Now that the Vatican has been forced to acknowledge a scandal involving three of its priests videotaped by a magazine having The Gay Sex, is the Catholic Church about to embark on a witch hunt to oust homos of the cloth?
While the Vatican’s vicar, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, has called on gay priests to come out and leave the church, it remains to be seen whether church officials will embark on their own search to seek and destroy gay clergy. It all started when reporter Carmelo Abbate of Panorama Magazine – owned by Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — claimed in an article preview it had videotape of two Italian and one French priest having sex and partying with other men. The Vatican’s response? Get the gays out of here.
While the Vatican’s predictable reaction is to blame the report and not its own culture — the magazine is out to “defame” the church, apparently — it remains to be seen whether, behind the scenes, they’ll work to actually remove any priests they suspect or know to be gay. Which could be a whole lot, as the Irish Times summarizes:
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 Panorama article 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?”