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MALTATODAY 21 August 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 21 AUGUST 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The Maltese malaise of selective moral blindness. Why are we skinning it? Because a recent case has brought it to light, but more so because it will certainly not be the last. Okay, so what exactly are you talking about here? Recent happenings at the island's most iconic fishing village have once again borne out the island's propensity towards refusing to acknowledge and condemn any shortcomings – moral or other- wise – by people we know, par- ticularly pillars of the commu- nity who would otherwise have been in a position to dispense with favours. Oh, this is about that priest. Nothing gets past you. I'd like to think I'm perceptive enough to pick up on certain key cues. That would make you one step ahead of both authori- ties and parishioners in this par- ticular case. It's almost as though putting a sizeable chunk of our so- cial trust in a class of men liv- ing in enforced celibacy was ripe with pitfalls from the get go. Yes, but clearly there's no trumping tradition. Misappropriating funds for whatever purpose is a fairly secular crime, though. You'd think so, yes. Though it's also a killer take on the whole 'turning water into wine' trick. It's a trick plenty of men and women NOT of the cloth have pulled regularly on this island though, most of them barely feeling the brunt of any conse- quence whatsoever. I guess a parish priest has little sway over the cogs in the economic ma- chine, and makes for a far more appealing sacrificial lamb to be made an example of. Scale back on the victim narra- tive though. Yes, I really should. Parishioners and online com- mentators are already holding the frontline on that one. What makes the Maltese so incapable of condemning mis- deeds, even when they're star- ing them in the face? *shrug* It's an insular society that isn't too keen to throw its own under the bus. Especially when its own is a generous and well-liked priest. Yes, such figures being a potent 'glue' that makes people feel good about their communities and their roles within it. Do say: "While there are some positives to the Maltese ten- dency to forgive and forget as though we're all part of the same family, that tendency can also very easily become an ide- al springboard for institutional corruption and nepotism." Don't say: "The ability to both forgive AND forget at regular intervals should garner praise as a great example of regular- ly-applied multi-tasking by the Maltese populace at large." Risks in Russian shelling of nuclear plant ROSS PEEL PGS 12 & 13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON Laid back for summer PAGE 7 No 153 – The Unsinnable Saints JOSANNE CASSAR After a two-year absence, festas are back with a vengeance PAGE 6 EDITORIAL It's not just 'competitiveness' that needs safeguarding PAGE 2 SAVIOUR BALZAN Anything goes... PAGE 5 A breach of a fuelled and operating reactor could be disastrous if attacks damage nuclear materials or safety-critical equipment

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