All that banging on about ‘Bishop’ Gonzi and separating church and state, and then they send a monsignor to represent Malta at UNESCO

Published: August 16, 2013 at 2:31pm

The Labour government has selected, as Malta’s envoy to UNESCO, not a diplomat but the former archpriest of Gozo Cathedral – Monsignor Joe Vella Gauci.

So help us God.

A priest representing Malta as a diplomat? At UNESCO? Unbelievable. And this is the progressive, liberal Labour Party which campaigned on a platform of separation of church and state (as if they were not already separate) while mocking the prime minister as ‘Bishop’ Gonzi.

When this priest is expected to deal with issues that run into conflict with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which master is he going to serve?

And yes, the appointments of Labour Party TV show-host, 75-year-old Norman Hamilton, as high commissioner in London, Labour Party employee, former housing civil servant and cheap opportunist Marisa Micallef as ambassador in Washington, and Labour Party mass meeting microphone-man Ray Azzopardi as ambassador in Brussels have been confirmed.

Times of Malta this morning reported on an appointment we didn’t know about – Jaime (not Jamie, as was reported) Cremona as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Yes, he is very personable – or perhaps was, as I haven’t seen him for some years now. But please, for heaven’s sake, he’s in his 80s.

41 Comments Comment

  1. astraboy says:

    Well, the priest has very open views on some issues… celibacy in particular.

    • gozitan says:

      A priest? Well, some priest. The monsignor was archpriest of the Gozo Cathedral, but was summarily dismissed by the Bishop from his parish. He then sued the Bishop in the Roman courts, and was told the Bishop was right. Picked out of the church’s skip.

      Jaime Cremona – he had already been proposed some time ago as Ambassador to a Gulf state, but the agreement of the host country was indignantly refused. Perhaps the Foreign Office will publish the reasons why.

      He had been elected President of the Maltese Association of the Order of St John, and made to resign overnight over serious charges of personal misconduct. Picked out from the skip of the Order of Malta.

  2. H.P. Baxxter says:

    It’s a good thing they have central heating in London and air conditioning in Riyadh.

  3. John J says:

    This is exactly the same as with the Ambassador to the Order of Malta – which is a STATE. A knight in obedience as is H.E. takes a solemn promise of obedience to the Grandmaster and simultaneously swears allegiance to the STATE of Malta. In case of conflict whose interests is he loyal too. An ongoing joke.

  4. Vagabond King says:

    The good monsignor has already picked his PA. Will she be joining him at UNESCO?

    Perhaps we should be asking why Mario Grech’s first act, when he was made Bishop of Gozo, was to have this archpriest removed.

  5. Toyger says:

    So we send a priest to UNESCO, and a gynaecologist as our representative to the Vatican…shouldn’t it have been the other way round?

  6. Tracy says:

    Ma jigix mill-ministru Refalo ghalli jista’ jkun hux ?

  7. Edgar says:

    I don’t remember seeing the Monsignor on any billboard. Maybe it was a secret meeting with Joseph Muscat in the cathedral’s sacristy.

  8. Santa says:

    Joseph wants to impress Pope Francis.

  9. Ganni Xewki says:

    This priest is more Mintoffian then Mintoff himself.

    He has already started to try to manipulate history by producing a book about the 7th June 1919 without saying the reasons behind the Maltese riots.

    Basta kontra l-Inglizi!

    When he was Archpriest, he placed two Pope statues in front of the beautiful Gozo Cathedral façade, ruining its symmetry.

    He invited Dr Gonzi as PM to inaugurate them when he knew that there was no permission (and they are still there illegally) from MEPA to install these statues. Yet his plan to embarrass the PM failed at the last moment because Dr Gonzi did not accept.

    In a way I am happy that we will get rid of him from Gozo (trouble bis jaghqla!) but I am embarrassed to have him representing Malta and Gozo at UNESCO. The question everyone is asking here in Victoria is whether his ‘girlfriend’ is going along too? Maybe the new envoy needs a ‘paid’ secretary?

  10. Joe Fenech says:


    I’m not too sure though what to say about Hamilton. Isn’t he also (seems at least) to be a successful businessman? Realistically, how many Maltese diplomats are professional ones? I thought nothing of his predecessor especially since he bragged to a business mag that Malta is competitive because wages are low.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Realistically, a LOT of them, Joe Fenech.

      Malta has moved on since you left. Update yourself and learn before you shoot your mouth off.

      • Joe Fenech says:

        No they’re not! Most of them are economists simply because our diplomacy is based on ‘kemm fabriki ha ngibu Malta’ or ‘kemm ha nbieghu Kinnie u gallettini fil-fieri’.

      • La Redoute says:

        You’re thinking of political appointees who are ambassadors. There actually IS a diplomatic service staffed by diplomats. Most operate below the radar, save for the odd twit who posts her asinine thoughts on Facebook.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Joe, you are thinking of ambassadors.

        But the diplomatic corps isn’t just them. The other (yes, they’re called diplomats too) are all professionals.

        Some of them rose to the rank of ambassador. Case in point being Pierre Clive Agius. What does Labour do? It replaces him with a non-diplomat retiree.

    • Joe Fenech says:

      La Redoute, yes, there are more ‘specialists/professionals’ in diplomatic services. These tend to be young people.

      [Daphne – No, they are not. Diplomats run the full working-age spectrum between 22 and 61.]

      • Joe Fenech says:

        I am referring to the current state of Maltese diplomacy. The older people though tend to be migrants from other professions (for whatever reason).

    • Joe Fenech says:

      I am referring to the current state of Maltese diplomacy. The older people tend to be migrants from other professions (for whatever reason).

      [Daphne – You are wrong. Older diplomats have generally been career diplomats their entire working lives. You are confusing diplomats with politically-appointed ambassadors.]

      • janneke pis says:

        La Redoute, actually many of Malta’s career diplomats are on Facebook posting their thoughts, mainly of an asinine nature. And for your background, the diplomatic corps was structured in 1994. Before that time, there was none to speak of.

      • Joe Fenech says:

        I think people need to stop deluding themselves and have a look what Maltese diplomacy is all about.

  11. Joe Fenech says:

    Brussels being mixed French-Flemish, PL’s French-maid Ray Azzopardi’s appointment is a fair one.

  12. Ketchup says:

    So Clive Waters is going to be our new high commissioner in London. Who would have thought, when he was a doorman in a Soho ‘girlie club’ run by a Maltese pimp, that he would one day return in such glory, just a few metres away?

  13. J Farrugia says:

    His girlfriend was appointed personal secretary to Michelina Refalo (wife of the minister).

    His nephew – tuba tal-prima klassi b’mohh ta’ tigiega – was appointed immediately after the election to work in Castille.

  14. Anton says:

    Pero nahseb li issa Fabienne (his long time girlfriend) zgur tmur personal assistant mieghu u ma tibqax il-Ministeru t’Ghawdex.

    Messu jisthi jilbes is-suttana u messu ilu li zarma minn qassis kif tah x’ jifhem l-Isqof Grech.

    Lanqas biss jaf jisthi.

  15. tt says:

    His thesis was written by somebody else, like the thesis of PL leader.

  16. Gozogirl says:

    Isn’t his uncle Mgr Anton Gauci, a staunch Mintoffian with a ‘live-in nurse’ for the last 40 years?

  17. Vespa says:

    There’s actually another ‘monsignor’ in the list: the father in law of former Labour EP candidate (and son of former Labour Minister) Kyrill Micallef Stafrace, gynaecologist George Buttigieg.

  18. qronfla says:

    Prosit Daphne, kompli ohrog dan il-hmieg ta’ dan il gvern……

  19. Sue says:

    And Mark Micallef is off to Madrid ……

  20. Il-Kema tal-Mulej says:

    Monsignor Joe Vella Gauci nahseb ahjar jghix il-kelma t’Alla u mhux ipatpat biss u igelled il-familji u dan wara li ghamel karriera kbira jmur jistrieh go triq tal-Mulejja l-Fontana.

    U issa go ‘l-Ghorfa’ fi Pjazza Savina Victoria.

  21. Marco Camilleri says:

    The ex Gozo Cathedral Archpriest is someone who believes in reform. In his years as Archpriest he was responsible for giving the parish an new lease of life.

    One that has generated a moderate Gozitan community. It is a lot more than can be said for the bishop Mario Grech and what he has generated. He may not be the traditional type of priest but the actual comments above may well have to do with his personal life and not his public life.

    Daphne, does not it occur to you that in fact this priest is in fact liberal and that he can be a role model too?

    I am not sure if you had the opportunity to meet or follow this priest but if you did, I am sure you will have some admiration for his view points especially when they differ from the staunch catholic politics.

    Perhaps if you pick up the phone and interview him, you will know which master he is going to serve.

    [Daphne – Oh, probably Labour, wouldn’t you say. And I have never followed a priest in my life, so am unlikely to start now. Besides, if I follow this one, Fabienne will get cross.]

  22. Christopher Sammut says:

    Nifrah lis-Sur Kevin Sciberras ghall-hatra tieghu bhala segretarju privat ta’ l-ambaxxatur il-gdid ta’ UNESCO Mons Dr Joe Vella Gauci.

  23. Thomas Zammit says:

    Nghid prosit lil Vella Gauci fejn wera s-serjeta tieghu u ma qadx jara l kulur fl-ucuh biex hatar is-segretarju privat tieghu…kien ta ezempju…prosit

  24. Joseph Muscat says:

    From servants of God to slaves of revolution!

  25. Dion Attard says:

    Dan Vella Gauci jista jghidilna ghaliex jaghmel it-titlu ta’ monsinjur meta la huwa monsinjur tal-katidral u lanqas tal-papa.

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