Dominican friar Fr Mark Montebello announced today that he will be starting a three-month experience in Mexico following a decision he took after meetings he had in Rome in March.

The controversial priest had been summoned to Rome for a meeting with the head of the Dominican Order, Fr Carlos Aspiroz Costa, in the wake of some comments he wrote in the newspapers.

It had been reported that Archbishop Paul Cremona insisted that the Dominican Order take steps against Fr Montebello, following articles he wrote about divorce and paedophilia as well as the priest's defence of Nigerian Monday Iseki, who was charged with resisting arrest.

Fr Montebello said his stay in Mexico would neither by a holiday break, nor missionary work. Rather, his focus would be on study , prayer and reflection on very different realities than those of Malta.

He described his visit as a 'privilege' given to him by the Dominican Order that would enable him to distance himself from the Maltese scene to take a new perspective of how other people were living.

He said he would still write his column in It-Torca, focussing on his new experiences.

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