The names of defrocked priests are to start being published on the Malta and Gozo church websites with immediate effect, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Gozo bishop Mario Grech said today.

In a statement this afternoon the bishops said this was in addition to the current practice of informing the parish priest of the town where the former priest would be living. The defrocked priest would also be deleted from the clerical list.

The bishops said that the safeguarding of minors was at the forefront of their aims and the laws both of the state and also of the Church were always observed.

Victims respond to Catholic abuse promise

In a reaction, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the organisation was grateful, and kids were safer, when a predator’s name was posted on line or appeared in print.

"So we’re glad that Malta Catholic officials will reportedly put child molesting clerics’ names on church websites.

"At the same time, however, we’re highly skeptical that the lists will be complete or that accurate and adequate information will be provided.

"Historically, Catholic officials have often posted only names of predator priests who have already been outed and whose identities are already known because of civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution or others means.

"While this pledge may sound promising, we urge victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, Catholics and citizens to keep pushing for full disclosure and real reform. And we urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to seek help from independent sources, like police, prosecutors, therapists, loved ones and support groups like ours, not from Catholic officials," it said.

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