Lurid accusations of priests involved in sex orgies, porn videos and prostitution have emerged from several parishes in Italy recently, sending shock waves all the way to the Vatican and challenging the high standards Pope Francis demands of clergy.In the southern city of Naples, for example, a priest was recently suspended from the parish of Santa Maria degli Angeli over claims he held gay orgies and used Internet sites to recruit potential partners whom he paid for sex.
In the northern city of Padua, a 48-year-old priest, the Rev. Andrea Contin, is facing defrocking as well as judicial proceedings amid accusations he had up to 30 lovers, some of whom he took to a swingers’ resort in France.
He is accused of farming out some of his lovers to men on wife-swapping websites, according to The Times.“He always carried a briefcase full of vibrators, sex toys, masks and bondage equipment,” one of his accusers said in her police statement, according to the Corriere del Veneto.She also accused Mr Contin of encouraging her to have sexual relations with a horse and beat her in the rectory on two occasions.
At the Vatican, a significant number of gay prelates and other gay clerics are in positions of great authority. They may not act as a collective but are aware of one another’s existence. And they inhabit a secretive netherworld, because homosexuality is officially condemned. Though the number of gay priests in general, and specifically among the Curia in Rome, is unknown, the proportion is much higher than in the general population. Between 20 and 60 percent of all Catholic priests are gay, according to one estimate cited by Donald B. Cozzens in his well-regarded The Changing Face of the Priesthood.
A few keep their sexuality entirely private and adhere to the vow of celibacy. Many others quietly let themselves be known as gay to a limited degree, to some colleagues, or to some laypeople, or both; sometimes they remain celibate and sometimes they do not. A third way, perhaps the least common but certainly the most visible, involves living a double life. Occasionally such clerics are unmasked, usually by stories in the Italian press. In 2010, for the better part of a month, one straight journalist pretended to be the boyfriend of a gay man who acted as a “honeypot” and entrapped actual gay priests in various sexual situations.
The remains of babies, ranging from new-born to three-years-old, have been found in the sewers of a former church-run home for unmarried mothers in Ireland, the government said on Friday.A report from an inquiry the government ordered in 2014 backed up a historian’s claim that up to 800 children may lie in an unmarked grave at the home. It said: “significant quantities of human remains have been discovered in at least 17 of the 20 underground chambers which were examined.”Radiocarbon dating found the remains, which ranged from 35-week-old fetuses to 3-year-olds, dated from between 1925 and 1961, when the home was run by the Bon Secours Sisters.
In what their lawyer calls a “modern-day heresy trial,” a British court has convicted two street preachers of a public order offense for preaching the Bible in public.The public prosecutor in the case claimed that publicly quoting parts of the King James Bible in modern Britain should “be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter.”
Prosecutor Ian Jackson also told the court, “To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth.”