St Paul's festa in Valletta (Photo: Ray Attard/MediaToday)
The Curia has insisted that its agreement with the Band Clubs Association is still valid, even though the association is saying that it has suspended the agreement.
Yesterday evening, the association announced that it had suspended the agreement - reached with the Curia last December - which sought to bring order during village festas. The agreement included dress code and regulating the morning marches.
Vicar General Annetto Depasquale, on behalf of the Curia, had been an instrumental figure in the planning of the agreement, scheduled to come into force on Easter Sunday. Depasquale, who passed away last November, was a figure known for his discipline and clear separation between Church and outdoor festivities in parishes.
The vast agreement went into regulating band clubs and their activities during parish feasts and included timings and types of rivalry accepted by the Church. However, it seems that since Mgr Annetto Depasquale's demise, this agreement has fallen through.
The association is arguing that permits for external activities should only be regulated by civil authorities. In its reaction today, the Curia said nothing in the agreement goes against this policy.
The association has also requested to meet with the Archbishop and the Police Commissioner, to which the Curia has duly accepted.
"The Church is ready to see what problems is the association finding with the agreement and a meeting has now been set," the Curia said, adding that the aim of the agreement was "to enjoy the cultural and civil aspects of the religious feasts in a nice and civil atmoshpere".
The Curia added that the agreement was agreed upon to be respected by both parties. "The agreement was reached by the two parties and it can only be changed with another agreement. Until a new agreement is achieved, the December 21 agreement still stands," it reiterated.
MaltaToday has received this correction from the Archbishop's Curia in relation to the story above.
In a press release dated 21st December 2011, it is clearly stated that "Il-Ftehim ġie ffirmat minn Mons. Anton Gouder, Pro-Vigarju Ġenerali, Dun Ray Toledo, Delegat tal-Arċisqof għall-Ħajja u Ħidma fil-Parroċċi, Dun Eric Overand, President tal-Kulleġġ tal-Kappillani, f'isem l-Arċidjocesi ta' Malta, u mis-Sur Lawrence V. Farrugia, President tal-Għaqda Każini tal-Banda u s-Sur Joseph C. Azzopardi, Segretarju tal-istess Għaqda." http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Curia-insists-Church-band-clubs-agreement-still-stands-20120327 <http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Curia-insists-Church-band-clubs-agreement-still-stands-20120327>
Any reference to Mgr. Annetto Depasquale in this matter is regretted.