Magazine exposes 'double life' of Vatican's gay priests
NOT FOR the first time in recent months, an Italian media source yesterday revealed embarrassing details of a flourishing gay “scene” within the Holy See in Rome.
Carmelo Abbate, an undercover reporter from weekly news magazine Panorama, provides in its latest issue graphic detail of a month-long series of gay parties and brief encounters in and around the Holy See, featuring openly gay priests.
Abbate, who introduced himself into the community thanks to an (unnamed) gay friend, begins his latter-day Decameron with a party in the Testaccio area of Rome.
He and his friend were invited to the party by a French priest, referred to as Paul, whom the friend claims he first met in a sauna. After watching two semi-naked, oiled and muscular gay dancers go through their routine, Fr Paul climbed up on stage for what the reporter calls a session of “Dirty Dancing For Three”.
That first night ended with Fr Paul spending the night with Abbate’s friend. The Panoramaarticle is accompanied by clandestine photos allegedly depicting the said Fr Paul in striped boxer shorts in the friend’s bedroom on the morning after.
The article goes on to detail homosexual encounters with two other Rome-based priests, “Carlo” and “Luca”, passionate encounters that are also photographically documented. After sex, Fr Luca, for example, proudly shows off his clerical vestments, walking around the bedroom half-naked. Fr Carlo claims that “98 per cent” of the priests he knows are homosexuals.
The reporter’s friend says he knows many priests who frequent gay spots such as the Coming Out bar near the Coliseum.
Fr Paul and the friend begin a relationship via affectionate text messages. At one point the priest explains he has “to say Mass this evening at six o’clock but I’ll say a prayer for you, if you like”.
At the Testaccio party, a Sardinian claims he has come to Rome just for the party, and asks: “Did you meet Fr Paul when you went to confession?”
There was no official Vatican response to the Panoramaarticle yesterday, but the pope’s man in the diocese of Rome, namely the vicariate of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, issued a statement condemning the “double life” of certain priests and adding: “Coherence calls for them to come clean. We do not wish them any ill but we cannot accept that because of their behaviour, the honour of all priests is besmirched.”
Sergio Rovasio, secretary of the radical group Certain Rights, said: “Finally, a piece of investigative journalism which documents something which anyone who frequents gay spots in Rome knows only too well – namely, there are a lot of priests who attend these places and who have sexual encounters without seeming to be minimally worried by the evident hypocrisy of what they preach by day and what they do by night.”
Last March the Vatican was shaken by media reports claiming disgraced papal gentleman Angelo Balducci, now in prison, had been active in a gay prostitution ring which also involved subsequently dismissed Vatican chorister Chinediu Thiomas Ehiem.