For an organization so inimical to gays, the Vatican sure does seem to have a lot of problems with them in its ranks. The latest controversy involves Monsignor Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca, who has just been appointed secretary at the Vatican Bank. According to a story published in the Italian weekly L’Espreso, Ricca has a sexual history that’s hard to square with a priest’s vows of chastity.
While based in Uruguay from 1999 to 2004, Ricca is said to have been caught in several “compromising positions” and was even gay bashed at a cruising spot. In addition, the magazine alleged that Ricca had a long-running relationship with a Swiss army captain that was “so open as to scandalize numerous bishops, priests, and laity.”
Of course, scandalous behavior is a good career move in the Catholic Church, so Ricca got posted to the Vatican, where he oversaw providing residences to clerics visiting Rome. It was a great spot to network with the power elite, so his appointment came as no surprise.
The magazine says that Pope Francis, who personally chose Ricca for the bank position, responded with “sadness over having been kept in the dark with regard to such grave matters, and the intention to remedy the appointment he made.” By contrast, the Vatican said the report was “not credible.” The same might be said of the Vatican itself.