MALTESE

REACTIONS TO IL-KTIEB ROŻA

THE PINK BOOK (1997)

ENGLISH

Introdott l-ewwel ktieb bil-Malti dwar l-omosesswali

Launch of the first book on homosexuality in Maltese

L-Orizzont, 18 February 1997, p. 7.

“Sa fejn hu magħruf, dan huwa l-ewwel ktieb bil-Malti li jitratta, mill-bidu sa l-aħħar, dwar l-omosesswalità u l-omosesswali. Hu wkoll l-ewwel ktieb miktub minn Malti f’Malta, li stqarr pubblikament l-orjentazzjoni omosess­wali tiegħu.”

“As far as is known, this is the first book that talks about homosexuality and homosexuals from beginning to end. It is also the first book written by a Maltese in Malta who has publicly disclosed his sexual orientation.”

Alternattiva, 21 February 1997–7 March 1997, p. 2.

“B’dan il-kliem l-avukat Joseph Chetcuti jibda d-daħla tal-ktieb li għandu jqanqal kontroversja ġmielha dwar suġġett li sfortunatament għadu wieħed jaħraq f’pajjiżna. Bla dubju ta’ xejn l-inizjattiva ta’ Dr Chetcuti hija waħda kuraġġuża u f’waqtha. F’waqtha għaliex wasal iż-żmien li l-Maltin jindunaw li l-omosesswali huma persuni bħal kulħadd, bi drittijiet daqs kulħadd. Wasal iż-żmien li jispiċċaw darba għal dejjem l-istigma, it-tikketti u t-tgħajjir li aħna l-Maltin tant niddilettaw fihom. Il-ktieb ta’ Dr Chetcuti huwa pubblikazzjoni importanti għaliex hija ħaġa rari għall-aħħar li f’pajjiżna l-omosesswali jiddikjara pubblikament, mingħajr biża’ jew mistħija ta’ xejn, l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tiegħu.”

“With these words, lawyer Joseph Chetcuti begins the introduction to a book that is bound to create controversy about a subject that, unfortunately, remains controversial in our country. Without doubt, the initiative of Dr Chetcuti is daring and timely. Timely because it is about time that Maltese understand that homosexuals are no different, deserving of their rights as anyone else. It is time that we end the stigma, the labels and name-calling that is so much a part of Maltese life. The book of Dr Chetcuti is an important publication because it is very rare in our country that a homosexual publicly declares, without fear or shame, his sexual orientation.”

Mario Azzopardi

In-Nazzjon, 24 February 1997, p. 13.

Against the Current

Kontrokurrent

“Joseph ivvampja lill-kommunità omosesswali lokali. Ħariġha mill-bejta tal-ġrieden. Qed jistendinha tassumi profil. Tassumi dinjità … Forsi bdejna nġarrbu totem ieħor ta’ tabu. Forsi.”

“Joseph has fired up the local Maltese homosexual community. He has drawn it out of its nest. He has challenged it to assume a profile. To assume dignity … It may well be the case that we are about to smash another taboo. Maybe.”

Joe Cassar, Media Line

In-Nazzjon, 26 February 1997, p. 20.

“Smajtu jitkellem fil-programm ‘Il-Parlament tal-Poplu’ fuq Live FM, jidhirli bħal-lum gimgħa. Ripetizzjoni ta’ programm ‘infinit’ mimli attakki kontra l-Knisja Kattolika u t-tagħlim tagħha, b’taħlita ta’ insinwazzjonijiet u allegazzjonijiet serji dwar reliġjużi, saċerdoti u sorijiet—anki Maltin. Smajt lil Dr Chetcuti jisfida lill-Kurja u lill-Isqfijiet Maltin u jinterpreta l-Bibbja ‘skond kif jaqbel’.”

“I heard him talk on the program ‘Il-Parlament tal-Poplu’ (the people’s parliament) on Live FM, I think a week ago today. A programme full of attacks on the Catholic Church and its teachings, peppered with insinuations and serious allegations against religious, priests and nuns—some of them Maltese. I heard Dr Chetcuti defy the church and its Maltese bishops, and interpret the Bible to suit himself.”

The Times of Malta, 1 March 1997, p. 20.

“The Archbishop’s Curia yesterday laid out the Church’s teaching on homosexuality in view, it said, of certain attacks being made against the Catholic Church and its teachings on the subject.”

Joseph Chetcuti with Minister Evarist Bartolo and Dr Emmy Bezzina at the radio launch on Il-Parlament tal-Poplu.

Rene Micallef, Anthony Farrugia and C Debono,

Alternattiva, 1 February 1997–7 March 1997, p. 11.

“Nammiraw il-kuraġġ kbir ta’ l-avukat Joseph Chetcuti li ħa l-inizjattiva li għall-ewwel darba jippubblika ktieb ta’ riċerka dwar l-omosesswalità f’Malta. B’hekk il-Malta Gay Support Group huma ferm grati lejh.”

“We admire the great courage of lawyer Joseph Chetcuti who took the initiative to publish, for the first time, a book of research on homosexuality in Malta. Hence the Maltese Gay Support Group is most grateful to him.”

Joe Azzopardi

Jien Miġnun

I Am Mad 

Spektrum, Il-Mument, 9 March 1997, p. 15.

“Wara li hareġ Il-Ktieb ir-Roża ħafna omosesswali li tkellmu fuq il-media nstemgħu mweġġgħa bl-attitudni tal-knisja … L-istqarrija [tal-knisja] titlobna biex nuru mogħdrija ma’ l-omosesswali. Mogħdrija? Ta’ xiex irridu nagħdruhom? Għax ma nħalluhomx jgħixu ħajja normali?”

“After the publication of Il-Ktieb Roża, many homosexuals who spoke on the media registered their hurt at the attitude of the Church … The Church’s statement asks us to show pity towards homosexuals. Pity? Why do we have to pity them? Why not leave them alone to lead a normal life?”

G Agius,

The Malta Independent, 18 March 1997, p. 26.

“I wonder how a learned doctor of law in his right senses could pride himself on TV and the press on being homosexual ….”

Fireworks, St Sebastian and the launch of the book at the Lizard Lounge (Tom's bar) in Floriana.

Joe Azzopardi

In-Nazzj0n, 20 March 1997, p. 17.

“Naqbel ferm ma’ Joe Cassar meta sejjaħ lill-Avukat Chetcuti bħala kuraġġuż meta dan ippubblika l-ewwel ktieb bil-Malti dwar l-omosesswalità. Filwaqt li personalment ma naqbilx għal kollox ma’ dak li qal u kiteb Joseph Chetcuti, dan xorta waħda ħaqqu prosit talli qed jikser l-għamad ta’ l-injoranza, preġudizzju u omertà li sfortunatament għadhom jeżistu dwar dan is-suġġett f’pajjiżna.”

“I agree with Joe Cassar who called lawyer Chetcuti courageous following the publication of the first book in Maltese on homosexuality. While personally I do not fully agree with what Joseph Chetcuti said and wrote, he still deserves praise for tearing down our blinkers of ignorance, prejudice and silence that unfortunately continue to prevail in our country.”

Statement of the Committee of the Philharmonic Pinto–Qormi

Leħen is-Sewwa, 22 March 1997, p. 20.

“Il-Kumitat tas-Soċjeta Filarmonika Pinto … jiddeplora bil-qawwa kollha … il-kliem li ntqal u r-ritratti li ntwerew dwar San Bastjan [meta] l-Avukat stqarr li għażel, għalkemm mingħajr permess tal-knisja, dan il-qaddis bħala s-simbolu tiegħu u ta’ sħabu omosesswali.”

“The Committee of the Philharmonic Society Pinto … utterly condemns … the words spoken and photos shown about St Sebastian [when] the lawyer chose, without the Church’s approval, this saint as his symbol and that of homosexuals.”

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Professor Joseph Aquilina,

The Sunday Times, 23 March 1997, p. 17.

“The attempt to give the impression that there are many homosexuals [in Malta], including politicians on both sides, is sheer bluff … Dr Joseph Chetcuti stated that in his book Il-Ktieb Roża, he suggests that a large number of priests and religious are homosexual. He also asks the arrogant question ‘if and how many cases of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and religious orders and societies have come to the attention of the ecclesiastical authorities in Malta’ … The dunghill of dirty sex is piling up rapidly everywhere. Caution and the sense of Christian charity are on the decline. Sensationalism, which arouses morbid curiosity, is replacing sound and healthy journalism.”

‘Remark sparks off war of the saints’

The Malta Independent, 23 March 1997, p. 6.

“Animosity is mounting among a section of Qormi residents for the homosexual lawyer who had the nerve to declare on television that St Sebastian, their patron saint, was also the protector of homosexuals. His words added fuel to the rivalry in Qormi between supporters of the parish church of St George and those of St Sebastian. Those who venerate St. George have often made disparaging remarks about the sexual tendencies of their rival’s patron saint. Joseph Chetcuti … has already provoked a statement by the Archbishop’s Curia about the teachings of the Church on homosexuality … Dr Chetcuti says that St Sebastian is relevant to the gay community …. ‘Saints are not the property of any one group of people. Their appeal extends beyond Catholic churches or parishes’ … He [Chetcuti] said he did not refer only to St Sebastian but mentioned other saints. He included comments by an Anglican bishop who considered St Paul, who is believed to have introduced Christianity to Malta, to be homosexual.”

Il-Kolonna ta’ Pinu

Pinu’s Column

Il-Mument, 23 March 1997, p. 18.

“L-Avukat Malti-Awstraljan … ġie u telaq … Ħallielna iżda Ktieb Roża mimli daqs bajda b’difiża għad-drittijiet ta’ l-omosesswali u attakki sfrenati kontra bosta istituzzjonijiet fosthom il-Knisja … Dr Chetcuti, irridu li l-omosesswali jkunu trattati tad-demm u l-laħam imma f’ġieħ il-verità titrattax lilna ta’ boloh!”

“The Maltese-Australian lawyer … has come and gone … He left us with Ktieb Roża, as full as an egg with the rights of homosexuals and unrestrained attacks against several institutions including the Church … Dr Chetcuti wants homosexuals to be treated like human beings but why treat us as fools?”