VALLETTA, Malta (ChurchMilitant.com) - A science and biology teacher at a premier Dominican academy in Malta is doubling up as a drag queen with the approval of the school.
Antoine Cauchi, who goes by the stage name of "Bertha," claims that he is using "drag art" to educate pupils at St. Albert the Great College in Valletta, the capital of Malta.
"I feel that this character really embodied what our school ethos is all about," Cauchi said in an interview to a Maltese website. "I was able to do all of this at my own school because I had an amazing support team."
St. Albert's college unashamedly flaunts its pansexual credentials, stressing that it caters to children from kindergarten to senior school, making sure it includes all "gender types."
"We strive to ensure that all students are happy and that they realize their potential in all areas of the curriculum and beyond," the school's website boasts. "St. Albert the Great college is part of the Maltese Dominican province."
The school has now come under fire for sacking its headmaster, Mario Mallia, who led the school as head for 16 years and as deputy head for 3 years.
Mallia, a left-wing politician, is a member of Malta's green, pro-LGBTQ+ and pro-abortion ADPD party, founded in October 2020 by a merger of the two most prominent progressive parties — the Democratic Alternative (AD) and the Democratic Party (PD).
The former headmaster was responsible for introducing radical "inclusive" policies in the school, according to the Maltese media, including holding a strongly pro-transgender position.
"We managed to build a community which is inclusive and diverse; we have children of all shapes and kinds, different religions and orientations, and obviously including different genders as well," Mallia told Lovin Malta.
However, the school's board of management and the school rector, Fr. Aaron Zahra, denied that Mallia was fired because of his "inclusive" policies, insisting that the Maltese Dominicans had always supported the headmaster's welcome of students of all genders.
Rather, Mallia was dismissed because of managerial and procedural issues that accumulated for a long time and that were never resolved, the school management maintained.
A statement from the Dominican-run school affirmed the pansexual policies of the academy:
The board of St. Albert the Great College has always had at heart all policies aimed at improving the lives of its students, their families and its educators alike; including policies of inclusivity, which it has always embraced and which it will continue to push forward in the years to come with the same vision and perseverance.
The pro-LGBTQ+ archbishop of Malta, Charles J. Scicluna, has said that he is open to "a service of mediation" between Mario Mallia and St. Albert the Great College "if both parties agree and are willing to discuss and negotiate."
In comments to Church Militant, president of Pro Malta Christiana, Philip Beattie, said that "it had become clear that the Dominican administrators of the college 'embraced' Mallia's bizarre practices."
"This, in itself, is scandalous," Beattie, an economist, lamented. "I would further add that Mallia's policies, masquerading as those of 'inclusivity,' not only violated the school's Catholic ethos, but threatened the innocence of the students, as well as the ultimate salvation of their souls."
"It is a great pity that the college management actually seem to have embraced Mallia's ideological bent. To my mind, the man should have been sacked years ago," Beattie noted, adding, "I find it bizarre how, in a Catholic school, a drag queen is employed to teach biology."
An academic article in the journal Sexualities defines drag queens as "gay men who perform in women's clothing" and explains how "in their performances, both drag queens and drag kings embody resistance to the gender structure and heteronormativity."
"Drag queen performances are transgressive actions that destabilize gender and sexual categories," the article notes.
The Jesuit-run St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia hosted a drag queen show in April at its student center. The university's inclusion and diversity office has encouraged students to dress up in drag and participate in the show in recent years.
Saint Joseph's University aims, as its mission, to guide students "on the path to seeking the greater good, living purpose and finding God in all things."
Saint Albert the Great College and Fr. Zahra did not respond to Church Militant's request for comment.