Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gay Priests Gone Wild! Vatican Edition 2010

"An Italian magazine that went undercover to report on the sexual hijinks of three gay priests in Rome is causing a major headache for Pope Benedict XVI at a time when his record on dealing with the sexual abuse of children by clerics was already an intractable crisis for the Catholic Church. But in this case there is actually enough blame to go around so that nobody should be pointing fingers. First off, there are the journalistic ethics of the tabloid news magazine, Panorama, which published its expose' on Friday. Panorama is owned by Italian prime minister and media magnate," reports David Gibson. "Moreover, it is telling that church officials reacted with such vehemence to the Panorama report and not to other similar stories. In May, for example, dozens of Italian women who have had longstanding relationships with priests sent Benedict a letter asking him to abolish mandatory celibacy so that they could live openly and faithfully with their paramours. The story made a splash in Europe, but the Vatican largely ignored it. Rome has also done little about the many priests, particularly in the developing world or rural areas, who often live as man and wife with a lover, or worse, those Casanova clerics -- a minority, to be sure -- who have regular flings with various women." READ MORE

Are good priests, gay or straight, hurt by video of gay priests gone wild?
The Vicar of Rome wants gay priests out of the closet -- and out of the Catholic Church -- according to an Associated Press story today. It comes after an Italian weekly, Panorama, released a story and video it claimed showed three priests partying half-naked at gay clubs and quoted one saying "98% of the priests he knew were gay." Bryan Cones, managing editor at U.S. Catholic Magazine observes: "The real problem here is not that there are three priests running wild in gay Rome; there are plenty of priests--straight and gay -- who misbehave sexually with other adults. The problem is that only these gay priests are the news, not all the other gay priests who labor faithfully, honoring their commitments along with their straight brothers as best they can. We don't hear their stories because they can't tell them for fear of expulsion. And that isn't right."
Church denounces gay priests after magazine revelations
The article in the conservative magazine Panorama, entitled Gay Priests' Nights on the Town, carried pictures and interviews with the men. The research was carried out over a month using hidden cameras. It recorded sexual encounters, including one in a church building. The diocese said of the priests: "We don't wish any ill-will against them, but we cannot accept that because of their behaviour the honour of all the others is sullied." It said it was "saddened and troubled" by the article and vowed to pursue "with rigour any behaviour that is unworthy of the priestly life". Pope Benedict XVI instructed in 2005 that actively gay priests should be barred from seminaries. The Pope has said gay marriage is an "insidious and dangerous threat to the common good".

Vatican on defensive again after magazine exposes priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex
The diocese of Rome lashed out at the prime minister's magazine, saying its aim was "to create scandal [and] defame all priests". But it also urged gay clerics to leave both the closet and the priesthood. It said, "Consistency would require that they come into the open", but that they "ought not to have become priests". The semi-official papal daily, L'Osservatore Romano, made no reference to the affair. Vatican Radio reported it briefly.

One priest, a Frenchman in his 30s identified as Father Paul, attended a party at which there were two male prostitutes then said Mass the following morning before driving them to the airport, Panorama reported. A photo on its website claimed to show the priest in his dog collar but without his trousers with a gay man who acted as decoy for the magazine. In other shots, priests were shown apparently kissing Panorama's collaborator.

A member of the clergy quoted by the magazine put the proportion of gay priests in the Italian capital at "98%". The Rome diocese insisted the vast majority of priests in the city were "models of morality for all", while adding that the number of gay clergyman was "small, but not to be written off as isolated cases". A review eight years ago of research on the American church concluded that between a quarter and a half of seminarians and priests there were homosexual.
Church blasts gay priests leading 'double life'
The Panorama article sent out by email last night added that video footage from the investigation would be made available. The article describes how the reporter was assisted by a gay 'accomplice' as they 'gate-crashed the wild nights of a number of priests in Rome who live a surprising double-life.' Panorama added: 'By day they are regular priests, complete with dog collar, but, at night it's off with the cassock as they take their place as perfectly integrated members of the Italian capital's gay scene.'
Alleged Catholic priest gay sex scandal caught on video in Italian magazine Panorama
Using a hidden camera, the journalist and a "gay" accomplice filmed the priests having sex, the Daily Mail reports. The magazine, which is owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the investigation was meant to expose priests who live a double-life. "This was a two-week investigation and was not aimed at creating a scandal," the magazine's editor, Giorgio Mule, said. The magazine alleges the three priests - a Frenchman and two Italians - were "perfectly integrated members of the Italian capital's gay scene." Among the most shocking allegations the magazine made was that one of the priests put on his holy robe and had sex with the gay man helping the reporter, "all of which was filmed by the hidden camera." Panorama released an excerpt of the article and the video Thursday night.