“Shock” in Rome: Priests at Gay Sex Clubs !

In Rome, an undercover journalist from the Panorama news magazine has filmed three priests in gay sex clubs – and having sex.   Assisted by a gay “accomplice”, the journalist monitored the three men for almost twenty days, accompanying them to “sex clubs”, restaurants and private parties, where there was dancing with naked men. The accomplice is said to have gone home with one of the priests, and had sex with him. Film footage, the magazine has promised, will be placed on the net from tomorrow – including footage of a Mass celebrated by one of them, to confirm that they are indeed genuine priests. The intention, you will be relived to learn, is not to shock or cause scandal, but only to illustrate the double life some priests lead.

It really had to happen.  The only surprise here is that it has taken so long for the tabloid press to do something like this.

It is well known that a substantial proportion of priests, whether gay or straight, are not, well, as totally celibate as the Vatican would like us to believe. (“The Myth of Clerical Celibacy“) Some are gay. If they are going to find sexual expression, just where are they to do it? Some few (very few) are fortunate in having regular, loving relationships, either openly or more likely, secretly. Options for the rest are limited. One option, as I wrote earlier this week, is to pay for it: but on a priest’s income, that may lead to some pilfering from the collection plate to cover the expense. Another has been to indulge in anonymous sex in a nightspot. Up to now, they have been protected by the discretion of the press.

It has been observed that in the Vatican, the community of Vatican journalists know precisely which highly placed prelates – senior priests, bishops and cardinals alike – are sexually active, with whom, and with what particular sexual preferences or peccadilloes. Rather like the discreet French journalists who similarly know the sexual habits of their politicians but do not report them, the Vatican press contingent have kept their knowledge private.

To my mind, there are two scandals here. The first is not that these men were attempting to include sexual expression in their lives. Sexual activity is an entirely normal and natural part of the human make-up. It is rather, that the rules left them with few options but to do so in the impersonal, emotionally sterile context of casual encounters rather than in loving relationships. The second,  concerning the actions of the press, is not their invasion of privacy – but that their victims were ordinary priests, and not the cardinals most active in promoting the hostile anti-gay doctrines of the church. Perhaps that will still come.

There has been little official comment yet, beyond complaints that this was mere “scandal-seeking”, supposedly devoid of any actual evidence.  (Just wait until that is all over the internet.) However, the Vicar of Rome has said that all gay priests should come out and leave the priesthood.

“No one is forcing them to stay in the priesthood to exploit the benefits,” the Diocese of Rome said in a statement posted on its Web Site. “If they are coherent, they should come out into the open.”

Is he serious? If all gay priests really did follow his call, the current dire shortage of priests would immediately become dramatically more acute.

From the Daily Mail:

A gay priest sex scandal has rocked the Catholic Church in Italy today after a weekly news magazine released details of a shock investigation it had carried out.

Using hidden cameras, a journalist from Panorama magazine – owned by Italian Prime Minister and media baron Silvio Berlusconi – filmed three priests as they attended gay nightspots and had casual sex.

Today there was no immediate comment from the Italian Bishops Conference and the Vatican – which has been rocked by a series of sex scandals involving paedophile priests since the start of the year.

A preview of the Panorama article sent out by email last night added that video footage from the investigation would be made available.

-(Read the full article)

Or try looking at these Italian sites:

  1. “Le notti brave dei preti gay”, inchiesta di Panorama che 

    – [ Translate this page ]22 lug 2010  91 Commenti a ““Le notti brave dei preti gay”, inchiesta di Panorama che imbarazza il Vaticano”. Flavio scrive: 22 luglio 2010 alle 22:24 
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  2. PANORAMA CHOC: “LE NOTTI BRAVE DEI PRETI A ROMA” VATICANO 

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    – [ Translate this page ]23 lug 2010  «Le anonime ma autorevoli fonti vaticane citate relativamente all’inchiesta diPanorama sulle notti brave dei preti gay a Roma – sottolinea 
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  4. «Panorama», inchiesta choc: le notti brave dei preti gay a Roma 

    – [ Translate this page ]ROMA (22 luglio) – Preti sorpresi a frequentare i locali di ritrovo dei gay romani, filmati con una telecamera nascosta durante feste notturne con 
    http://www.ilmattino.it/articolo.php?id=111869

  5. Le notti brave dei preti gay, inchiesta shock di Panorama

    – [ Translate this page ]22 lug 2010  La copertina di Panorama su cui campeggia il titolo ”Le notti brave dei preti gay” e si vedono due mani giunte su un rosario con lo smalto 
    http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/…/2010/…/visualizza_new.html_1874375812.html

 

 

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