Well, fugitive priest Father Godwin Scerri has been convicted in Malta. This brings to an end criminal proceedings which started in 2003: eight years ago! There is an appeal in the offing, but, for now, five years of jail are in the offing.
It looks as though these crimes were committed while Scerri was serving with the Diocese of London, Ontario and back in Malta for a visit:
The court noted that Fr Scerri had claimed he was not in Malta when the cases happened. There were two departure stamps on his passport- September 1985 and July 1990. There were no arrival stamps but the departure ones indicated he must have been in Malta for some time between the two departure dates, the court said.
Scerri was serving in the London Diocese from the early 80s. He fled Canada in 1993 after a young man came forward alleging childhood sex abuse by Scerri. So, if this information is accurate, Scerri was molesting in Malta during trips back ‘home.’
Scerri is a fugitive from justice in Canada. He is a wanted man in Canada. In 2010 the Ontario Provincial Police indicated it would like to have him extradited.
What now for justice in Canada?
What about the young man who alleges he was molested when Scerri was serving in the Diocese of London Ontario, specifically while he was serving at St. William’s Church in Emeryville?
Alas, it looks as though it will be years before there is the remotest chance that Scerri will be extradited to face his accuser in Canada. An appeal of his conviction in Malta is being filed. How long will that take? And, barring a win on appeal, Scerri will behind bars for at least a few years, hence I am sure, incapable of being extradited.
How sad that the move to extradite was not taken right after Scerri fled the country in 1993. Had that been done Scerri may well have been extradited, tried and convicted and ‘free’ to be shipped back to Malta to face his victim there.
Why did it take years on end for the OPP to consider extradition of a priest wanted for child sex abuse in Canada?
That is one of many things I just don’t understand.
Meanwhile the canonical process regarding Scerri and the other Maltese priest drags on. The victims are hoping that the molesters will be laicized/ defrocked. They certainly should be. ALL clerical molesters should be. Will it happen? How long before a decision is made?
Enough for now.