With the Vatican reeling from another sex scandal, this time in the heart of the Eternal City, the Vicar of Rome is sending an unequivocal message to homosexual priests: come out of the closet, and get out of the priesthood.
Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the prelate in charge of administering the Rome diocese, the episcopal see of Pope Benedict XVI, made the statements in response to an exposé by Panorama. In an undercover investigation the journal alleged that it had followed a handful of Catholic priests who were part of a gay-subculture: saying Mass by day, and frequenting gay bars by night.
“No one is forcing them to stay priests, only getting the benefits,” said Vallini, who rebuked the priests for leading a “double life.”
“Coherence demands they should come out into the open,” he added. “They never should have become priests.”
But Vallini also had choice words for Panorama, which belongs to the media empire of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, accusing the journal of sensationalism and “trying to defame all priests.”
He asserted that the “vast majority” of priests in the diocese of Rome “represent a model of morality for everyone.”
However, Panorama’s editor Giorgio Mule, disputed the notion that the journal was simply scandal-mongering or seeking to defame the Catholic Church.
“This was a two week investigation and was not aimed at creating a scandal but showing that a certain section of the clergy behaves very differently,” Mule stated, according to the UK Daily Mail.
The Italian homosexual movement is not too happy with the Panorama exposé either. The revelations of priests engaging in casual anonymous sex on Rome’s gay scene tend to undermine the family-friendly portrait of homosexual relationships that the homosexualist movement has striven to implant in the public imagination for years.
Aurelio Mancuso, the honorary president of Arcigay, a homosexualist lobby, denounced the Panorama article, accusing it of ignoring priests living as a couple in a committed loving relationship.
The Panorama investigation delved into the lives of three priests – two Italian, one French – who were filmed attending gay nightclubs in Rome and engaging in casual sexual activity. The report, described as “deeply disturbing” by Panorama, revealed that one of the priests, “Carlo,” was filmed praying Mass the day after one of his nighttime escapades.
Carlo also alleged to Panorama’s undercover reporter that 98 percent of the priests of his acquaintance were fellow homosexuals.
In 2005 the Vatican issued a document in which it made clear that individuals with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the priesthood.