Sinner that I am, on more then one occasion I earned the wrath of God through my actions. Thanks to Her infinite mercy I was forgiven. Emboldened by these experiences let me be much more daring and this time risk a rougher kind of wrath, the wrath of Daphne.

The lady needs no introduction. A gross understatement would be one stating that her pen is sharp. Guts to match and mastery in the use of the English language are two other characteristics. She possesses good analytical tools though her analysis does not always come true. Remember how she described - years back it's true - Eddie Fenech Adami as nothing more than a village lawyer or something to that effect? History proved otherwise.

Dr Alfred Sant is not her favourite politician but he will qualify as her favourite whipping boy ... though it seems that Dr Joseph Muscat is on the way to take Sant's place. (I don't think that her manner of attacking Muscat is helping one iota to raise the level of political debate in Malta.)

Neither is she terribly enamoured of all things Catholic. It is true that excesses are committed by a good number in the name of the faith and in what they (falsely) believe to be in its defence. But as many of our hunters shoot at anything that flies independent of the season or its species, Daphne gives the impression that she shoots at anything Catholic in sight. "Don't blame her" a friend of mine told me while adding half jokingly: "She was educated in a nuns' school."

I do not get particularly hot under the collar when people destructively criticise the Church as though belonging to it is some kind of disgusting perversion. I don't even understand those who become so agitated. On the other hand my blood boils whenever I read the stupidities that some Church people write. They show crass ignorance of basic contemporary Catholic teaching and average intelligence. The chain SMSs about Muslims taking over Malta are an example.

Attacks on the Church and Catholics do not trouble me so much as, after all, we were here about 2000 years ago and will be here 2000 years from now. Therefore, taking pot shots at Catholicism can be beneficial as we - its members - will perhaps keep our feet more firmly on the ground unless we panic and seek refuge in a siege mentality.

What compels me to write is her very unjust jibe at the Muzew people. She was writing about an ex-Muzew socju who was found guilty of sexually propositioning children. He was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for four years. The Court slapped a ban on the publication of his name. Daphne defied that ban and published the name and photo of the gentleman. I think she was right to do so. If she is taken to court I will be ready to give witness in her favour as I once did when she was taken to court by Manwel Cuschieri. (Does anyone know the result of that case?)

What was unjust and uncalled for was the following extract from her blog of April 23, 2008:

"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? "

I was a member of il-Muzew before I entered the Seminary. I was educated by these men whom Daphne is now unjustly denigrating. I owe them a lot. Tens of thousands in Malta owe then a lot. She has no one to blame but herself for her inability to understand the generosity and the spirit of self giving of these men. She belongs to a different kind of culture and mentality where, perhaps, generosity and self-giving in pursuit of giving Christian instruction are foreign concepts. For the Muzew people this is their daily way of life. Such values are, after all, intrinsic to Christianity as all Christians know.

It is true that this particular individual betrayed these values. Maybe there were others. But such lapses are not just their prerogative. One can find doctors, nurses, teachers, youth leaders, fathers, uncles and, of course, priests who have behaved in this vile manner. Should we then attack all these groups because a tiny minority behaves shamefully? Why pick on the Muzew people who are among the greatest benefactors in our society?

It's a pity that Daphne decided to stoop so low in her piece.

Who is the drug addict in your family

From time to time I discuss TV and what is happening on or in the box. Last week I said that I would say something about the April 18 and 25 of Xarabank editions, which in my opinion were two very good programmes.. I will henceforth not give notice of what I will write about. Every time I have done so far, I have ended up writing something different the following week. This posting is another example. But I will just add two paragraphs to honour my promise.

The Xarabank team have been giving us good editions for quite some time now. Their edition about the Naxxar tragedy was a good piece of journalism. Their edition about the Internet was a good mix of entertainment and information. Among other things, it addressed very well those aspects of the Internet that most worry parents.

The drug problem was the subject of April edition I am referring too. Xarabank managed to make each and every one of us face the problem as it really is: it is not somebody else's problem but it is my problem. If the present trend continues, in a few years time every family will have someone with a drug problem. This strong slogan was drummed into the psyche of all the viewers.

These editions featured exclusive interviews with several victims of the problem. We witnessed their struggles, pains and finally successes. The message of hope came out loud and clear. Perhaps that was the best thing about these programmes.

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