Blog post by Rev. Father David Muscat
Alessandra Dee Crespo has become President of the liberal-secularist NGO Repubblika. For those who are uninformed, she also holds the post of Chancellor at the Maltese Church’s Regional Tribunal of Second Instance. In the former capacity, she will be the one who holds the banner signifying the struggle against cheating and corruption, regardless of where they emerge. In the other role, her work covers the hearing of ex novo integro marital cases designed to rectify any errors decided by the Church tribunal in the first instance.
I am unable to state whether or not a conflict of interest arises here. Saint Thomas More however, teaches us that any Christian who occupies a public non-ecclesiastical role may not, under any circumstances deviate from the teachings of Holy Mother Church. One must be a Christian at all times and to serve the earthly power, one cannot renounce the King of Heaven and Earth.
Consequently, after fulfilling her duties within the Church tribunal, she may now, apparently be exempted from the social and moral teachings of the popes in view of her election as president of an NGO that, among other things, promotes homosexual “marriage” as a civil right. The onus is on her to make a clear choice. One cannot serve both God and the devil. To put it plainly, one would expect a clear consistent choice from any baptised Christian, yet from a Chancellor of a Church tribunal, one expects more coherence.
There was once a Catholic bishop who, in 2010 wrote the following when his country’s government legislated to introduce homosexual “marriage”: “Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth. Let us not be naïve: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a “move” of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Dee Crespo is enthused when archbishop Scicluna harshly criticises Maltese politicians but I have my doubts as to whether she knows the identity of that Archbishop who, on the 22 June 2010 wrote such strong words about those politicians wishing to enact so-called gay marriage. The archbishop in question was Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yes, you read correctly, the present Pontiff wrote these words, and not some homophobic right-wing priest.
There is another subject that the Repubblika crowd take no interest in, a subject very dear to Pope Francis’ heart. This is the subject of tax evasion as a structure of sin.
Pope St. John Paul II spoke often about such structures of sin in his encyclical Solicitudo Rei Socialis. The pope taught in this encyclical that it is not sufficient to combat corruption but also to combat unjust economic models. One may not necessarily be violating the laws of the land when one steals but one is still violating God’s commandments.
Dee Crespo has boasted that the corrupt elements in Malta fear Repubblika rather than the reverse. And here, she is gravely mistaken as those who are currently afraid are not turncoat or opportunistic nationalists or labourites. Those frightened by Repubblika’s bellowing are the lawyers who profited from our financial services regime and are currently panic-stricken as, due to the continuous pronouncements by Repubblika and Metsola, Malta will continue to have a bad name worldwide.
As Saint Gorg Preca used to say, accept each blow or hurt as something valuable. It was for this reason that Joseph Muscat’s first seven years were ones of plenty as they enabled the truth to come to the fore, thus allowing the world to realise that Malta is a tax haven. Thanks to Joseph Muscat’s machinations, Lawrence Gonzi’s trickery was exposed.
The Christian who is knowledgeable about the Gospel will immediately realise that the term tax planning is nothing more than tax evasion. Every time that Dee Crespo, Manuel Delia, Evarist Bartolo and the rest of the liberal brigade defend our financial services, they enact that scene from Dostoyevsky’s Idiot when Federshenko tells Natasia Filipinova: “I can show you how you can steal without being a thief”.
John Vassallo, former Maltese ambassador to the EU put it very clearly in a recent article entitled Criminals Pull the Strings, published in The Times of Malta on March 27, 2021. He wrote that: “Just because some criminals get caught does not mean that the institutions are working”. You presumably agree with this specific condemnation of cheating and corruption.
This notwithstanding, John Vassallo added something that neither Dee Crespo, nor Repubblika or, apparently our bishops want to admit, namely that Malta is a tax haven. The crux of Vassallo’s article is the following: “The entire corporate tax evasion system that the Maltese government created to use Malta as a platform to evade tax in the EU countries where profits were generated. That is not the rule of law. Set up by the former administration but perfected by the present administration”.
In other words, it is simply immaterial for Evarist Bartolo to pen an article in The Times a month later entitled Good governance is fragile, stating that: “The government is determined to address the threats of economic crime” as “We have implemented a wide-ranging governance reform programme to address our weaknesses and system failures”. Mr. Bartolo any reform of our laws is not enough without a reform of the soul because: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Indeed, it is almost pointless to enact a spate of new regulations in order to temporarily pass the MoneyVal test, as once you have lost your reputation, you are all drowning. This is what APS Bank Chairman Marcel Cassar wrote in an article, Reputation is Everything, published on the 8th July 2020.
And yet, Dee Crespo, who appears at one with several nationalist lawyers who earned sizeable fees through financial services, while continuing to denounce corruption (boasting that the corrupt fear her), will never take ownership of Pope Francis’ repeated condemnations of tax evasion and tax havens. This is something Dee Crespo, Manuel Delia and lawyers working in the financial system will never subscribe to, simply by having attacked Joseph Muscat in an attempt to salvage Malta’s financial services regime when it was already going down. Ironically, these attacks may have served to accelerate a possible downgrading by MoneyVal sooner than we think!
The Catholic Christian knows that tax havens, regardless of their legal status are morally unacceptable. He has no need of European Commission proposals for the introduction of a consolidated corporate tax base that would be the end game for a fair, transparent and efficient tax system, another blow against what remains of our national sovereignty notwithstanding. Nor does the faithful believer have need of European Parliament resolutions to realise that Malta is a tax haven. The same goes for the Tax State of Tax Justice Report 2020.
Have courage my friends. They constantly attempt to ridicule me on these matters but I shall carry on regardless.
May the Lord Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever!