The Archbishop's Curia on Sunday expressed regret over an elderly priest's recent outburst during Mass at Zurrieq parish church and said it was working closely with all concerned to address the situation.

A video of the incident went viral on social media but the Curia called for the public's empathy and sensitivity.

It said its priority was the wellbeing of the priest and the community.

"While the Archdiocese takes incidents of verbal and other abuse extremely seriously, given all the circumstances of the case it kindly asks for the public’s understanding, and appeals for empathy and sensitivity for all concerned with respect to comments made on social media," the Curia said. 

During his outburst the priest demanded that the congregation join in the singing, insisting he was the 'president' during Mass and it was not a case of everyone doing whatever he liked. Anyone who wished to complain should face him directly, he added. 

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