, but to protect children. If you can’t wrap your mind around that simple difference, then you have a lot of learning to do.

  165. Corinne Vella says:

    Joe: You seem to be in awe of the judiciary because it is an authority. You shun common sense, which is not. So Daphne “went above the judiciary”. My, my how shocking that someone should dare to criticise authority. No wonder paedophiles get away with things so easily.

    The shocking thing about Mark Vella Gera’s sentence is that the publication of his name was banned, an attempt to defeat the only existing mechanism that could prevent him ever being in contact with children again.

  166. Unknowing parent says:

    A BIG THANK YOU from me. my son was attending the weather club which has not been stopped from operating. Had it not been for this website my son would have continued to be at risk. I have now discovered that this guy was definitely removed from MUSEUM and st Michaels St Venera for similar offences but got away unprosecuted. His behaviour has not changed and he is still a threat to those unknowing people who send their children to the weather club which should be instantly disbanded. The court ban in a grave injustice to people like me who would never have found out before it’s too late, the risk their children are facing.

  167. John Schembri says:

    Listen , can we say that we agree on some points:
    1) paedophilia is a crime which should be recorded on the police conduct certificate.
    2) Only after presenting a “CV” without loopholes , and the above police conduct certificate , can a person be left in charge of children.
    3) People in charge of children must leave unhindered access to their sites on the web.
    4)Parents should check what their children are sending and receiving on their mobile phones and on the web. Grab every opportunity to check their MSN , emails etc , its your duty .
    5) The authorities wether they are Government , Scout Movement , tal-Muzew ,tal-Brigata , MFA nurseries ,Ghaqda tal-loghob tal-bocci(no pun intended) , horse riding school, should leave no stone unturned when dealing with sick perverts who abuse our children.
    6) Nip the problem in the bud by reporting to the police , or the guidance unit of the education department, or ask Daphne for guidance how to make mincemeat out of the pervert.
    7)Help the Church and all other entities to remove the”bad apples”from their institutions , by exposing the culprits.
    While we are busy trying to protect our ‘children” from paedophiles in our institutions, we are sending our 14 year olds to Paceville meeting other foreign halve drunk students, who are supposedly here to learn English as a Foreign Language!

    [Moderator – If you are sending your 14-year-old to Paceville, that is your problem. What do EFL students have to do with a paedophile called Mark Vella Gera?]

  168. Vanni says:

    The mind boggles at the mentality being shown by some contributors. It seems that whilst we all agree (publicly at least) that these things should be condemned, and hopefully the perv has no more access to kids, nobody from the camp condemming the decision to go public has come up with a sure way of protecting other children. However these people condemm DCG for making the perv’s name known, which is the only way, seeing that the courts or laws of the land, did nothing to protect kids.
    The nature of the posts however are the real eye opener. Most writers seem more intent in protecting the school in question, and the church, under which’s jurisdiction it falls.
    We had hogwash written about throwing the first stone, etc etc. Putting it as politly as possible, who gives a s…t? Quoting religion is not relevant here. The perv broke the law, he abused his position, and corrupted minors. He was prosecuted and rightly under a CIVIL and not a RELIGIOUS court. That the teacher was a Religion teacher, taught at a church school, and was a MUSEUM member is not relevant, inasmuch that he was found guilty of breaking the law of the land, and not of the church. Nobody is blaming the Museum or the school for having such a perv within their ranks. Bad apples happen. What is being condemned is the fact that the school saw fit to hush the matter up, to protect its name, and indirectly the Museum, and the church. The people who are condemning Daphne should get their priorities right, and decide what is more important, anbd choose between the name of the church, the name of the school, the perv or the innocence and protection of children?

  169. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Anastasia – I am not irrationally prejudiced against the Muzew but have formed a rational opinion against it. It is my well-considered opinion that it is harmful to children to put them into that kind of stultifying environment. It is also my considered opinion that children should be taught how to question things and not that it is wrong and dangerous to do so. Try as I might, I couldn’t see one iota of benefit to be derived from Muzew doctrine classes, and on the contrary, lots of potential for harm. I am very grateful to my parents for never having sent me to Muzew (it was considered a ‘tar-rahal’ thing where I came from, and with good reason), and I never sent my sons either. They would have absolutely hated it.

  170. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    One reason why children should never be sent to Muzew is right here in this comment section: they grow up to believe that you should never question authority.

  171. drei says:

    I agree with daphne as about what men should be doing, whats normal and whats not. Religion and their religious surroundings, mostly family and passed on taboos led many men to suppress their normal sexuality which later in their life came out as a sexual deviation. Sexuality is an instinct which cannot be suppresed, if it is it will come out in ways like vella gera’s.

  172. marie gatt says:

    @mod- as for the word groupie….i should here insert the flashing banner you yourself posted up a few comments ago….do not take everything in its literal sense for obvious reasons..duhh…i never meant to say that the majority of these posters would obtain sexual favours from daphne!!!!

    @amanda- no those are not double standards as you call them it’s just that when the act touches you personally (no pun intended) or your family it is normal for you to get angry feelings. if this guy touched my children(dont have any) i would not post his name on the net…i would make billboards with his photo…if someone god forbidden injures someone from my family my first reaction would be to kill him….however this does not mean that we have to legalize capital punishment to justify the victim’s less than rational reaction(however understandable it is) the way society acts and deals with criminals should be and thankfully is different than the way the people on the receiving end deal with them. if the victim’s family(and i’m not speaking only about this case but in general) decides never to forgive the culprit which is justified and understandable this does not mean that society in general cannot give them a second chance.

    @corinne- the only persons who have a lot of learning to do are those who believe that only children have rights and as soon as these same children turn 18, they are left to fend for themselves.
    i know that noone is saying that the other pedo’s names should be protected but in reality only mark’s name and of course photo, place of work. hobbies, clubs he frequented and a whole profile of him was issued. for children to be protected from pedos..the only way of doing it is for them to be locked up for a couple of years and treated for their orientation.. and not left outside and stopped from continuiing their whole lives. and most of all they should be treated in the same way….in the way the court decides.

    [Moderator – Who is calling for capital punishment? And what are you arguing, exactly? You agree that the names of convicted paedophiles should be published, but you seem to have taken offence at this blog for doing so.]

  173. Joe says:

    Amanda, so, according to you, all married men who had legitimate children with their spouses, should not be trusted with children not of their own? Hogwash. I suppose you do not trust your husband, either?
    Not having young children now is a lame argument since my children were young once and predators were very much around us even then. It may not have been the Internet then, but kidnappings were common and children almost never survived the ordeal. So stop your patronizing attitude, please!

    Corinne – I am not in awe of the Judiciary but what you imply is having any authority in place is great as long as any ruling coming from it meets with your approval! So, why not protest every time taxes go up? Why agree for banning Spring hunting when so many hunters are against the ban? Do hunters have less privileges than you? Yet, if the European courts issue the ban, they have to comply. If a Maltese judge rules a ban on publishing a name, it should also be obeyed. Without authority, chaos will reign and certainly we don’t need that.

    Moderator: Yes, I still read waste basket material – helps me distinguish between rational arguments and ones which are prejudiced and biased. It also helps understand how some minds work (or not).

    For all the other mothers and fathers who applauded Daphne for exposing Mark’s name, I pose a simple question: How much safer do you really feel now? So you know who the man is, you may even carry a photo of him wherever you go in the company of your children; how are you going to find out which area to avoid because MVG is going to be there? In Malta, MVG may be just 20 minutes away from wherever you and your children may be. How are you going to avoid him simply by knowing who he is?

    For the umpteenth time – I have a great reservation for the type and length of sentence handed by the courts. It should be much harsher but, by what I read, this sentence may not be the end of the story since investigation about other abuses by MVG is still ongoing. Let us all hope that more appropriate sentences are still to come in MVG’s way.

  174. Anastasia says:

    Then from your comment,I guess you are rationally prejudiced. Muzew dont teach children not to question, they teach children religion and good values. I really cannot see your point: (and here i am quotating) “I couldn’t see one iota of benefit to be derived from Muzew doctrine classes, and on the contrary, lots of potential for harm.” It does show that you never went to muzew…

    [Moderator – Religion is all about binding people to dogma – hence ‘religare’, ‘to bind’ – and it follows that religious doctrine involves indoctrination, which is to teach someone to accept doctrines uncritically. Anyway, at the very essence of faith is the idea that it should not be questioned, so it follows that if you question your religion, you are unfaithful or irreligious. So, yes, MUSEUM does teach children not to question authority.]

  175. Anastasia says:

    I am quite impressed how you seem to know a lot about Muzew and you and your children NEVER attended… so if I may ask from where did you come facing such prejudice?

  176. Anastasia says:

    Excuse me, I made a mistake. How do you CLAIM to know so well Muzew when you never attended?

  177. elaine says:

    I am an ex collegue of MVG and I was shocked to know it was him! Stupid me I thought he was a fantastic person and an incredible teacher. This story shocked me mostly because it made me realise how close danger is without even knowing. It is not that i didn’t know it before but it makes you realise it even more, a wake up call, a reality shock! There is no excuse for such a crime and I think that there should be harsher punishments as it definitely does not fit the crime. It is unfair to see a person sentenced to 3 years in prison or something of the sort for stealing something, maybe to get money to feed his family, or for drugs or for whatever it may be and then a person committing sexual crimes on children out and about with our own children.
    A register is definitely necessary! Where the authorities are concerned I cannot understand what there is to discuss as to me it seems the most natural and normal thing that should be done.
    The only thing I don’t agree with is the generalising too much where muzew and religious people are concerned. The majority of these people are doing a great job. Bad people are found everywhere, and as we witnessed many times through news and court cases, even within our own home. So if a grandfather was accused of touching his niece or nephew or whatever does that mean that all grandfathers are bad? Isn’t it the same in this case? If one man within this community is bad, does it mean they all are?
    I am very active within my parish and I see many many people everyday, sacrificing their time and money and energy in helping others, teaching the word of God, and converting people to a better life.

    Apart from this well done daphne

    [Moderator – Grandfatherhood (if there is such a thing) is different because it is not an institution that is particularly attractive to paedophiles, and there is no overseer of grandfathers who can expel one of his subjects from Grandfathers, Inc.]

  178. Amanda Mallia says:

    marie gatt – Are you a groupie of Mark Vella Gera? Just asking …

  179. Amanda Mallia says:

    Anastasia – First of all, stop taking offence.

    Secondly, no, I’m not brainwashed against the MUSEUM. (Incidentally, brainwashed by whom, may I ask?) The fact that I hold an opinion which apparently differs so much from your own does not make me so.

    I could ask you a similar question. Who brainwashed you in their favour? But you see, Anastasia, I am not implying that they are all bad. As with every institution, organisation or whatever, there’ll always be somebody who’s just a bad sort. That does not mean in any way that the whole organisation is bad. The fact that, given the choice, I would not (and do not) send my children to MUSEUM is another matter entirely.

    Incidentally, as you may have already seen on this commentary, one of my daughters DID attend. Out of sheer coincidence, 99.99%, Mark Vella Gera himself was one of the organizers at almost all the “extra” sessions I accompanied my daughter to. This was less than a year ago. Now please try explaining his presence, and try to understand my feelings.

  180. John Schembri says:

    @ moderator you stated :”What do EFL students have to do with a paedophile called Mark Vella Gera?”
    I thought the subject was how to protect OUR children from dangerous situations , not a personal attack on MVG. I consider that other people’s children are also my responsibility , aren’t we stating here that we have the right to know the names of peadophiles to protect ALL our children from abuse.And aren’t EFL students also our children, shouldn’t we alert their parent’s ?
    I don’t send my 14 year old to Paceville , and I don’t send him to Muzew , he happily goes to Muzew whenever he likes .
    I sent my kids to the Scouts and they were bossed around by one person , but it doesn’t mean that scouting is not good.
    @Daphne :”One reason why children should never be sent to Muzew is right here in this comment section: they grow up to believe that you should never question authority.”
    The real reason for this commentary lies in your statement above.
    Can anyone tell me what one should do if one sends his kid to ‘one to one’ music lessons and the kid feels ill at ease with his teacher. As far as I am concerned I stop sending him to ‘learn’. Should I report to the police?

  181. Amanda Mallia says:

    Joe – No, no, no – You’ve got it all wrong. I never inferred anything remotely of the sort. I was simply pointing out (sarcastically, in case you hadn’t noticed) that your choice of words inferred that you “didn’t need to fancy others'” (children), merely because you had your own (to “fancy”).

    Here’s what you had said. Try re-reading it, and see what I meant:

    You said “No I am no child fancier. I have two beautiful grown up children of my own and DO NOT NEED to fancy other’s.” (My capitals, to emphasise the point; your spelling.)

    If you can’t see the point, then maybe your English needs to be brushed up very slightly.

    As for your question “For all the other mothers and fathers who applauded Daphne for exposing Mark’s name, I pose a simple question: How much safer do you really feel now?”, I have answered that myself on the blog several times, the latest one being to Marie Gatt, above. That’s enough to answer your question. (PLEASE NOTE that although this was less than a year ago, Mark Vella Gera was supposedly banned from MUSEUM 3 years ago – and yet, 99.99%, he was the one helping the “superjur” (name unknown)at the various functions AFTER HAVING BEEN BANNED.) Yes, Joe, and how I feel safer knowing his identity. Pity that not enough know it.

  182. Amanda Mallia says:

    Joe – How come you’re on first name terms with “Mark” (Vella Gera)? Just asking …

  183. Drei says:

    He used to chat with me on the internet,I was one of his students, I knew what he was up because his conversation was all sexually focused and although I was already mature at that age I was still impressed at his words, especcially knowing they were coming from my strict english teacher who seemed the most serious teacher in my school previously.I kept what he told me for myself at that time since I wasnt sure what to do, I neglected his pervet questions realizing this man had a problem.His formal character at school wasnt suspicious but wasn’t really similar to any other teacher’s.he was somewhat a stranger and his jokes werent really distinguished from his normal speech.Eventually I hoped he would stop those kind of conversations but he didnt, Always escaping all his questions I tried to see what he really was because following one of these internet conversations, at school he kept the same distance from me and other affected students.Few days later he gets fired and I know because of what, many students didnt.

  184. John Schembri says:

    @ Amanda Mallia : I cannot understand how he was banned/kicked out by tal-Muzew (I am 100 % sure he was kicked out 3 years ago) and then you are pretty sure he was helping Is-Superjur.
    I know that tal-Muzew would not pass judgement on others , so they would not have spread the word about their suspicions about an ex-member , but if someone is sent out he remains out and everone in the Muzew informed. The superjur should not have left MVG ‘helping ‘ him.
    @ moderator : you seem to behave more like an oracle then a moderator , you are always defending Dahne’s side. If I were you I would put my comments like Daphne does. Sort of, you shouldn’t seem to be taking sides. Maybe I am wrong, but people expect you to be an unbiased moderator.

    [Moderator – A rational argument is not a bias.]

  185. John Schembri says:

    Drei , weren’t the other teachers approachable? How long this harassment last?How did it affect your life?DId he have any ‘pet students’? Did you keep the emails. If yes forward them to the police.

  186. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – I said I am 99.99% certain it was him. Others say that it’s him 100%. What more can I say?

    Another woman I know who knew him only at “Malta Weather” (not at MUSEUM) is 100% certain that at least till last year he went around wearing his MUSEUM badge. Try explaining that.

  187. John Schembri says:

    @ oracle: at Museum children are thought christian values and are thought to question everything among many other activities , you made biased assumptions ,sweeping statements, and non-sequiturs here : [Moderator – Religion is all about binding people to dogma – hence ‘religare’, ‘to bind’ – and it follows that religious doctrine involves indoctrination, which is to teach someone to accept doctrines uncritically. Anyway, at the very essence of faith is the idea that it should not be questioned, so it follows that if you question your religion, you are unfaithful or irreligious. So, yes, MUSEUM does teach children not to question authority.]
    Your statements seem to be more like the final official word of a big brother.
    You see, I was educated by tal-muzew and the Salesians and was thought to question everyone and everything even a moderator.

    [Moderator – Doctrine involves indoctrination. Religious doctrine involves religious indoctrination. It’s really very simple.]

  188. John Schembri says:

    They say that even Silvio Parnis used to be seen wearing the badge when he visited old people even though he was no longer a member . I think I read it in il-Mument .
    I am not tal-Muzew but no one can stop me from wearing the badge , closing the upper button of a white shirt and wearing no tie.

  189. MESSAGE FOR DREI says:

    DREI – Your information would be very valuable to the police, however old it may be.

    Either go there in person (to the HQ, I would think). At the very least, ring 112 and ask for the Vice Squad. All information – however trivial it may seem to you – is necessary for them at this stage.

    They need as much evidence as they can. Mark Vella Gera is still being investigated.

  190. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – You’re right – No one can stop you from dressing like a MUSEUM member (whatever type of attire that may be) nor from wearing a MUSEUM badge. They do have the duty, however, to stop him from attending such functions, and from being an active part of the organisation of the same. As I said, I am not 100% certain it was him, but my suspicions have been confirmed by others, before I ever told them what I think.

  191. Student says:

    I knew the man was odd the moment he walked into our classroom.There was something about him that bothered me.Just because someone holds a bible,says their prayers and teaches religion, they do not automatically gain my trust or respect.I think it was 100% right (& morally correct) to show his name;he doesn’t need(or, in my opinion, deserve) the protection!He wasn’t the one abused, was he?

    One thing that I find extremely unfair is that when a non-Maltese man was found guilty of defiling a Maltese woman, his FULL name AND nationality (!) were included in the paper, but with a child-molesting teacher who organises trips to Sicily for 11-15 year olds and is the director of a “Weather Club” , no, his name is banned for his protection.

    Farsa!

    Once again well done Daphne for unveiling this predator.

  192. Albert Farrugia says:

    @Moderator
    Are you by any chance the reincarnation of Karl-religion-is-the-opium-of-the people-Marx? Whoever you are just declare yourself loudly and clearly that you are anti-religion and that if it were for you religious education (and hence religion itself) would be discontinued. Just declare your ideas clearly. Say which side you are on. That way we will also get to know a little better what’s hiding backstage at the Nationalist Party. For five whole days you have used one man’s actions to try to tarnish a whole institution. And people of your ilk were a few weeks ago shedding crocodile tears because of mud slinging.

    [Moderator – I do not work for the Nationalist Party, nor do I offer it free consultation. I am not a Marxist, and I am not the type of person to ban ideas that I disagree with. That is for the church to do. And if you knew anything about Marx, you’d know that when he made the statement that you are referring to, he was criticising the capitalist system and not the church. Opium was used as a painkiller at the time, and the concept of it as a recreational drug was largely unknown. Marx’s idea was that religion numbs the pain of the working class.]

  193. Amanda Mallia says:

    Albert Farrugia – Don’t turn this thread into a political one. Doing so will only serve to trivialise the severity of Mark Vella Gera’s actions.

  194. Meerkat :) says:

    Albert Farrugia thinks that whoever does not agree with him on ANYTHING is a Nazzjonalist. Even Marx apparently.

  195. marie gatt says:

    @mod- stop taking things in their literate sense and stop turning them around in your favour please if you want a mature discussion here. i did not imply that anyone here was calling for capital punishment and it was quite evident that i didn’t. i was just giving an example of how there are different and opposing perspectives regarding criminals from society and victims respectively. My point was that to obtain something more concrete and protect children without trepassing on the rights of MVG and other perpetrators is for these people to serve a couple of years inside and given suitable treatment. their name should be published by the court and not by daphne. and all their names published without photo of course…not just that of mvg. my reason of writing here was that i found it extremely unfair of daphne to publish something against the court’s ruling plus a photo…and every minor detail of mvg’s whereabouts whilst other pedos go scott free. it wasn’t fair of her to point her finger against one man in such a way…without us knowing what the real agenda behind it was. and i also found the comments some people placed against him to be very harsh, as if they are some holier than holy saints. also daphne’s points regarding muzew people and ALL MEN who spend some time with children extremely ridiculous…as after all, all generalizations are.

    @amanda- i’m certainly no groupie of MVG, and if i were bad luck to me…it seems he prefers children.

  196. John Schembri says:

    @ Oracle : and moderator is supposed to moderate, no? You mixed religion with authority in your so called moderation? Join the fray like Daphne does, stop preaching from your high chair. You want to push your ideas like everyone else in here.Use two hats :one as a moderator and the other as a poor plebeian like I am.
    @ Amanda you can be right , it could be that is-superjur was not informed. Or just did not have the guts to show him the door. I don’t know if you realise but what you stated in your comment does not hold in court as valid evidence.
    @ Drei & Student if you know anything more go and report it to the police , you will only be helping other children and holding high the good name of both schools .

  197. John Schembri says:

    I only met the person on parents’ days , he used to emphasise on discipline – he was educated at St Aloysius and could have experienced the old Jesuit discipline system.
    With us, he was very brief and businesslike. I never doubted his teaching abilities , but doubted how he coped with all his daily work and activities ; ie:teaching and HW correction , Maltaweather , cyber-squatting ( I knew about the CLAMUS case from the papers) and attending for Museum activities.His body language at parents day showed that he felt nervous with us (ticking continuously on the desk with his pen and moving his knees while talking to us).

  198. Albert Farrugia says:

    Well the thing is this “discussion” is now being taken out of all proportion. We have had calls for capital punishment, even for castration. Do we want vigilantes running around now? Is this what we have become? Our country is based on the rule of law. We are in the EU because we have convinced them that we do things here according to laws. Laws are not perfect. Human society can never be perfect. But if we claim to have registered any progress since the witchhunts of the middle ages, we have to accept that we deal with criminals according to the law. It is no argument saying that if we think the law is wrong, we just take it into our hands. That argument is so dangerous, I cant believe its being actually propagated here. This is approaching the limit in what is allowed to be said in a constitutional democracy. That would mean that whoever is not satisfied by a court ruling would be morally justified to meeting out his sense of justice as he demms fit. Surely no-one in Malta wants to go down that road?
    And so many contradictions are being put forward. Its being said that somelike like MVG cannot help doing the actions that he did. That these people are acting on impulses impossible to resist. It is true that there is a lot of proof supporting this, but then, how can one be held criminally responsible if one cannot help his actions? Such a person would need help rather than prison. Locked up in an institution, maybe.
    Since this is an emotional subject, it is so easy to whip up people’s emotions, and that is a very dangerous thing to do. For no-one can ever know what such emotions will lead to. It is very similar to those who are whipping up hate against immigrants. May I remind everyone that these people use the negative acts which some immigrants do (like for example breaking up a toilet seat) to “prove” their point that these immigrants are some sort of subhumans. I find it irresponsible, to say the least, that people of high intellligence, well versed in how the media works, are allowing such whipping up of emotions to continue on and on, without thinking of the consequences.
    Certain politicians of the past have been accused of being behind certain violent political acts not because they actually sent anyone to hurt anyone else, but because with their words they stirred up sentiments which led others to behave criminally. I think I made my point.

  199. Mark's Student says:

    I think you all seriously need to chill out and know all the facts before eventually throw the stone.

    First off, I was a student of his, and he treated me very harshly. Back then he used to teach me english, (not religion, so please stop looking ridiculous by trying to blame in on the subject, it doesn’t show much maturity off you) and I have to say that to this day I think he was the best teacher we had in that school.

    I am not trying to justify whatever he did, but none of you stopped and listened what the school had to say, or what the case really was. There is more to it then what meets the eye.

    I think I can safely say that I knew some of the teachers at an “intimate” level, or a better explanation, we were very good friends in and out of school, and when it comes to seeing the whole version, all I have to say is that one should not be crucified for giving in to a bunch of boys with a very bad record in school with the title of being the “brats” of their year, whom chatted with him on msn on a regular basis and tried to get him back for being strict by tempting him into playing around, something which later was pointed at as abuse.

    For all the students who posted here, you all know he was strict, and we all know that students don’t like strict teachers, so don’t give us the “we knew he was bad the day he walked into class.”

    And you can expect a law suit for mentioning his name. I believe you couldn’t be any more immature with the situation. Like a bunch of children exaggerating over a matter you have no clue about.

    [Moderator – It’s the inevitable ‘the brats provoked him’ argument.]

  200. Michael Portelli says:

    I was one of his students at St Michael’s school and later at his meteorological office. He deserves what he got if he really is a pedofile. However I feel I have the duty to confirm that he really was strict in the class and he really was a good english teacher.

  201. James De Giorgio says:

    Have you read about Dom Mintoff’s bid to support George Abela? I’m dying to see what daphne has to say about it!!!

  202. Biker Bob says:

    Okay Mark’s Student

    By your same logic, girls in skimpy clothing in a club are fair game then. I can always hide behind the “she provoked me” mantra after committing something against their will.

    And how about hunters assaulting birdwatchers’ property? They were ‘provoked’ too.

    As for accusing Daphne of immaturity, where is the exaggeration? When one day you will have a child who is harmed by the very person entrusted to care for him/her you will realise there is no exaggeration.

  203. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @John Schembri – come on, you know that the ‘everything’ that children in Roman Catholic schools in Malta are taught to question is ‘everything that is not connected to Catholicism’ and ‘everything that Catholicism opposes’. Children in Roman Catholic schools are taught to question all other religions but not their own. They are taught to questions all forms of morality but their own, all ways of life but their own, all ways of being but their own, all ways of looking at things but The One True Way.

  204. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Mark’s student – teachers should never be ‘friends’ with their pupils, and if any teacher makes an attempt at ‘friendliness’ outside school hours, he or she has crossed the line and should be treated with suspicion. Grown-ups do not make ‘friends’ with children.

    Mark Vella Gera taught religion, yes, at another school. He was dismissed from two schools, not one.

    You suggest that the boys ‘led him on’ to pay him back for being strict. They would have been able to do this only if they knew of his sexual inclinations, and then again, only if they knew that he was prone to making sexual remarks to boys over the Internet. Whatever their intentions, the outcome was the right one, and he was exposed.

    I find it most odd that you are defending him, and that you seem to have information that we can expect a law suit.

  205. David Buttigieg says:

    @Daphne

    Whilst I do not agree with all your views on religion,I agree that any adult that allows himself to be ‘led on’ by children is equally guilty, even more so as he was in a position of trust as a teacher.

    @John,
    There is never EVER any excuse for actions such as Mark Vella Gera on children, even if, for argument’s sake, they led him on left right and centre. Is he an adult or not?

  206. Logico estas mio servisto says:

    About the fact that Daphne and Amanda do not send their children to Muzew is their business. I expect that they did not also let them do their first holy communion and confirmation, because people who do not attend muzew are not supposed to, and in any case one thing cannot be bad and good at the same time I suppose. Neither will they probably marry in church I suppose…becaus that is so “Tar-Rahal”, no ?

    [Moderator – You speak as though children are gagging for ‘permission’ to be indoctrinated. And what about all those other children outside Malta, l’ombelico del mondo, who do not make the pilgrimage to Muzew classes here? Are they less Catholic, less Christian or less human?]

  207. Logico estas mio servisto says:

    Children dont gagg for school either..but we still send them. Yes children who do not attend muzew are at a lesser foothold as compared to their peers who do. Why ? I never attended muzew which limits my partecipation in church, in prayer and in deeper knowledge of God. I could get books and read…of course..but so could students of school, rather than attend school….
    And who will (teenagers specjalment) choose to delve deeper into religious knowledge once your parents never pushed you for it.

  208. David Buttigieg says:

    Well, I think I have made my views on Religion pretty clear in previous posts/blogs compared to Moderator & Daphne some may considered me a fanatic, but I am already gearing up for a battle with whoever thinks I am going to send my children to doctrine for more then an hour a week in the last 2 months prior to confirmation, if that.

    For heaven’s sake, childhood is for playing, don’t children get long enough school days? The religion lessons at school should suffice (and I don’t mean from certain weathermen obviously)

  209. Michael Portelli says:

    Let’s not exagerate. I know Mark Vella Gera. He is not the bad guy you’re trying to depict. Whatever his actions were, he still remains a valid person in our society. He is a very good english teacher plus he has a passion for meteorology like few other in Malta. Sending him to prison or demonizing him will lead to nowhere. Of course I won’t be happy if one of my children somehow gets sexually abused by a man. However I do not feel that jail is the proper way to solve the person’s problem. Not even these kind of messages/blogs will help. They only serve to demonize. I imagine it will be very hard for Mark to find a job.
    The government needs to help these people – especially people like Mark who have plenty to contribute. It’s not fair to “kill” this person’s image and reputation considering he is just 38. Everybody deserves a second chance in life. Let’s give Mark a second chance and stop this chain messenging.

    NB. I am a happily married man and do not think I am some kind of pervert.

    [Moderator – Mark Vella Gera is a paedophile. Paedophiles can’t be ‘fixed’, and paedophilia is not a lapse of reason, so the justice system should do all it can to prevent paedophiles like Mark Vella Gera – and he is a paedophile – from coming into contact with children. Maltese law has failed in that respect, by giving the paedophile the protection of anonymity, and the freedom to seek employment that involves close contact with children, such as informal teaching. If it weren’t for the publication of his name on this blog, parents would still be sending their children on his ‘weather camps’, and it is not worth waiting to find out what would have happened then.]

  210. Amanda Mallia says:

    Mark’s student – Are you sure you aren’t then “man” himself?

    Another thing – Yes, he DID teach English, though at St Michael’s MUSEUM Boys’ School in Qormi. The court case in question concerns St Michael’s School in Tal-Balal, where he taught religion.

    Nobody is blaming “the subject” – religion. The fact that he was a religion teacher and a member of MUSEUM (both deemed to be positions of great trust by many, especially parents) simply makes his actions all the more abhorrent.

  211. Amanda Mallia says:

    Marie Gatt – You said “My point was that to obtain something more concrete and protect children without trepassing on the rights of MVG and other perpetrators is for these people to serve a couple of years inside and given suitable treatment. … their name should be published by the court and not by daphne”

    Try and re-read what you wrote. That is everybody’s argument, so I fail to see the logic behind the rumpus you’re trying so desperately to cause.

    Had he got the jail term he deserved (and yes, he would probably then have got the prison treatment normally meted out to paedophiles too), then nobody would have had to expose his name. Most of us – though not you, it seems – are thankful to her for that. Your opinion of her actions in general – be it here or in some other writing-of-poorly-disguised-jealousy-and-hatred – only goes to show what a sad being you are.

  212. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – With his involvement in all the things you mentioned (besides which there’s MVGMALTA, MVGMALTA INTERNATIONAL, Mediterranean Weather and a host of other things) my asusmption can only be that the sole reason for his teaching was to have contact with kids. Likewise MUSEUM and the now infamous “weather club for boys and girls aged 11 to 15 years old”.

  213. Amanda Mallia says:

    Michael Portelli – Most people claiming that he was a good English teacher can’t even spell properly, write proper English or use punctuation properly, but that is beside the point.

    The point is HE WAS A TEACHER. It is wrong for an adult to do what he did. The fact that he was his victims’ teacher makes it much worse, the fact that he was their RELIGION teacher makes it even more so.

  214. Amanda Mallia says:

    James Degiogio – Don’t bring politics into this thread. By doing so, you will only trivialize the severity of Mark Vella Gera’s actions.

  215. Amanda Mallia says:

    Well said, Biker Bob. I had already commented that the people so openly against the exposure of his name (THOUGH THEY THEMSELVES LOGGED ONTO THIS SITE PURPOSELY TO SEE THE NAME, UNLESS THEY RECEIVED ONE OF THE MANY EMAILS CIRCULATING) are probably not parents, and neither do they have any young relatives whom they love (though not in the way Mark Vella Gera apparently does).

  216. Amanda Mallia says:

    Logico estas mio servisto – Religion is an entirely personal matter. Having said that, I may not go to church regularly, but I can assure you that I have stronger principles and morals than many church-goers (bible-bashing or otherwise) held in high esteem by others. The same goes for Daphne, and I can vouch for that. You simply cannot judge a person by the only facet you see/read.

    As for my children going to MUSEUM or not, my elder daughter went just for the year leading up to her first Holy Communion. I was not in favour of her going (especially not for the next 6 years) to do her confirmation; she can do that if and when she wishes, at an age when she can decide for herself. Having said that, I explained the implications, and gave her the choice of whether or not to go. Guess what? – She preferred enjoying her childhood (which is what I have always encouraged – children should be children, not miniature adults, in whatever form that is).

    You have no idea what hell that year was, rushing from school to lunch to hw to “dutrina”, usually giving her sibling supper in the car, because she’d sleep for the night on the way home, having to rush back home to feed the elder one being careful not to wake the younger one up …. And oh, how many times I waited outside the church afterwards with both my kids, because one or two other 6-year-olds were left there, outside a closed church, in the dark, in an otherwise deserted area, waiting for their parents ON THEIR OWN. Their “responsible” teachers would simply “abandon ship” at the given hour, sometimes “sneaking” out through the side door. What about the time I got a letter saying that my daughter could not do her Holy Communion if she missed any more functions, one of them being some silly processon to celebrate a saint’s feast, the other two because my younger child had a fever of over 102 degrees and I could not go out.

    Yes, Logico, it’s pretty obvious that the people responsible for imposing such things as MUSEUM have no family of their own, and have a whole entourage of people to take care of all their daily needs. Having said that, whether or not to send children to MUSEUM should be a matter of choice.

    I could go on ad eternum about the subject, but really don’t wish to diverge from the whole point of this thread.

  217. Amanda Mallia says:

    David Buttigieg – I’ve just read your post of 1501hrs after posting the above post to LOGICO.

    You hit the nail on the head. Holy Communion / confirmation should not be “denied” to anyone unless they go to MUSEUM twice a week, week in, week out (first for a year, then for six years – imagine that).

    Children grow up quickly enough as it is. The more time they have to be children, the better – That has always been my maxim, and my kids are none the worse for it. Though MUSEUM existed in our time, neither I nor any of my siblings (nor friends, classmates or neighbours, for that matter) attended MUSEUM, and good thing too.

  218. Corinne Vella says:

    Mark’s student and Michael Schembri: Being a paedophile and being a really strict teacher are mutually exclusive. It is possible to be both. It is also possible to be neither. It appears Mark Vella Gera was the former, not the latter.

  219. Vanni says:

    @ Logico estas mio servisto and others

    Why do you keep insisting on ramming religion down other peoples’ throats? You send your kids to Museum, fine, and I applaud you for it. But what gives you the right to pontificate on other people’s children? And whilst for you it may be important to delve into Religion, there are other people who prefer their children to be free from what they see as mumbo jumbo brainwash. You have no right at all to criticize and comment on what other people decide within the family unit, and between themselves and their God. God is the final arbitrator, and not you, and nor is the Museum.

    @ Mod
    Sorry Mod slightly ‘deviant’ :)

  220. Amanda Mallia says:

    Michael Portelli – If Mark Vella Gera cared about his reputation, he should have controlled his actions. The fact that he couldn’t control them proves all the more that he should be kept as far away as possible from children.

    The court did not ensure that, so many of us parents – though apparently not you – are glad that his name has been exposed, and that we can put a face to the name.

    Ask anyone who has met him, and they all say the same thing, that he’s a quiet sort of man, though strange, and the sort that they thought wouldn’t hurt a fly. Nobody would have suspected in the least what this man was up to behind the scenes. What came out in court is probably only the tip of the iceberg, given the man’s age. He’s probably been at it quite a while – See here:

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20080428/letters/children-at-risk

  221. John Schembri says:

    @ Daphne: il-Muzew and catholic schools moved with the times, on this one Daphne, you are stuck in the Sixties. I can tell you that our children at il- Muzew can play some football in a big yard with other kids their age nearly everyday, go out for walks in the countryside every weekend , once in a while they are taken for one day outings and cookouts, they learn some crafts in the summer holidays like fretwork, the making of cribs and ‘pasturi’, acting and singing , swimming , all this in a Catholic environment.I call this socialising in a Catholic environment.
    I am not stating that children do not get into fights or that everything works like clockwork.Like everywhere else one can grumble about some mistakes the leaders make.I consider these as necessary “food” for a child to grow up. Nowadays the Church is more concerned about Catholic values, and it is encouraging dialogue and discussion rather than imposing religious mantras, even with our fourteen year olds.
    The Salesians taught us to question everything, and for every decission taken by them at school we students were given the reason for that decission. Salesians and tal-Muzew teach in Muslim countries without imposing the Catholic religion.There aim is to educate people to be good Christians and honest citizens.
    @David Buttigieg : You said “I am already gearing up for a battle with whoever thinks I am going to send my children to doctrine for more then an hour a week in the last 2 months prior to confirmation …..The religion lessons at school should suffice”.I don’t know where to start with this kind of reasoning.
    1) If I were you , I would not send my kids for “doctrine” classes, I would do it myself , after all as a Catholic parent it is your duty to impart Catholic values to your children.Why would you need to send them to “doctrine”, DIY is better.
    2) I am Catholic and find it hard to accept religion as a school subject , and here you are stating “religion lessons at school should suffice”. I would prefer “ethics/philosophy/morality/logic” lessons for my children as an exam subject at school..
    3)You do not need to “gear up for battle” , just don’t send them and leave them at home watching TV or playing Video games . If you are anti Catholic why send them for “confirmation” ? But remember that our children need to socialise in an informal environment like at IL-MUZEW.
    4)”childhood is for playing, don’t children get long enough school days” . Our kids need to socialise with others of their area . During the dreaded Common entrance examinations my three boys wanted to go to Muzew while other kids went straight home to study.No need to say that they all succeeded in their exams.A change was a rest.

  222. Amanda Mallia says:

    John Schembri – What’s stopping children from enjoying the same sort of “activities” without being forced to attend MUSEUM? I can assure you that many do.

    Another thing – I don’t think that the Salesians (the little I know about them, I admit) can be compared in any way at all to the whole MUSEUM setup.

    But again – we really shouldn’t be diverging from the original subject – THAT MARK VELLA GERA IS A PAEDOPHILE WHO IS LEFT FREE TO PREY ON OUR CHILDREN, BECAUSE THE COURT – AS OPPOSED TO THE LAW – HAS BANNED PUBLICATION OF HIS NAME.

  223. marie gatt says:

    @ amanda- i’m deeply touched regarding your concern about me being the sad person i am, but the fact that you just can’t seem to understand my point and the fact that you don’t concur and can’t seem to accept it does not make me sad or jealous …..it just makes you undemocratic.
    i only meant to say that he just had to go to prison without any “OQBRA IMBAJJDA” such as you and the others posting, condemning him as though he was such a ruthless criminal and them holier than holy and without exposing any details which were certainly not necessary and generalizations da parte di daphne. all this of course going against the court’s ruling and against any right for equality with other criminals. Period.

  224. David Buttigieg says:

    Come to think of it I only went to about 5 ‘duttrina’ lessons before my confirmation and only because the parish priest practically dragged me to them himself. I think that is why I kept my religious convictions – because they weren’t screwed up by that lot.

    As for communion I did it in school with the rest of my classmates without any fanfare.

    Also my kids would have a really fun time at ‘duttrina’ seeing Maltese is a foreign language to them – are there any classes in English I wonder:)

  225. David Buttigieg says:

    @John Schembri
    Allow me to answer your points 1 by 1:

    1) Who said I would not be teaching my children Christian values?

    2) I have no problem with religion being thought at school (unless the child’s parents object that is)

    3) Whatever gave you the impression that I am anti Catholic? Quite the contrary. However I will certainly not be sending them to ‘duttrina’ for years on end, or even months on end, and they will still receive their first holy communion AND confirmation. And there are plenty of healthier alternatives for them to socialise informally as you put it.

    4) Read point 3 above and I will not be putting my childre through any common entrance examinations thank you very much!

  226. David Buttigieg says:

    As sick as Mark Vella Gera is I think he is mild in comparison to this http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20080428/local/austrian-admits-24-year-abuse-of-daughter-in-dungeon

    Well not mild but this is incredible

  227. Amanda Mallia says:

    Marie Gatt – You said “all of this … going against the court’s ruling and against any right for equality with other criminals”

    I fail to see how you can state that Mark Vella Gera should have the same rights as other criminals, whilst at the same time denying the right to protection from him and paedophiles like him to ALL children (mine included, and not simply whilst at school or at “institutions attended by children”). Yes, Marie Gatt – rights, but rights FOR ALL, NOT JUST FOR THE PAEDOPHILE.

    As for the court’s ruling, apparently it is only be legal for the name of the paedophile to be banned until the case is concluded, unless it is to protect the victims, which is utter hogwash in this case. (And I say that because the ban on the publication of the name, together with the suspended sentence – meaning that HE IS NOT IN PRISON, unlike what some have understood – means that he is a danger to ALL children.)

  228. Amanda Mallia says:

    David Buttigieg – Sad, to say the very least.

  229. Amanda Mallia says:

    And in case you wanted to hear it from one of Daphne’s critics … “Meta Daphne Caruana Galizia ippubblikat l-isem u d-dettalji tal-persuna ħatja, teknikament ma għamlitx sewwa. Iżda kultant ċerti direttivi tal-Qrati jwassluk fix-xifer li tikser il-Liġi għax ma tistax tagħmel mod ieħor.
    Konvint li l-pubbliku ġenerali f’każ bħal dan se jkun aktar qrib il-ksur tal-Liġi milli l-ordni tal-Qorti. Jekk kellhom jipproċedu kontra Daphne għax kisret ordni tal-Qorti jiena ċert li l-Awtoritajiet se jsibu l-opinjoni pubblika kontra tagħhom.” (Toni Abela, extracted from http://www.illum.com.mt/2008/04/27/toniupeppi.html )

  230. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Logico – first holy communion is nothing but receiving the host for the first time. You don’t need to spend years at indoctrination classes to receive the host for the first time. All you need to do is join the queue of communicants at any mass on any day of the week and receive the host for the first time. Nothing and nobody can stop you or your child from doing this, with or without indoctrination classes. They can stop your child from joining the ‘white dress procession’ but they can’t stop your child from receiving holy communion even if he or she hasn’t been indoctrinated to a suitable degree. And you don’t have to go to Muzew to know this. Of course, you may see it as yet another challenge to authority, but where would we be if authority was never challenged?

    Don’t regret not having gone to Muzew. There is nothing you can learn about religion in childhood that will be of any benefit to you as an adult. That much should be obvious. Religion is beyond the intellectual grasp of children; they simply don’t need it, either. Religion is for grown-ups, but here’s the thing: unless you get them young, you lose them. And that’s why there are Muzew classes – because the Church needs more troops, and not because children need religion. Children need religion like they need a hole in the head.

  231. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @John Schembri – my sons kicked a football around at Sliema Wanderers, not in a courtyard at tal-Muzew. They went swimming at Sliema Pitch whenever they wanted to, with their friends, not as a result of a special outing in a van with tal-Muzew. They went on walks in the countryside every weekend, with their friends, and their parents, and their friends’ parents, not with some ‘helpers’ from tal-Muzew. They did not have to go to tal-Muzew to learn ‘crafts’ because their mother was more than capable of teaching them these things. If children depend on tal-Muzew for their socialising and their activities, then I begin to wonder what kind of homes they come from.

  232. Logico non estas mio servisto says:

    Vanni – Sorry but you must have read my threads wrongly. I wasn’t shoving anything down people’s throat. I clearly wrote that what Daphne and Amanda do is there business.

    However here we are discussing things with each other. So then, I compare thier choice of muzew with their paradoxical choice of doing the first holy communion for their children without get permission from the children themselves first…or at least not doing it for them so that the children will choose to do so when they grow up.

    Doesn’t it seem paradoxical – for muzew we argument that the children will choose upon themselves whether to attend, izda first holy communion and confirmation no? Hello!

    It’s the illogical arguments which I am not tallying with.
    To me, what I can deduce is that it is not correct when it was stated that people not sending their children to muzew was because it has no value or that the church brianwashes..but rather because the parents just did not want to invest the time to send their children to muzew.

    While probably for piano lessons, other private lessons etc yes.. I wonder if music lessons “steal” time from their childhood. 1 hr duttrina a week is not a lot and it helps instil values in our children, not just religious but social.

    Maybe not all places of muzew are the same so that is why you might have had some bad experiences.

    [Moderator – I’m not sure if you noticed, but the world is full children who don’t got to Muzew: about 2 billion at the last count. And they are not worse off because of it.]

  233. David Buttigieg says:

    @Daphne – I do not agree that the ‘catch them young’ mentality works in any case.

    I never went to Muzew except literally 4 lessons at St Dorothy’s before my confirmation and I was dragged there personally by my mother and the parish priest. My first holy communion was at school with no fanfare at all.

    In my teens I lost touch with religion as it was quite simply not deemed important, face it during the teens girls and football are considered much more important to boys at least.

    Seeing that Religion was never rammed down my throat, rather my parents simply encouraged me by example and not by force I was drawn back to my faith in my twenties and today I feel it is an important part of my life. (Face it, I am sure some of you consider me a religious fanatic).

    That is what I aim to do with my own kids, I hope they will also find faith but I will not force it upon them. What’s the point? For the record I will not be sending my kids to muzew and I abhor people like a certain Jacqueline Calleja who regularly preaches in “The Times”

  234. One of Who Got Abused! says:

    This is one of the boys who got abused by pedofile mark…He used to be my religion teacher and he was weirder than you think…if i talked he used to stay “Can you please stop sharing tounges?”…he laughed a bit but like he didnt say anything…we talked about musterbation for about 3lessons equivilant to 2hours…i was one of the 2who saw him on the webcam he was playing wit his shirt…u min hemmek i saw he was daqxejn gay…imma i wasnt one of the 2 boys who got called up to talk to the police…if my mother speeds at 60km/h and the highest thing is 50km/h she has to pay €75 and this man after 4 yours he can do the same thing…gustizja tal-qamel…xtahsbu nies????

  235. Unknown says:

    Jien bniedem li gejt abbuzat(mux minu), imma l patrijiet u s sorijiet xejn ma jigri dawk ok, u jibqu anonimi…
    dan il bniedem partikolari kien jghallimni jista jaghmel zbalji imma ma tahsibx li din hi kemmxejn zejda daphne?

    Ara l patri u s soru dawk ok…
    Li rrid nejd jew kulhadd jew hadd daphne, inkella tinten il bicca. ittini x nahseb li int ghandek ghalih dan il bniedem inkella t tlett sorijiet kont xxandar min huma

  236. Vanni says:

    @ Logico
    Massive sigh
    You wrote:
    “Children dont gagg for school either..but we still send them. Yes children who do not attend muzew are at a lesser foothold as compared to their peers who do. Why ? I never attended muzew which limits my partecipation in church, in prayer and in deeper knowledge of God. I could get books and read…of course..but so could students of school, rather than attend school….
    And who will (teenagers specjalment) choose to delve deeper into religious knowledge once your parents never pushed you for it.”

    For your infomation my kids like school (they love their holidays as well). What they do not like is getting up in the morning, but that is another story.
    My children do not attend Musew, and they are not on any lesser foothold, thank you very much.
    You may rate participation in church highly. Others don’t consider church the alpha and omega of life.
    If kids want to delve deeper into religion, they will, if not, all the musews of this world will not make them do so.

    Kids do not need somebody to organize football, swimming, or hikes. Most kids in my kids age group would laugh if a grown up would want to organize something for them, as they consider themselves very capable thank you very much. All they require is a suitable amount of cash and taxi service. The presence of elders would not be permitted.

    Finally to your last bit:
    To take holy comunion and confirmation or not is a choice that kids should take upon themselves when they are able to decide so FOR THEMSELVES. Quite a few people I know have decided to let their children choose later on. Unfortunately in Malta, peer pressure makes the parents ensure that their kids toe the religious line (ghax jghidu bina). That the parents do not care about the significance at all of what these two things mean is the hypocrisy that should worry the church, musew etc. I have a feeling that as far as the Church is concerned it is a number game. The Catholics want to have more members than the Muslims and the Protestant. It makes them feel important. So they use the tactics “catch em young.”
    What I find tragic is that in very religious Malta, most people when using foul language invoke God etc etc. No other country that I am aware has a language that is so “rich” as ours. I have not heard of any swear words that can start to compare with the words uttered by the Maltese. But at least we make sure our kids are indoctrinated.

  237. M. Brincat says:

    Moderator – I’m not sure if you noticed, but the world is full children who don’t got to Muzew: about 2 billion at the last count. And they are not worse off because of it.

    Ehm … prove it please :)

    [Moderator – Denmark ‘happiest place on earth’ – BBC NEWS

    Adrian White, from the UK’s University of Leicester, used the responses of 80,000 people worldwide to map out subjective wellbeing…. A nation’s level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels…. Prosperity and education were the next strongest determinants of national happiness.

    ]

  238. Logico calling says:

    Muzew is not just for organising football, swimming etc ta.
    No wonder we are not agreeing on the significance of muzew.

    We must also agree that faith in the Church and God comes in different levels amongst us. That does not make any of us any less important to God I am sure. What it probably does do is less participation in something which at the end of the day is good and has lifelong positive lasting effects. Sakemm issa mhux ser nghidu li duttrina is
    equivalent to hizbollah style.

    Probably people who have never atteneded (like me) and people who have never sent their children (not like me) to duttrina are the least people that can actualy judge what muzew is all about because they are oblivious to what goes on nowadays at muzew.

    As regards ara x’tghid il-gara jekk ma nghamillux il-pracett…that is a lame excuse. Who cares about the gara ? You either have solid principles about the subject or you don’t. If I truely believe in giving my children the choice to be baptised and all the other stages in church when they come of age, I uphold my beliefs not twist them habba l-gara.

    Let’s leave it at that and possibly agree that we disagree.

  239. M. Brincat says:

    @ Mod – you managed to make my funny bone … laugh!

    What the heck does happiness got to do with being “worse off” or “better off” than someone else?

    Did the survey you mentioned interview people from old people’s home in the different countries and see what they thought about happiness?

    Did the survey you mentioned interview homeless people and see what they thought about happiness? Ah … no … I don’t think that homeless have a fixed line …

    Did the survey you mentioned interview people on the verge of suicide because they are disillusioned with life?

    Do you have any survey, please Mod, which shows suicide rates in the countries you’re mentioning?

    If you do, then please provide us with the figures … we’ll all remain surprised :D

    [Moderator – This is verging on the ridiculous. The world’s 2 billion children do not flock to Malta because your parish is not the centre of the universe, although it might be the centre of your universe. And people do not commit suicide because they never went to Muzew.]

  240. M. Brincat says:

    WHO European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health
    Helsinki, Finland 12-15 January 2005

    “To prevent suicide among adolescents, Denmark has developed an educational programme that has initiated pilot projects in schools and other educational institutions. Teachers, youth workers, clergy, doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. are involved.”

    My God! I hope that the clergy involved don’t molest these young ones!!!!! Obviously, that WAS a sarcastic comment.

    [Moderator – What’s your point? Mark Vella Gera was not a member of the clergy.]

  241. Corinne Vella says:

    Marie Gatt: “right for equality with other criminals”? Then there should not have been a ban on Mark Vella Gera’s name. People who are found guilty of a criminal act are usually named.

  242. M. Brincat says:

    Moderator – “This is verging on the ridiculous. The world’s 2 billion children do not flock to Malta because your parish is not the centre of the universe, although it might be the centre of your universe. And people do not commit suicide because they never went to Muzew.”

    Yes, it IS verging on the ridiculous … you admit that. Now please admit that you started it and you won’t be far from the truth :D

    Your argument is – sorry to say – absurd!

    Show me proof that well-being, happiness, social stability, whatever … is negatively correlated with moral integrity!

    If you do, I will be the first to stop my kids from attending Duttrina!

    [Moderator – Look, the extent to which your children are indoctrinated is not directly proportional to their level of happiness. That is a fact.]

  243. M. Brincat says:

    [b][i]Moderator[/b] – What’s your point? Mark Vella Gera was not a member of the clergy.[/i]

    But the nuns at Lourdes Home were, and the priests at St. Joseph House!

    And all the posts re. these persons (who should be prosecuted, to say the least!) were ready to point this out!

    Please don’t try to appear ‘cool’ by hitting against the Church every so often to score some points against … God perhaps?

    [Moderator – Not all people voice an opinion for the sake of appearance. And do not equate love for the Roman Catholic Church with love for God.]

  244. M. Brincat says:

    [b][i]Moderator[/b] – Look, the extent to which your children are indoctrinated is not directly proportional to their level of happiness. That is a fact.[/i]

    Whoa! Hold your hooooorses there my dear Mod! Don’t try to play with words – did I mention indoctrination? If not, then please don’t try to say things as if I said them, I won’t allow you to, even though you’re the Mod here!

    The question is not indoctrination. You know that as much as I do that that is not the question. Who knows … maybe you’re more indoctrinated AGAINST the Church than I am in FAVOUR! One can never tell, right?

    [Moderator – Muzew consists of classes in religious doctrine – hence ‘duttrina’. Doctrine involves indoctrination.]

  245. M. Brincat says:

    Moderator – Not all people voice an opinion for the sake of appearance. And do not equate love for the Roman Catholic Church with love for God.

    Mod, you’re (again!) trying to say things, making them appear as if I said them … no thanks. I never “equated love for the Roman Catholic Church with love for God”.

    But au contraire, one cannot possibly love God by taking every opportunity to vomit on the Church’s lap, can one?

  246. M. Brincat says:

    @ Mod, let me once again ask you to reply to specific parts of my previous posts … maybe you just ovrelooked them, or simply tried to deviate the focus elsewhere …

    1. Show me proof that well-being, happiness, social stability, whatever … is negatively correlated with moral integrity.

    2. Who knows … maybe you’re more indoctrinated AGAINST the Church than I am in FAVOUR! What … or who … indoctrinated you against the Church?

    [Moderator – 1. What? Your obvious premise is that people who do not attend Muzew are not ‘morally integral’. 2. Again – what? Not all opinions are formed as a result of indoctrination, because the capacity for logical thought cannot be acquired. Thought that is confined by the rules of a religious organisation, on the other hand can be acquired, and that is where religious doctrine finds its purpose.]

  247. M. Brincat says:

    Mod, some of your own medicine:

    Cambridge Dictionaries online:

    indoctrinate
    verb [T] DISAPPROVING
    to repeat an idea or belief frequently to someone in order to persuade them to accept it

    That has a highly negative connotation, doesn’t it?

    [Moderator – And that is the declared purpose of religious doctrine.]

  248. M. Brincat says:

    Moderator –

    1. What? Your obvious premise is that people who do not attend Muzew are not ‘morally integral’.

    I reply –

    Well, again. You’re putting words in my mouth. Sorry, that’s not ethical from your side …

    That’s not what I said, nor what I intended. But those who attend MUSEUM do so in order to – let’s put it in simple English, so that even you can understand – “improve” their religious values, including moral values. Now, I repeat my statement, hopefully you will understand it better now!

    Show me proof that well-being, happiness, social stability, whatever … is negatively correlated with moral integrity.

    That means, show me proof that those who go to MUSEUM or are “profoundly religious” or … whichever way you would like to call it – are more apt to be unhappy, more likely to be suicidal, or homicidal, paedophiles and whatever “bad” you might mention.

    Moderator –

    2. Again – what? Not all opinions are formed as a result of indoctrination, because the capacity for logical thought cannot be acquired. Thought that is confined by the rules of religious organisation, on the other hand can be acquired, and that is where religious doctrine finds its purpose.

    I reply –

    Again – what or who facilitated your present state of not accepting what the Church says? So you’re against the Church but still say you “love” God. OK. What about Christ? Do you believe in Christ? Or is he fiction in your eyes?

    [Moderator – Haven’t you got better things to do?]

  249. M. Brincat says:

    [Moderator – And that is the declared purpose of religious doctrine.]

    Of course you’re not right here, not at all, absolutely!

    The Church only teaches us the Way to God through Christ’s example! Simple! The Church knows that only God is perfect, and therefore doesn’t present itself as the example to follow, but Christ! If that is indoctrination, then I’m Bilbo Baggins!

    [Moderator – Then what is the purpose of religious doctrine, if not indoctrination?]

  250. M. Brincat says:

    [Moderator – Haven’t you got better things to do?]

    Than letting you spit venom against the Church? No, everything can wait….EVERYTHING!

    [Moderator – Brilliant. A fanatic.]

  251. M. Brincat says:

    [Moderator – Brilliant. A fanatic.]

    But not as much as you’re a fanatic in vomiting against the Church my friend!

    [Moderator – Then what is the purpose of religious doctrine, if not indoctrination?]

    The purpose of the Church is to present God’s love to man, and bringing him the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    [Moderator – This is getting tiresome. Conversation over.]

  252. amrio says:

    M Brincat and Moderator

    It’s obvious you have diametrically opposite views on this, so it seems useless you continue this diatribe.

    Now kiss, be friends again and get along with it!!

  253. Corinne Vella says:

    M Brincat: Those who attend MUSEUM do so because they are sent there by their parents. Whether or not they want to go or even whether they enjoy being there is entirely beside the point.

  254. M. Brincat says:

    @ Corinne … maybe that’s the case with the 8,9,10 year olds. But how do you explain the 14,15,16 year olds and older?

  255. John Schembri says:

    @ David Buttigieg , I agree with you about educating your kids , ultimately the parents should lead by example.
    But doing what you are saying , and encouraging your kids to attend Muzew is a good thing also.
    In your case it will also help your children learn another language ; Maltese.
    @ Daphne ” If children depend on tal-Muzew for their socialising and their activities, then I begin to wonder what kind of homes they come from.”
    Not everyone in Malta can live the lifestyle you lived a decade or two ago , in Sliema . And like everywhere else , you cannot be sure what dangers our children can encounter, and when I say abuse can come from anyone I mean anyone , football coaches , priests , tal-muzew , scouts , teachers , parents , grand parents , friends , uncles , aunts , brothers , sisters ,and the list goes on.
    If I were from Sliema I would have sent them to the Salesians’ Oratory……. now I don’t want the Oracle to explain to us that an Oratory means a place of prayer .

    [Moderator – Anyone who lived in Sliema a decade or two ago will tell you that they had to make trips down to the sea in order to obtain water for which to flush the toilet.]

  256. Vanni says:

    M. Brincat
    Do you agree that children should be made to go to religious teachings, even when this is against their will?

  257. elaine says:

    Do you just tell children yes ok no problem every time for example they don’t want to eat? every time they don’t want to go to school? did you let them decide whether to baptize them or not?

    YOU decide for your children what YOU believe is best for them! Irrelevant if you decide to send them or not.

    I decided to send my daughter to religious teachings as i believe it is more important now than ever with all the bad things there are around them. I not only decided to send her but to go myself to adult religious teachings and prayer meetings! I believe that God should be the most important part of our life!

    Yes children should be guided into what is best for them!

  258. John Schembri says:

    @ oracle : what does flushing toilets with sea water in sliema over twenty years ago, has to do with what is being discussed here?

    [Moderator – ‘Not everyone in Malta can live the lifestyle you lived a decade or two ago , in Sliema’. You seem to believe that people who lived in Sliema a decade or two ago enjoyed a life of luxury. That is a common misconception among people who have never lived there.]

  259. John Schembri says:

    @ Moderator : I “seem” , that’s right .
    While you had the luxury to flush with sea water we had to wait till evening to flush once. The lifestyle of two decades ago in Sliema was less hectic than today, nowadays one finds more mothers working, and we had just started to expose these problems, we were kept busy with bigger problems which overshadowed these important social ones.

    [Moderator – It boils down to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I suppose.]

  260. M@ says:

    Not to make the fanatic(s) rant again, but:

    @M.Brincat: Although MUSEUM does have its upsides, it doesnt have much to do with happiness in children, especially when they’re forced to go.Children can survive, be happy and obtain ‘moral integrity'(that last throughout their lives) without attending some dogmatic brainwashing institution like MUSEUM(my opinion).

    And u asked the Mod:
    “Show me proof that well-being, happiness, social stability, whatever … is negatively correlated with moral integrity.”

    Its not typically the case, but it depends on what moral integrity you’re talking about.
    If you refer to religion, its a known fact that certain “morals” that are imposed on people(especially children since they impressionable)
    cause some in most cases to be and feel repressed, depressed(leading to suicide) or be discriminated against (by the same people who preach “love thy neighbour”)
    Another known fact is there are plenty of these repressed people end up preaching in these institutions.
    And then there are people like MVG…..

    @John Schembri – I think an internet moderator’s role is slightly different to the one’s in ‘real’ life. If you need to speak with an oracle, i suggest u visit your parish church or your friendly neighbourhood MUSEUM to speak with someone there.(albeit they’re not the ‘real’ life moderators that some people think of them to be)

  261. timothy farrugia says:

    mark vella gera taught at both st michael schools to my knowledge. he used to teach me at the St michaels in Qormi (tal MUZEW) and if i remember correctly he then went to the other st michaels. he was too strict with us, but i never expected this from him. so disgusting wot a pervert!!!!

  262. ex-student says:

    I was a student when he was fired from the St michael school (bdw I was not abused), he was fired by the bord and I assure that he was fired immediately after the first case. He was not an ideal member of the society MUSEUM. Unlike the ideal member he was so obsessed with money, this can be seen as he worked as a teacher get money from his site and also did private lessons on weather. I just hate when people generalise a whole society by just one member. The society is made up of many more responsible members. He was the worst member of this society I had ever met. I assure you that there’s noone like him.

  263. concerned says:

    i am writing this as i am concerned about the boy who claimed he was abused.
    what does masterbation has to do with religion? this comment clearly indicates a cry for help and justice. it is really unfair that a small boy had to undergo all this stress because the school he attends never bothered to check MVG`s background. this means that this school never cared about the safety of the children but left them prone to sick persons like MVG.
    what would the parents of this kid and all his class mates have to say for paying money to have their kids sexually educated by a pervert religion teacher?
    i do not condemn museum teachers or people wearing a goatie as not every one has the same values or balanced mind but please this person has to be locked up.

    LOCK HIM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY.

  264. Joe says:

    I think that when the Kurja is involved they like to keep things behind thier closed doors. This is not the first case and not the last and thier might be even more and still are in contact with children. If the Kurja knew about this or they had other reports on this person of abusing other kids, and left the St Michael Foundation in the dark it’s a shame!!! My son goes to that school and this crap used to teach my son but thank god he didn’t approach him.

    Joe

  265. Vanni says:

    @ elaine
    “Do you just tell children yes ok no problem every time for example they don’t want to eat?”
    – Yes I do tell them more or less that.

    “Every time they don’t want to go to school?”
    – As I wrote before, my children look forward to school, as they have fun there.

    “Did you let them decide whether to baptize them or not?”
    – This may come as a shock to you, but the trend is to let children decide for THEMSELVES if they want to form part of one religion or another, if at all. It is called Freewill (or the lack of impostion of one’s ideas on another). BTW, quite a lot of children DO opt for Baptism, Holy Communion etc etc later on.

    “YOU decide for your children what YOU believe is best for them!”
    – Children are not objects, to be moved here or ordered there. They are living beings, with a will and able to think. That independence of spirit should be nurtured. In my opinion our duty is to explain and guide, but definately not to impose our will. The problem with Malta as I see it is the lack of independence of our children.

  266. Logico says:

    @Vanni…children cannot decide properly without parents pushing them sometimes.

    I am happy for you that your children dont loath going to school. But I am sure you are not as naive as to think that your children’s behaviour towards school is the norm, are you ?

    Probably over 90% of children would opt not to go to school given the choice.
    It’s like laws really… you dont need a law to make you not rob someone, but should we remove laws ..because laws push people into behaviour….and they give punishment.

    Forget religion, this is now not about religion. Children of course are not objects, but unless we impose our will sometimes, children will take the easy way out. Take TV for example, most children would spend hours and probably all night long watching cartoon network…don’t you impose your will on them when you tell them it’s time for bed…or stop watching TV and go finish your homework ?

    In an ideal world guidance would be enough, but you cannot rely on that with people who have not yet developed the correct cognitive behaviour. And unless you get them into habits of doing certain things, the chances are they wont when they grow up because as the song goes…old habits die hard. Of course there are a fraction of people who change….but as a society based on good values and order we should not look at the fractions but at the whole.

    Vanni – honestly I know what you are trying to say, and I know you mean good, however there are some laws in life you cannot change without compound a huge risk onto your offspring. I will impose what I think is good, God help me of course, on my children, because I don’t want to risk my flesh and blood into a later life of misery. I will push and impose upon my kids studying time and have to go to school. I will push them to go to muzew, because considering everything I belive they learn good values and social traits. When they grow up…then can choose to become muslim, ethiest, budists and they further choose to stay on the ETC list and never work etc… but I would have given them the right foundations. Children have to understand from a young age…that later in life they will be made to do things by society, work etc… whether they like it or not.

  267. Mark says:

    Jien ukoll kont immur l-iskola st. michael u lilu nafu sew ghax kien jaghllimni. Jien dejjem ghokritni ghajni minnu ghax hu kien selvagg mat-tfal fil-klassi imbaghad barra jinbidel u jsir qisu san frangisk. Niftakar il-klassi taghna hadd ma kien jahmlu imbaghad darba gie wiehed u qalilna jien ghandi biex inkeccieh mill-iskola lil dak… U rnexxielu ghax fuq l-msn tejdx xkien qallu dan vella gera lil dan!! U minn dakinhar gew infurmati s-surmast u hekk u fi ftit zmien spicca barra mill-iskola.
    Imma l-iktar haga li ridt nghid hi li t-teachers l-ohra huma dedikati hafna hafna u rajt hafna gid minnhom kollha. Qalbhom tajba u hadd minnhom m’ghandu x’jaqsam ma dan vella Gera. Minn dik l-iskola jien hadd l-aqwa bazi li stajt niehu. Grazzi skola st Michael Qormi!!

  268. One of Who Got Abused! says:

    Dear person who is concerned….im thankful that somebody is listening to me and doesn’t take this for granted…Mr.Mark…or should i say Pedofile Mark…is a truely sick person from the brain…this open commentry isn’t just for one person but is for 13…I’m unhappy because the Media people said an ex-religion teacher has abused 2 CHILDREN…HAVE THEY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE OTHER 11??? If you are concerned I am even more concerned even though i am young but I still wonder if we are safe with the rest of the teachers. What i mean is simple…He is out of his mind!!

  269. Amanda Mallia says:

    Logico non estas … – “MUZEW”, as it is commonly referred to here, is compulsory only in Malta. So, by your reasoning, people all over the world are not doing things right, then, I take it.

  270. ex student not abused by MVG says:

    Jien kont f’dik l-iskola meta gara dan il kaz. jien lili ingliz kien jghallimni u mux religion (fil form 3 tieghi U kien iqazzez lil kulhadd inkluzi jien u shabi). Ha nghidilkom tatux tort lil tal muzew ax fil 5 snin li ghamilt maghhom bnejt karattru sod ax smajt min dak li jghidu huma. It teachers l-ohra apparti vella gera kienu vera nies serji f’xoghlhom. Infatti is surrmast issospendih u wara keccih lil dan vella gera, mill-ewwel xhin sar jaf fuq il-kaz. Tipruvawx tatu isem hazin lil iskola jew lit teachers li jghalmu hemm ax zgur mhux il kaz. Jin xorta nirrakomandaha din l-iskola ax fiha sirt dak li hu jien.

    • ex student not abused by MVG says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with ex student not abused by MVG. Vella Gera’s reputation was ta’ kiesah, jippretendia, ma tafx fejn int mieghu. A typical vella gera would dish out extra works every day for the day after. Stupid assignments would be fixing paper washers to every sheet of paper he gave us (which we paid for)….once I spent about three hours fixing paper washers onto these blasted sheets….A typical vella gera would crack jokes whenever he pleased but then again, we weren’t allowed the same ‘rights’….he once said ‘ I can laugh, I can make jokes. You can’t.’ Not to start about the Politics referendum ringtone on his mobile….

      Fil-qasir ir-ragel kiesah u dardar lil kulhadd. Qatt ma smajt, fil-hames snin li ghamilt hemm li abbuza ‘xi hadd minna sesswalment. Tal-muzew l-ohra bi-surmast b’kollox irgiel fuq l-irgiel. Mhux ghax ma hemmx wihed u tnej naqa gwappi jew bit-tahwid tahhom. Imma nies tajba. U mnalla kienu jghallmuni huma…

  271. Amanda Mallia says:

    “One of who got abused” – First of all, talk to one of your parents or to an adult you can trust. Failing that, at least call 179, the children’s helpline.

    It is also very important that you report the matter to the police. If you are wary about doing that, then phone 112 and ask for the Vice Squad. They need every bit of evidence they can have.

    If you give the information directly to the police, then at least you will know that they have got it, and that it has not got lost somewhere along the line.

    This man is not in prison, and is – I believe – still being investigated.

  272. John Schembri says:

    @ Moderator : yes , I agree that it boils down to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs , if one observes carefully we did not care to have a system of checks and balances on the carers of indefensible children. The church (which basically is an NGO ) was taking by itself the responsibility of our ‘orphans’, there was no real inspectorate , and the politicians were busy bringing water to Sliema and the high grounds of Zurrieq , little did they have time to care on these “details”. It was only a few months ago that we had Prof Kenneth Wain as the first Commissioner of NGO’s.
    We still need to do more ; for example may I ask who supervises Old people’s homes wether they are public homes, privately run or run by a religious organisation?
    As we are seeing lately, we heard of a grandfather who abused his niece , a father who allegedly abused his seven year old daughter , now I just heard of a mother in Sicily who abused her three young children together with other adults in organised orgies, and the infamous case of the Austrian father who abused his daughter and had seven children from her. It seems that the sky is the limit.
    A friend of mine told me that his mother never let them go to their in-laws , they used to protest about this strange behavior , after they grew up and got married she divulged her long kept secret that when she was very young her parents used to send her to stay at her uncle’s house and he used to ‘touch’ her .
    In the past these abuses were kept under wraps, nowadays we are trying to expose them without harming the victims.
    We must teach our children lifeskills , like the old warnings ; “do not accept sweets from strangers and do not let anyone touch your private parts”
    @ M@ : does M stand for MOLLA?
    U PROSIT LIL EX STUDENT MARK , IKKONFERMAJTLI DAK LI MINN DEJJEM HSIBT LI GARA.

  273. John Schembri says:

    @ Amanda Mallia : MUZEW is NOT compulsory , from where did you get your ‘facts’?
    In Italy , scouting is like a religious organisation they meet on Saturdays for hours of activities , prayers and religion classes, and on Sundays the under tens go for the nine o’clock mass after which they have a few hours of religion classes.

  274. Roberto Rizzo says:

    What I can make out of this story is that pedophiles, whoever and wherever they are should be marked and highlighted to the general public. The victims in question are not any Tom, Dick and Harry but innocent children who are still not experienced enough to see the right from the wrong.

    According to the Law, when there is defamation about a person or a group of people, the defendant can plea “exceptio veritatis”, (accepting that you said the defaming words for the benefit of the general public) given there is proof in the defaming statement. In this case the sentence carried out by the judges is the proof and the general public have all the right to know about who these people are because prevention is always better than cure.

    What I don’t really agree with the report above is that people offering their time to teach doctrine lessons cannot be portrayed as potential offenders, however I do agree that perverts on the prowl seek opportunities to be very near their potential victims. I guess we all remember the famous case in England about Jessica and Holly. The janitor was close enough to the children!

    I’m fed up of reading and listening to stories where religion was used as a cover and excuse for such events to occur, while on the other hand I want to see justice in Malta and not obnoxious sentences surprising and controversial enough to make a scoop for the media.

  275. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @M Brincat – we have a significant suicide rate in Malta, too. The reason we are not widely aware of it is because of the unwritten agreement among the media that suicides should not be reported because they encourage further suicides. I live near a Mosta bridge which is one of the most popular spots for suicides. On a regular basis, I drive past police cars and ambulances parked by the side and am overcome with sadness because I know what has happened – yet again. I have lost count of the number of people who have jumped off that bridge in the last few years. When I was a child, I remember people jumping into the Valletta ditch, or off the Barakka, or near the lift that scaled the bastion. Please don’t assume that we don’t have suicide because we are Catholic, unlike the heathen or Protestant north. Depression and suicide are part of the human condition. Religion doesn’t help. In fact, it can even intensify the problem by causing people to feel they have been abandoned by God.

  276. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @M Brincat – I would be seriously concerned about any girl or boy aged 14 to 16 who seeks active participation in Muzew. There is something called a normal life for people that age, somewhere between drugs and churchy behaviour.

  277. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Elaine – my experience of life tells me that those who sow their wild oats at the appropriate time (when young) and who aren’t harassed in religious households/families turn out to have the most stable homes and marriages as adults. On the contrary, many of my contemporaries who had religious parents, were forced to go to duttrina, came from oppressive households, and never stepped outside the box are now, in their 40s, snapping and running wild, doing all the things they never did when they were 18, with all the problems that causes, and making themselves ridiculous by thinking, speaking and behaving the way they should have thought, spoken and behaved 25 years ago. Leave children alone, teach them the difference between right and wrong from a moral, not religious, point of view, teach them how to reason logically and rationally, and they will turn out all right. And don’t worry – they won’t run off and become Moonies, either. And Elaine, please don’t equate doctrine classes with eating or schooling.

  278. Anthony Aquilina says:

    Can you pls stop this attack about the MUSEUM members!! They do a lot of work for the maltese islands as many children take their social formation through these people. This is a one off case!! not something that happens everyday and from everyone. I know Mark Vella Gera as a dedicated MUSUEM member which used to organise many interesting things. Pls dont kill him with your attitude. I am not saying that his actions are right but can we just treat him like any other case and not create a fuss out of him

  279. Japed Tapiocas says:

    Dear Daphne,

    I’m very disappointed with the way you look at the Museum Society. You seem to be the type of person that believes that nobody could put his life into something and there cannot be a number of lay men and women that dedicate there lives teaching the Word of God. I personally believe that most of you have never experienced something, which normal people call God. If you want to serve God, Jesus told us to deny ourselves and follow Him. He also told us to teach the word of God wherever we are. But it seems to me that you are too pessimistic about everything that has to do with religion.

    I think that you believe everybody seems to have a hidden agenda like you do. The member of Museum have what is called ‘intenzjoni retta'; this means that we do everything for the Glory of Our Lord Jesus… and for Him alone.

    If I can understand well, you have never experienced God and His word. You may also think that the life you live is perfect, and that your children where not in the risk of pedophiles… They can be any where. As I said before, do not think that everybody has a hidden agenda like you do. There are people that can leave everything behind to follow Jesus. I suggest you open up the Bible and read it well. There (especially in the New Testament) you can find how to live a good life. One way is being what Jesus calls a eunuch (I loyal servant of the king that donates his life for his king and the king gives him the biggest responsibilities, even without getting castrated!). Jesus said even that in the Kingdom of Heaven there will be people that will do so in this life, to prophetise what shall be.

  280. Anthony Aquilina says:

    I really agree with Japed Tapiocas as YOU, Daphne has never experienced God and the way you’re talking, reveals the ignorance out of you!!!!

  281. Corinne Vella says:

    Jaded Tapiocas: Be disappointed with the way the MUSEUM society looks at itself – that is the reason people look at the organisation negatively in this case. If MUSEUM engaged the services of a paedophile then hushed up his wrongdoings and ‘solved’ the problem by excluding him from its service – and even this is dubious, given that at least two parents claim he was teaching doctrine classes even last year – then MUSEUM can only blame itself for the negative impact this has had on its reputation.

  282. Irate Teacher says:

    Dear All, i have been reading your comments and i must admit that this guy has simply run away with murder. I am a teacher myself and i am really ashamed that people who claim themselves as teachers do such things to the young generation.

    To the student “One who got abused” : I really understand your concerns but please do not think that you are not safe. Many teachers are really ready to help because after all its our job to educate students for the future but when i hear about people like MVG i am really disgusted and sorry.

    I can only understand how you feel but i can assure you that teachers are hired by schools because they have qualifications but on the other hand i understand that in such delicate situations qualifications mean nothing. When i was employed i was asked million questions and i am monitored daily like all the rest. I am quite amazed how this guy managed to do all this damage and nothing was done about it. Rest assured that i am totally on your side and i support you and the rest of the victims.

    Be strong and try to remember that in this world exist people who are much better and more mentally sane than MVG. Should you need any help remember that your parents are the first who will support you and help you out. You are not alone !!!

  283. Corinne Vella says:

    Elaine: You’re assuming that religion – by which, I assume, you mean Roman Catholicism – is the only means of moral formation. How, then, do you explain the moral behaviour of people who have had a secular upbringing, and the amoral and immoral behaviour of people who are ‘religious’? We have a perfect example of the latter in the case being discussed here.

  284. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Anthony Aquilina – you said that tal-Muzew “do a lot of work for the maltese islands as many children take their social formation through these people”. Yes, that’s precisely my point and precisely the problem.

  285. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Japed Tapiocas – how dare you assume that I (1) don’t believe in God, (2) am not a Christian, or (3) know nothing about the Bible? Your assumption that tal-Muzew are the sine qua non of goodness is absolutely horrendous. You are a perfect illustration of my objections to the tal-Muzew process, which is designed to create from young raw material adults who cannot think.

  286. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Anthony Aquilina (again) – tal-Muzew do not have exclusivity on God. Your belief that it is essential to belong to tal-Muzew or to have subjected oneself or one’s children to the tal-Muzew process is quite pitiable.

  287. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Tal-Muzew classes for children are no different to the Islamic system of madrassas, and I suspect that the way Maltese society has taken to them with such great alacrity has something to do with our shared cultural history – ironically.

  288. John Schembri says:

    @ Daphne : As I told you before , YOU ARE LOCKED IN THE PRE VATICAN COUNCIL OF THE 60’s.
    I met Malasians who are Muslims and they confided that at the madrasasa they learn whole quatations in ARABIC from the Quran which they do not understand .It is the same situation with the mass in Latin before the Vatican Council.You did not keep abreast with the changes in the Church in Malta.
    You may be right on some points but it does not follow that Muzew should be disbanded.Hardly a year ago the Pope approved the good work these lay people are doing in the Society founded by Saint Gorg Preca.
    It is obvious for me at least that you never experienced Muzew in the 21st century.

  289. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @John Schembri – when I compared tal-Muzew classes to Islamic madrasses, I didn’t mean the method of teaching, but the underlying concept, which is designed to create an alternative form of religious schooling over and above the formal schooling that those children are already receiving – as though the joint efforts of the school and the home cannot be trusted to do a good job. I cannot possibly be ‘pre Vatican Council of the 60s’ as you put it, because I wasn’t even born then.

  290. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @John Schembri – I never said that tal-Muzew should be disbanded. I do say that parents should not accord it such control by agreeing to hand their children over in return for those children being granted the privilege of joining the ‘white procession’ for First Holy Communion. Believe me, that’s the reason most parents allow themselves to be strong-armed into it, and that’s why they are so resentful.

  291. Japed Tapiocas says:

    Dear Daphne
    I made 3 assumptions, you made 1. You assumed that because of one ex-member, all members of the Society of Christian Doctrine have got something wrong. You’re problem is that you generalize. Personally I do not know you, and I concluded all that stuff. I only read what you said and heard what they said about you. I assumed badly.
    You personally seem not to know any member of the Society of Christian Doctrine, nor have you ever sent any of your children to there cathecisim classes, you have only heard or maybe read about them, so ‘how dare you assume that’?

  292. Japed Tapiocas says:

    Dear Daphne I think you are mixing things up. The real problem is that in the name of communication and globalization our children are being exposed to a greater danger.

    Why should our daughters and sons stay online for hours without their parents knowing what they are doing?
    Why should our children have a mobile, with no restriction?

    Unluckily we are putting our children in great danger with these new media devices, exposing them to a world that we cannot control and in which we cannot protect them from any harm. If the child concerned did not have any mobile, she/he would not have been contacted by the teacher. The real problem is that our children spend to much time on media devies with no parental control, with very big risks.

    [Moderator – A paedophile is not going to stop being a paedophile just because his victims don’t own a mobile, so stop trying to lump the blame on a piece of plastic. All Mark Vella Gera had to do was to fulfil his plans for ‘weather camps’ in Gozo and day-trips to Sicily, and he’d have had his victims, mobile or no mobile.]

  293. Anthony Aquilina says:

    I think these people should be awarded an not judged only from the act of a single person!!I think everyone agrees on this one!

    [Moderator – Awarded what? And for what?]

  294. Amanda Mallia says:

    Ex-student not abused by MVG – A head of a school who was aware of similar incidents at the time when Mark Vella Gera was in “his” school’s employ could not be considered responsible or serious simply because he “sacked” him. Notifying the relevant authorities (who are the police, and not the Curia) would have been the right thing to do.

    The problem with reporting such instances ONLY to the Curia is that the perpetrator is allowed to carry on freely preying on other children, apart from the fact that he is not made to pay for his “misdemeanors”.

  295. Amanda Mallia says:

    Anthony Aquilina – Treating Mark Vella Gera “like any other case and not making a fuss about him” would be wrong. The man is not simply a paedophile. The fact that he actively sought the company of children (teaching, despite his numerous business commitments, being an active member of “MUSEUM”, running a “weather club for boys and girls aged 13 to 15 years with sleepovers in a farmouse in Gozo and trips to Sicily”, holding “weather courses for students aged 13 to 15 years”, and – after the case came to light – “weather courses of interest to sailors, …. students aged 15+ …”) signify that the man is a predator, and a danger to our children.

    Trivialising the matter soley in his defence only serves to put children at risk.

  296. Japed Tapiocas says:

    Dear moderator, I think you are not understanding my point. The Problem is that people like you threat modern communication devices as ‘pieces of plastic’. You are just underestimating these technologies. They can be dangerous and are left in the hands of kids like toys.
    I am not saying that they are wrong, I am just saying that they can and are dangerous in the hands of children or adolecents of a very young age. In this particular case the child had a mobile.
    I also think that you have got very little information about this Person. You are concluding without having any evidence, all you have are just hypothesis.

    **And please dear moderator start acting as a moderator. The thing is that you are just giving your opinion like everybody is doing, that is not your job as a moderator.
    And for goodness sake you are biased.

    [Moderator – A mobile phone is a piece of plastic, and it does not send out sexually explicit messages all by itself – it is only transformed into something ‘dangerous’ by the action of doing so by Mark Vella Gera. Objects are transformed by their actions, which is why a piece of plastic is a mobile phone when you are using it to call people, but a weapon when you are using it to hit them on the head, and ‘dangerous’ when they are pre-pubescent and you are trying to pick them up. This case is not just a question of circumstance i.e., if it weren’t for mobile phones then Mark Vella Gera wouldn’t be a paedophile. Mobile phones have opened up new avenues for the grooming of children by paedophiles, but they have also made it easier for us trace and discover those attempts. What you should be saying is that if it weren’t for those phones then Mark Vella Gera would have never been caught, and those children would have gone on his ‘weather camps’, and there’s no telling what might have happened then.]

  297. Corinne Vella says:

    Jaded Tapiocas: Having and expressing an opinion does not mean that one is biased.

  298. Corinne Vella says:

    Jaded Tapoicas: “I also think that you have got very little information about this Person. You are concluding without having any evidence, all you have are just hypothesis.”
    You’re concluding, without any evidence, that someone you do not know has no information about a third party. You’re right to be concerned that children are exposed to dangers through media. You are wrong in assuming the media are the problem. Those mobile phone messages meant that Mark Vella Gera was found guilty of sending them. As a result, his earlier offences have been exposed and his opportunity for future offences has been limited by the actions of parents who DO bother to find out what may affect their children.

  299. John Schembri says:

    @ Daphne : “the underlying concept, which is designed to create an alternative form of religious schooling over and above the formal schooling that those children are already receiving”
    I do not agree that the formal schooling our children are receiving , includes Catholic religion teaching , as many of us know , we have parents objecting that their children attend these classes What are these ” left out” children learning at school in the meantime? They should learn about “universal” values and morals together with our children.
    Right now we have an Islamic school in Kordin for muslims , in my opinion we are not helping these maltese citizens integrate in maltese society.
    And about religious education being co-shared with parents , there are parents who are just not up to it about the Churche’s teachings. They are more concerned, among many things about the Band club , the STATUE of the saint , il-festa , fireworks , hunting , trapping , fishing ,work , the horse they own and partisan politics.
    There is another reality which you seem you are not experiencing, regarding village life in Malta.

  300. M@ says:

    @John Schembri:

    Are you implying that “universal values and morals” can only be “learnt” from religion lessons at school or otherwise? Can’t values and morals be passed down by a childs parents?Are religious ( i.e: Catholic) values the only ‘correct’ ones?How can religious values be “universal” or be considered “good” for you surely disagree with some, for example, muslim values nd morals?

    Maybe we should replace religion lessons with philosophy lessons and increase the amount of personal and social development (PSD) activities that are supported by authorised people that are educated in the field – not by the average,discrimatory holier-than-thou folk that preach at MUSEUM etc(If values are so important to you- how can you so easily trust in organisations like those to teach(more like brainwash) morals and values in your child?) .

    This would surely help solve the problem you mentioned of muslims not having any aid to integrate with our society.

    BTW: I’ve had a classmate or two in secondary school who weren’t forced to attend these ‘religion’ lessons like I was (not by my parents, but by the school and compulsory o’level). They spent their time studying other subjects in the school library whilst we attended these those redundant religion classes. They turned out fine, and with possibly better marks in the more important o’levels.

  301. Japed Tapiocas says:

    Corinne Vella: The problem is that this person is the so called moderator. He is not doing his work well. He is giving his opinion as a moderator and that is not good. He has the right to say what he thinks but his work is being a moderator.

  302. Japed Tapiocas says:

    Corinne Vella:I can also assure you that I know the case much better then you do. If you are denying that media can be a problem is like denying that you your blood is red. Most of the time it is not. I am not against media, I am for a good use of media.

    I think you are underestimating this fact. Media is not a problem, but if used badly it can become. If we protect our children when they are at home we are doing our best, but if we don’t do so, we are the problem. If a child predator sends mobile messages and chat with them without us knowing, then media is a problem( I am not say media is bad but that it can be dangerous for children if not assisted by there parents)

  303. M@ says:

    @Japed Tapiocas:
    Why is the moderator’s opinion threatening you and others so much?

  304. M@ says:

    @Japed Tapiocas again:
    The mod was right, the medium isn’t the problem; its the person abusing it that is.
    If a man kills another with a hammer, its the killer that goes to jail not the hammer.

  305. Neville Cassar says:

    Daphne,

    I was disgusted with your comment:

    “Call me prejudiced, but I would never trust a man who actively seeks to spend his afternoons and evenings in the company of young children, to teach them ‘religion’, especially when it is not his job and he is not getting paid for it. Why would a mentally healthy man want to spend his free time doing that, instead of running around with women or taking up some normal hobby or interest?”

    I am a former member or the Society of Christian doctrine (MUSEUM) and first of all PROUD OF IT. I grew up in the mentioned society and then i became member in 2004. With those words you are saying that in the past years i was mentally unstable and wasted my time. You cannot generalize like the way you did. I am not trying to defend that guy because what he did is shameful. But it clearly does not mean that every sdc member is doing such bad things. Museum had 100years of history and your comments are surely not thankful for the good service that the SDC did for the Maltese society and will continue to do.

  306. Corinne Vella says:

    Japed Tapiocas: Knowing where a moderator stands is useful in assessing the openess of a debate.

  307. Corinne Vella says:

    Neville Cassar: The sick bags are in the pocket of the seat in front of you.

  308. Corinne Vella says:

    Japed Tapiocas: You do not know me so you cannot know what I know about this case or anything else. You are therefore in no position to judge your own knowledge as being superior to mine. You’re wasting your time trying to argue with me about media use because you are actually saying the same thing – media are not harmful in themselves. The harm or good is in the way that media are used. Keeping media away from your children (or keeping your children away from the media)doesn’t protect them against paedophiles. Keeping paedophiles away from children does, and that includes remote contact.

  309. Japed Tapiocas says:

    M@: his opinion does not bother me at all, it is the fact that he is the moderator. He is there to moderate. For all I know he can write his name and write whatever he wants, every body has the right to express himself, but not as a moderator, he is there to control the forum not to give his opinion!!!

    Corinne Vella: the thing is that if we let these media devices in the hands of our children without us knowing how they are using them, is like leaving a baby at home with no one to look after him; he can either learn to walk or he can die by falling the stairs!!! The fact is that there s a big risk!
    If you like risking your children in the name of technology and modernity, I won’t do the same mistake!!!

  310. Roberto Rizzo says:

    @ Japed Tapiocas
    I work in the media and have been using internet technology since 1996. Seriously, have you ever used a knife before? As you know, you can cut a piece of bread with a knife, but it can also be used as a weapon to kill. My point is simple, parents can dedicate some time to monitor their kids while on the net. Secondly software like Cyber Nanny and Cyber Patrol can be installed to block and offensive material instantly. Chatting software can be removed in the blink of an eye, so basically while it’s safe for kids to use internet at school, it can be so at home.

    With regards to mobile telephony, I don’t agree that pre teens carry mobile phones unless it is necessary (going abroad with a group or staying for a weekend away from the family). As we say “don’t accept sweets from strangers” we can apply the same concept of not giving your number to anyone.

    Coming to the point about religion and tal-muzew, the idea to help kids socialise in a controlled religious environment is not bad as a concept, however I’d rather incorporate these activities with schools. Why do kids need to be bombarded with religion when they just learn the same stuff at school? Moreover, teachers are all monitored by the education dept and yet you can still find a few who abuse the system. You can imagine how easier it is for people from tal-muzew to abuse the system when they have no code of ethics, no idea in psychological matters and how to handle students. Tal-muzew report directly to the laughing stock of the island, the curia, that’s what I’m really concerned about (referring to the way they hush abusive cases where nuns and priests are involved). I’m not saying that they are all ill intentioned, but the back-door in this system is wide open and unfortunately not even half of the cases are reported and ironically these wrong doers associate themselves with religion and God.

    Can you blame us for being angry at the system?

  311. Roberto Rizzo says:

    Re: technology… you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. SUPERVISE your children! Same thing applies when leaving kids in front of a television, they can watch things not suitable for them. Even toys can be dangerous…so let’s ban toys too. Come on and let’s not be ridiculous.

    Re: moderator… as far as I know, the moderator is not letting people getting on top of each other’s heads and haven’t seen a single bottle flying across the forum yet :)

    Seriously Japed you passed your comment and vented your opinion and that’s great. There’s no need to take any feedback or get back at anyone personally. Let’s keep it civilized and learn from each other.

  312. John Schembri says:

    @ M@ I never imply , just re-read what I wrote , and do not jump on me .If I were you I would first read what is written and THEN check who wrote it.
    Regarding PSD teachers , you will be surprised to learn that after work some of them go to teach at il-Muzew.
    About the moderator putting in his bit , I feel that he/she should show impartiality like a chairperson does in a discussion. I am getting used to this uncomfortable setup after all this is not my chat room , I still prefer the way Daphne writes her replies., I am sure she can write in brackets like the moderator does..
    Regarding the use of mobile phones by children ,it’s like the use of knives . one cannot ban knives , but one cannot leave knives in children’s hands unattended. One should keep a watchful eye on who is communicating with them , indeed parenting is getting more complicated and sophisticated.

  313. Corinne Vella says:

    Japed Tapiocas: I appreciate your concern, but your comparison is fatuous. A teenager with a mobile phone is in no way comparable to a baby left home alone. You really need to wake up to the reality that you do your children a disservice by preventing their use of media altogether. Paedophilia wasn’t born with the invention of the internet and you can’t switch it off by taking away a teenager’s mobile phone. The sensible route is to enable them to use media safely and responsibly. That’s not going to happen if you cut them off altogether. Now THAT really would be risking your children in the name of media and technology.

  314. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    @Japed Tapiocas: a moderator in an Internet discussion does not have the same role as a moderator in a Public Broadcasting Authority political debate.

    @Everyone else defending the Muzew system – here’s a very recent example of a story told to a group of nine-year-olds, as an example of heroic religious fortitude. “A woman was pregrant, and the doctors told her that she would die if she had the baby. So she said, I would prefer to die so that my baby can live. And her husband agreed with her, and promised to raise their six or so children by himself.” Yes, this is a real-life story from a few years back. The woman was lionised by the pope. Others, like me, said that she was completely irresponsible to put the interests of an unformed and unborn child before the interests of her several existing children. But that’s beside the point. The point is that this is not a suitable subject for discussion for nine-year-olds who shouldn’t have to deal with issues like sex, abortion, childbirth, and philosophical debates like whether to have or not to have a child in those circumstances. It’s thoroughly insane and irresponsible to tell such young children these things – and it’s quite obvious that the ‘teacher’ who did it is not qualified to teach young children. The average nine-year-old doesn’t know how babies are conceived, how they are born or that there is something called abortion. This child’s parents were shocked when she returned home to tell them. Children should be playing and carefree at that age, not plagued with problems like this.

  315. Amanda Mallia says:

    Japed Tapioca – You said “In this particular case the child had a mobile.”

    You seem to be overlooking the fact that it was not just SMSes that were involved; Mark Vella Gera also used the internet to proposition the minors for sex, for God’s sake! (And if some rumours are to believed, then use of a webcam was also involved.)

  316. Amanda Mallia says:

    Daphne – Your comment of Saturday at 0957hrs reminded me of an incident I had forgotten about, but which had made me extremely angry at the time.

    On waiting to collect my eldest daughter from “dutrina” some time last year, I happened to overhear what the replacement “dutrina” teacher was saying to the class of 6-year-old girls.

    She happened to be explaining the “Our Father”, and for the bit “ikun dak li trid int” (thy will be done), she chose to say “Jekk iggor tarbija fil-guf tieghek ghal disgha xhur, imbaghad tmut din it-tarbija, heqq hux, x’taghmel, ikun ir-rieda t’Alla.” (I’m sure that people reading the comments here need no translation.) Why 6-year-old children need to know the mechanics of things, and why should they be aware or such situations, especially when they are so young, defies my imagination.

    Luckily, the explanation would have been lost on my child, because she wouldn’t have understood most of what was said anyway, since it was said in Maltese. (As I said, this was a replacement teacher, the usual one having left early that day.)

    The fact remains that, yes, though the “dutrina” teachers may be dedicated ones, it does not necessarily mean that they are qualified to teach them.

  317. bingo2 says:

    Daphne, and moderator, I am sure that your main motivation for writing and commenting on this article is religion. It is quite clear that whatever both of you are saying is aimed at undermining the efforts of the church and other religious organisations. If both of you find it convenient to use this article to justify your decision to deny faith in the Catholic Church, then you are showing that you are still not comfortable with your decision. Daphne, I am sure that you will never agree, but this article is not about MVG or paedophilia or protecting the victims, it has developed in an anti-religious litany from your part.

    Although there might be some questions as to Joe’s comments, I have to say that they are the most logical, best informed, legal and human. Although criminals deserve to be punished, let us not become worst then them by losing our humanity.

    And yes, what you did Daphne is contempt of court no matter how you try to justify it. It is as bad as the sentence meted out in this case.

  318. Amanda Mallia says:

    bingo2 – The people who have turned this blog into being “all about religion” are the religion fanantics and the MUSEUM fanatics themselves.

    I take it that you are not a parent of young children, because I fail to see how anyone who is one can attack Daphne for exposing Mark Vella Gera for what he is – a pervert, a paedophile, a predator. What other words can describe such a poor excuse for a man?

    You are just as bad as Mark Vella Gera himself if you continue to protect him, all in the name of religion, having no respect for the victims who had the courage to expose him, and neither having any respect for the right of other children to be protected from the likes of him.

    Please don’t be all santimonious, and stop twisting -or avoiding – facts. Yes, the man was a teacher who preyed on children. Admit that the fact that he was a religion teacher and a MUSEUM activist (if that’s what you call them), make his crime much more serious. He was in a position of trust, for God’s sake. OK, so maybe he’s no longer a MUSEUM member, but the fact that – at least until recently – he paraded with his MUSEUM badge just goes to show that he knows how people fall for such a holy facade. Why else would he wear it otherwise?

    Now please don’t come back to attack me – I’m not saying that all MUSEUM people are like him, but please don’t defend him simply because he was a MUSEUM member, either, just as all the other people with blinkers are doing.

    Get your priorities right. Daphne has done many children (and their parents) a favour by exposing Mark Vella Gera for what he is. Most of the parents I know are grateful for that. The more people know about him, the less chance there is of him being able to prey on our kids; unfortunately, though, not enough people are aware of the details.

    So, Bingo2, if you don’t like it here, you may go and act sanctimonious elsewhere … May I suggest helping out at Mark Vella Gera’s “weather club for boys and girls aged 11 to 15 years … with sleepovers in Gozo and trips to Sicily”, maybe? It looks like he could do with a “new” face fronting it.

  319. Mark-Qormi says:

    reply to David Schembri,
    I just wanted to say that your comment about tal muzew was utterly nonsense and a stupid thing to say. you should see the good work they do, maybe also to your children if u have any. shame on you, was such a childish thing to say…

  320. KD says:

    I knew Mark back from school and muzew time, and I would have never even thought he was capable of such things, until I saw Daphne’s post.

    This being said I am a father, and I really wish to thank Daphne for spreading the news. Great Work Daphne, and thank you for sticking out your neck.

    I do agree that accused pedophiles should be punished severly and their names published.

    However to generalise is never a good thing. I went to St. Michaels (st. venera) and nothing of the sort ever happened to me so just becasue one did wrong does not mean they are all wrong.

  321. Amanda Mallia says:

    KD – They may not be all wrong, but St Michael’s Qormi were aware of his “pastimes” and chose to sack him, and rightfully so. They were wrong, however, in keeping it within the folds of the church authorities instead of reporting their suspicions (or known facts) to the police. Look what that resulted in – repeat cases. What next?

  322. Chris says:

    I can confirm this man used to teach at St. Michael’s school in qormi..He used to teach me English and Computer at that time. He was very popular with students as being the most arrogant teacher of all and most of us at that time disliked him. Although I have to say that we never suspected he was capable of doing such things and never experienced anything like it (luckily). It is true that this article you wrote does have the sort of anti-religious concept but also I agree that these people should in fact be published and punished. We need to have trust in these people when we have our own kids and things like this should be told to everyone so we know where we will be sending our children.

  323. One of Who Got Abused! says:

    If there was an award of who was the worlds biggest pervert…i think that pedofile mark would win it…he abused me and told me what to do in my free time…jekk narah fin nofs ta triq l-anqas timaginaw x’xeba natih…

  324. To "One of Who Got Abused" says:

    “One of Who got Abused” – If what you are saying about the “man” is true, then it is your duty to give all the relevant information to the police vice-squad. I believe that one of the officers handling the case is a Louise Calleja – You may want to talk to her. They need all the evidence they can have against him.

    Help the police do their utmost to see that justice is done (well, depending on the courts at the end of the day, but at least your conscience will be clear). They know of the “man” and will believe you, so pluck up the courage and contact them. Help them also to ensure that the “man” has as little access as possible to children of any age.

    And last, but certainly not least – I sympathise with you, especially since Mark Vella Gera was in a position of trust. Help him get the justice he deserves.

  325. Adrian says:

    Agreeing with Chris

    I used to attend St Michaels and had Mark VG teaching me English . All teachers there where great .. but VG had a bit of a “Funny” reputation even back then …. some 10 years ago

    -Adrian

    • ex student says:

      at school we once had a humorous occasion on a Christmas. Teachers, nominated by students, got the awards they deserve. There was a ‘best all round teacher award’ which someone got for example.

      Mark got ‘Teacher who gives out most negative reports’

  326. To Adrian says:

    To Adrian (& contemporaries) – You say that Mark Vella Gera was teaching at St Michael’s (Qormi) around 10 years ago. Since he was sacked or whatever from that school around 3 to 4 years ago, it means that he spent at least 6 to 7 years teaching at St Michael’s, Qormi, right?

    Surely, considering the length of time Mark Vella Gera spent teaching at St Michael’s, Qormi, there are a few people who may recall similar incidents regarding this teacher? Whoever has the info should go to the police with it. If you won’t do it for yourself, then at least do it for all the young children who may be his next victims.

  327. One of Who Got Abused! says:

    Thanks for all your support. I did give out all i know both at school and at the meeting we had with Louise Calleja and appogg people but so far it seems that it falls into deaf ears as usual. It reminded me of that tv show xarabank, hafna paroli u ma naslu mkien!!! Unfortunately I have no trust at all in both justice and the rest because a couple of years ago I was bitten savagely by a dog and this doing was done on purpose by his evil owner and the court only fined him Lm20 for having 3 stitches in my pulse and 6 stitches in the back of my thigh cause the fat of my leg was coming out. But this the justice did not want to know or hear any of my side cause I’m a minor and for the simple reason that what I have learnt is that when you say that you are GUILTY then it is allllllriiiight maaaam !

  328. Amanda Mallia says:

    To “One of Who Got Abused” – I’m really sorry for how the court handled your previous case, especially after such a horrific experience. I know that you are still young, but, however hard it is, try not to lose faith in the system.

    As for the school meeting, I imagine that it would be very hard to get anywhere with a large group of people present. It might be wiser to request a meeting directly with Louise Calleja or somebody else from the (police) Vice Squad. (More importantly, since you are still a minor, I suggest that you go there with at least one of your parents or another adult you can trust.)

    You already had to courage to take the first step. Don’t give up, and do help the police get all the evidence they can against Mark Vella Gera. (Unlike what you may think, I believe that they are still working on his case.)

    Hopefully, this time round, justice will truly be served. Hopefully, too, that will mean that Mark Vella Gera and others like him will not be left free (especially if unnamed officially) to prey on other innocent children. As a mother of two young children, I sincerely hope so.

    Good luck.

  329. Mark says:

    SO IM A WITNESS OF MR MARK HE TEACHES AT ST.MICHAEL FOUNDAION..so i was scared wen he touched me on my lap and i taught he would rape so i was very scared.This person lives in balzan a friend of mine knows if u want more info send me an email at maltajon@yahoo.com

  330. Amanda Mallia says:

    Mark – You should go to the police (try Louise Calleja of the Vice Squad) with the info you have, but – since you are still a minor – I suggest that you do so with at least one of your parents or another adult you can trust.

    This man should not be allowed to work (even if on a voluntary basis) with children ever again. Help him get the justice he deserves. Good luck.

  331. Ex St Micheals student says:

    He used to teach me at st. Micheal Hal Qormi(Tal Musew)6 years ago . he made my life hell at that time i hope he gets what he deserves . I bet he doesn’t feel SO PERFECT anymore.

  332. Amanda Mallia says:

    For some reason, despite the supposed ban on the publication of Mark Vella Gera’s name, the court sentence of 22.04.2008 could today be accessed ON THE GOVT WEBSITE by running a Google search with the words “Mark Vella Gera”. (Running a Google search on “Mark Vella Gera hati” will take you straight to the court sentence in question.)

    Though I am not at all well-versed in legal terminology, I fail to see any ban ON THE ACCUSED’S name anywhere in the court sentence, unless it would be covered by this:

    “Il-Qorti tordna l-hrug ta’ Ordni ta’ protezzjon ai terminital-Artikolu 412C tal-Kap 9 fil-konfront ta’ XXX u XXX (il-minuri) u l-familjari taghhhom, ghal perijodu ta’ 3 snin.”

    More worrying is the fact that although the sentence prevents him from holding a teacher’s warrant or any other warrant he would need for EMPLOYMENT with any institution having children in its care, even on a temporary basis, my interpretation such sentence is that he is still not prevented BY LAW from running his “weather club for boys and girls aged 11 – 15 years”, his “weather courses of special interest to … students”, from being a VOLUNTEER (NOT employee) at some place involving children, for example, running the games room / snack bar at a football club, waterpolo club, church hall / “Oratorju”, etc – You get the gist of it.

    This is the actual part of the sentence I am referring to:

    “Il-Qorti inoltre tordna l-iskwalifika tal-imputat milli jkollu jew jottjeni “warrant” ta’ ghalliem jew kull “warrant” iehor fejn b’xi mod ikun impjegat ma’ skola jew ma’ istituzzjoni li jkollha l-kura, anke temporanja, ta’ minorenni, ghal perijodu indefinit, u dan ai termini tal-Artikolu 30(1) tal-Kapitolu 9 tal-Ligijiet ta’ Malta.”

  333. pj says:

    “Call me prejudiced, but I would never trust a man who actively seeks to spend his afternoons and evenings in the company of young children, to teach them ‘religion’, especially when it is not his job and he is not getting paid for it. Why would a mentally healthy man want to spend his free time doing that, instead of running around with women or taking up some normal hobby or interest?”

    daphne dear, it may be helpful to know that members of the museum who do the above actually live out a vocation to do this. From the discussions, this notion does not seem to be all that clear in malta, but outside of malta, it is definitely regarded as such.

  334. Elizabeth says:

    It was at my School, St.Michaels Foundation, it was boys in my class that he approached and im so glad uve published his name – people deserve to know!

  335. Amanda Mallia says:

    Pj – Mark Vella Gera was NOT a member of MUSEUM because of a vocation, NEITHER did he teach religion at an independent school because of such vocation. The only reason he must have done so was to satisy his own perversion; likewise his being so keen on running “weather clubs for children … with overnight stays in Gozo … and trips to Sicily.”

    • Mike says:

      Just to set the record straight people – he taught English Language and not Religion. I know religion sounds more sensational, but it was English. I should know, a student of his for five years.

  336. N________..ABused says:

    HE is a PERVERT AND A PAEDOFILE

  337. Graziella says:

    Back to square one. Weather courses has started again, simply under a new name. The fox is wearing the sheep’s coat.

    [Moderator – Comments on this post are now closed.]

  338. Graziella says:

    By the way, Maltaweather became MeteoMalta now. The pervert is still there thou. Should it be done again for action to be taken ?

  339. MB says:

    I keep getting spam from this guy but he’s dropped the “Gera” from his name now.
    He’s still offering weather courses and other stuff for sale too.

  340. unknown stundent..... says:

    hi i m a student at st.micheals secondary school…. i would just like to inform you that it wasn t a boys primary school as our school is mixed and it was in the secondary school… however…Mark or mr.Mark as we use to call him only behaved the way he did with boys…. he also used to teach us i.t…. i always tought he was a bit strange but i never thought that he d be a pedo….
    Thanks for everything… i hope we ll never have to see his face ever again!!

  341. Marianna Galea Xuereb says:

    May I suggest that we use this website to post any info we might have about Child Abusers and Sex Offenders (Maltese or otherwise) who might be living in Malta at any one time. Since the Maltese authorities keep refusing to set up a publicly accessible Register of Child Abusers and Sex offenders (I have been publicly requesting such a service for almost five years. see http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2004/02/01/l3.html )

    then we parents must muck in and help ourselves to whatever information we may glean and pool in order to minimise risk to our children as best we can – and to hell with the Data Protection and Privacy Laws which are being implemented to protect abusers rather than to adequately inform normal citizens. Newspaper reporters can really help in this because they will have access to actual names of offenders in law court documents that we ordinary mortals do not have.

    For instance, recently I read about a case of a Male nurse living in Dingli who abused three girls but I myself do not yet know his name or where he lives even though I myself live in Dingli and have a young daughter to protect. This is definitely not right.

    P.S.
    I suggest that readers also look up these sites below. Adulthood and even ripe old age do not make one immune from abuse.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20081229/local/man-pleads-guilty-to-indecent-assault

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090115/local/irish-rape-suspect-traced-in-malta/

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090115/local/irish-rape-suspect-traced-in-malta/

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090114/local/ireland-to-seek-extradition-of-rape-suspect/

    http://www.herald.ie/national-news/man-accused-of-raping-mum-found-in-malta-1599055.html

  342. a ex student of st.mikes says:

    hello this is Lisa and Mark taught me ict at st.michaels foundation .. (tal-balal)
    .. first of all he was a complete idiot and he used to teach us ict by reading of a book and making us write it down word for word. In my opinion it was his fault but the blame should on mr.scerri the head master .. as he a retard for even thinking of letting a complete stranger with no qualifications even step foot inside the school .. never mind teach us. After all this he left us half way into the scholastic year.. and i failed my exam because of it. I hope he doesnt do this again ..as i saw him driving in his weather truck a fe weeks ago ..i think it was him

  343. Jakku says:

    Ej Daph

    First of all I must say you impress me with each of your writings…yet this one contains one error……..It is not fair to state “I would never trust a man who actively seeks to spend his afternoons and evenings in the company of young children”…..When I used to attend Muzew…those were honestly the best days of my life and this case is the only case of abuse which invloves a person of Tal-Muzew……

    Furthermore…Im an ex student of StMichael School and even though he did not teach me yet he once said something which was really rude and kind of complies to the whole accusation thing…..But its said I guess….when this case was in the limelight…he basically lost everything……..He was too public with what he did :S

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  360. Enhapenaive says:

    [b] Propecia [/b]
    Generischer Name: Finasterid (FIH NAH steh Fahrt)
    Markennamen Propecia, Proscar

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    [b] Was ist Propecia? [/b]
    Propecia verhindert die Umwandlung von Testosteron zu Dihydrotestosteron (DHT) im Korper.
    Propecia ist fur die Behandlung von mannlichem Haarausfall auf dem Scheitel und der vorderen Mitte Kopfhaut verwendet. Haarausfall ist eine haufige Erkrankung, in denen Manner der Haare auf der Kopfhaut Ausdunnung Erfahrung. Oft fuhrt dies zu einer Geheimratsecken und / oder Haarausfall an der Oberseite des Kopfes. Propecia ist fur die Verwendung nur von Mannern und nicht von Frauen oder Kindern verwendet werden soll.
    Propecia kann auch fur andere Zwecke nicht im medizinischen Leitfaden aufgefuhrt sind.

    [b] Wichtige Informationen uber Propecia [/b]
    Propecia sollte nie von einer Frau oder eines Kindes getroffen werden. Finasterid kann durch die Haut absorbiert werden, und Frauen oder Kinder sollten nicht gestattet, Propecia-Tabletten zu behandeln.
    Bevor Propecia, informieren Sie Ihren Arzt, wenn Sie schon einmal eine allergische Reaktion auf Finasterid, oder ein ahnliches Medikament namens Dutasterid (Avodart).
    Obwohl Propecia ist nicht fur den Einsatz von Frauen, kann dieses Medikament Geburtsfehler verursachen, wenn eine Frau ist, um es wahrend der Schwangerschaft ausgesetzt. Propecia Tabletten sollten nicht von einer Frau, die schwanger ist oder wer schwanger werden konnen, behandelt werden. Propecia Tabletten sind uberzogen und wird Kontakt mit dem Wirkstoff bei normaler Handhabung, vorausgesetzt, dass die Tabletten nicht zerbrochen oder zerdruckt zu verhindern. Wenn eine Frau versehentlich in Kontakt kommt mit diesem Medikament aus einer zerkleinerter Form von Tabletten, waschen Sie den Bereich mit Seife und Wasser sofort. Rufen Sie Ihren Arzt sofort, wenn Sie bemerken, die Knoten in der Brust, Schmerzen, Sekretion oder andere Veranderungen der Brust. Diese Symptome konnen Anzeichen der mannlichen Brustkrebs.

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    [b] Bevor Propecia [/b]
    Propecia sollte nie von einer Frau oder eines Kindes getroffen werden. Finasterid kann durch die Haut absorbiert werden, und Frauen oder Kinder sollten nicht gestattet Finasterid Tabletten zu behandeln ist,
    Um sicher zu gehen konnen Sie sicher nehmen Propecia, informieren Sie Ihren Arzt, wenn Sie eines dieser anderen Bedingungen haben:
    Lebererkrankungen oder anormale Leberenzymwerte Prufungen;
    Prostatakrebs;
    eine Blase Muskelerkrankung;
    Striktur der Harnrohre;
    Sie sind nicht in der Lage zu urinieren, oder
    wenn Sie jemals eine allergische Reaktion auf ein ahnliches Medikament namens Dutasterid (Avodart).
    Obwohl Propecia ist nicht fur den Einsatz von Frauen, kann dieses Medikament Geburtsfehler verursachen, wenn eine Frau ist, um es wahrend der Schwangerschaft ausgesetzt. Propecia Tabletten sollten nicht von einer Frau, die schwanger ist oder wer schwanger werden konnen, behandelt werden. Propecia Tabletten sind uberzogen und wird Kontakt mit dem Wirkstoff bei normaler Handhabung, vorausgesetzt, dass die Tabletten nicht zerbrochen oder zerdruckt zu verhindern. Wenn eine Frau versehentlich in Kontakt kommt mit diesem Medikament aus einer zerkleinerter Form von Tabletten, waschen Sie den Bereich mit Seife und Wasser sofort.

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    [b] Wie nehme ich Propecia? [/b]
    Nehmen Sie Propecia genau wie von Ihrem Arzt verordnet. Nehmen Sie es nicht in gro?eren Mengen oder langer als empfohlen. Befolgen Sie die Anweisungen auf dem Etikett Verschreibung.
    Nehmen Sie dieses Medikament mit einem vollen Glas Wasser.
    Propecia kann mit oder ohne Nahrung eingenommen werden. Nehmen Sie das Arzneimittel zur gleichen Zeit jeden Tag.
    Es ist wichtig, Propecia regelma?ig verwenden, um den meisten Nutzen. Moglicherweise mussen Sie Propecia taglich fur drei Monate oder langer, bevor Sie einen Nutzen sehen nehmen. Propecia kann nur funktionieren, auf lange Sicht, wenn Sie mit der Einnahme es fort. Wenn das Medikament nicht fur Sie in zwolf Monaten gearbeitet haben, ist eine weitere Behandlung wahrscheinlich nicht von Nutzen sein. Wenn Sie die Einnahme Propecia beenden, werden Sie wahrscheinlich verlieren die Haare Sie innerhalb von 12 Monaten Beendigung der Behandlung gewonnen haben. Sie sollten dies mit Ihrem Arzt besprechen.
    Um sicher zu sein, dieses Medikament hilft Ihrem Zustand kann Ihr Blut muss haufig uberpruft werden. Ihr Arzt wird auch testen Sie Ihre Prostata-spezifischen Antigens (PSA) zur Fruherkennung von Prostatakrebs zu uberprufen. Besuchen Sie regelma?ig Ihren Arzt.
    Store Propecia bei Raumtemperatur weg von Feuchtigkeit, Hitze und Licht. Halten Sie die Flasche fest verschlossen, wenn sie nicht in Gebrauch ist.

    [b] Was passiert, wenn ich eine Dosis vermisse? [/b]
    Nehmen Sie die vergessene Dosis so bald wie Sie sich erinnern. Uberspringen Sie die vergessene Dosis, wenn es fast Zeit fur Ihre nachste Dosis. Nehmen Sie keine zusatzlichen Medikamente, um die vergessene Dosis.

    [b] Was passiert, wenn ich Uberdosierung? [/b]
    Suchen Sie Notfall medizinische Aufmerksamkeit oder rufen Sie den Gift-Helpline bei 1-800-222-1222. Eine Uberdosierung von Propecia ist nicht zu erwarten, lebensbedrohliche Symptome zu erzeugen.

    [b] Was soll ich vermeiden, dass dabei Propecia? [/b]
    Vermeiden Sie zu schnell aus sitzender oder liegender Position, oder Sie konnen sich schwindelig fuhlen. Holen Sie sich langsam und stetig sich zu einem Ruckgang zu verhindern.

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    [b] Propecia Nebenwirkungen [/b]
    Holen Sie sich medizinische Hilfe, wenn Sie eines dieser Anzeichen einer allergischen Reaktion: Nesselsucht, Atembeschwerden, Schwellungen von Gesicht, Lippen, Zunge oder Rachen. Rufen Sie Ihren Arzt sofort, wenn Sie bemerken, die Knoten in der Brust, Schmerzen, Sekretion oder andere Veranderungen der Brust. Diese Symptome konnen Anzeichen der mannlichen Brustkrebs.
    Weniger schwerwiegende Propecia Nebenwirkungen gehoren:
    Impotenz, Verlust des Interesses an Sex oder Arger mit einem Orgasmus;
    Ejakulationsstorungen;
    Schwellungen an Ihren Handen oder Fu?en;
    Schwellung oder Schmerzen in der Brust;
    Schwindel, Schwache;
    Gefuhl, wie Sie vielleicht austreten;
    Kopfschmerzen;
    Schnupfen, oder
    Hautausschlag.
    Dies ist keine vollstandige Liste der Nebenwirkungen und andere auftreten. Rufen Sie Ihren Arzt fur eine medizinische Beratung uber Nebenwirkungen. Sie konnen Nebenwirkungen FDA-Bericht bei 1-800-FDA-1088.

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    [b] Welche anderen Medikamente beeinflussen Propecia? [/b]
    Moglicherweise gibt es andere Medikamente, die mit Propecia interagieren kann. Informieren Sie Ihren Arzt uber alle Medikamente die Sie benutzen. Das gilt fur verschreibungspflichtige, Over-the-counter, Vitamin und pflanzliche Produkte. Fangen Sie nicht an ein neues Medikament ohne Rucksprache mit Ihrem Arzt.

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  361. Some facts says:

    Mark Vella Gera used to teach at my school (St.Michael’s School in St. Venera) … It would be interesting to share with you quite an interesting matter..

    Just DAYS before news broke out that Mark Vella Gera was suspended from his duties because he was caught chatting in an abusive manner on an Mirc (a famous chatting software back in time) channel frequented by HIS OWN students (n.b. a particular student had chat logs and other data which clearly showed that Mark Vella Gera was using a ‘nickname’ to chat with his students in a sexual way)…. Headmaster Ray D’Amato (just DAYS before the news broke out let me remind you) told us in a school assembly “He who hides important evidence and facts about a WRONG CASE, is AS GUILTY AS the one who has performed these same acts”.

    Once this particular student started spreading the information with the fellow students, the headmaster was quick to suspend MVG, BUT he decided to visit each and every classroom, to which he gave the same speech : “For the good of our school reputation as YOU and YOUR PARENTS fully understand, WE DO NOT WANT TO MAKE THESE EVENTS PUBLIC”

    This incredible U-TURN by the headmaster, led to the MVG leaving school in a peacful manner, only to get employed in the OTHER St.Michael School, where this time, he didn’t just chat with his students in an abusive manner, BUT sexually abused!!

    The above is just to show you what happens when “For the good of the school”, you hide what was going on…. Poor children!

    Well DCG for having the guts to show the country who this guy was …. In fact, he was a really good English teacher with an incredibly awkward and cold character …. He was extremely strict and EXPECTED THE SAME INPUT from students with learning difficulties WITHOUT acknowledging their unique needs and problems!

    One last thing …. a suspended jail term IS NOT ENOUGH in my opinion and the people who hid VITAL INFORMATION all these years, should ALSO be questioned!

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