Last month the bitter old men at the so-called Synod on the Family at the Vatican voted to maintain the Church's anti-gay and anti-woman. Now, perhaps in retaliation or to merely humiliate the corrupt and homophobic Roman Curia, a purported mole in the Vatican has leaked information suggesting that numerous Vatican owned properties in Rome are being used as brothels and massage parlors frequented by Catholic priests. A piece in The Independent looks at this latest scandal and again notes that the Vatican owns the property that is home to Europe's largest gay sauna. Equally delicious are reports that the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, a/k/a The Inquisition, is involved with some of the properties. Here are highlights:
Vatican-owned properties in Rome are operating as seedy saunas and massage parlours where priests pay for sex, according to the latest in a series of leaked reports to embarrass the Church.Why do I find the word "hypocrites" on my lips?
It is also claimed that Vatican officials are allowing buildings to be rented out at peppercorn rents as favours to powerful colleagues and turning a blind eye to shady property deals, as well as allowing addresses to be used as red-light establishments.
Among the properties mentioned in the document, made public by a Vatican mole, are premises in two streets close to the Italian Parliament and a solarium near Piazza Barberini, according to press reports.
One particular Vatican department, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, has been highlighted in the list. It owns hundreds of high-value properties in central Rome, worth hundreds of millions of euros.
Two years ago it emerged the Vatican had purchased a €23m (£16m) share of a Rome apartment block, 2 Via Carducci, which housed the Europa Multiclub, Europe’s biggest gay sauna. Tales of visiting priests were legion, and a section of the sauna’s website promoting special “bear nights” included a video of a hirsute man stripping down and changing into a priest’s outfit.
Meanwhile, sources quoted by Ansa news agency said that Pope Francis hoped to close the leak investigation and draw a line under the affair before the Vatican’s special Jubilee Year, which begins on 8 December. Some observers believe the leaks are part of a campaign to undermine his effort to reform the Curia.
One senior figure, Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, and another official have been arrested by Vatican police over the leaks, while it has emerged that four cardinals have also been questioned.