Vatican gay prostitution scandal

Pope Benedict XVI on homosexuality, cartoon

From Pink News in Britain:

Gay sex scandal at the Vatican

By Jessica Geen • March 5, 2010 – 10:39

The Vatican has been hit by a gay sex scandal after allegations that a chorister had procured male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

The chorister, 29-year-old Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, was sacked after police heard him talking on a wiretap to Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness.

Papal gentlemen-in-waiting are called upon to act as ushers at the Vatican for major occasions.

Balducci, who was also a construction consultant to the Vatican, as well as being a senior government employee, is said to given Ehiem a description of the men he wanted and it has been reported that Ehiem may have procured a number of male prostitutes for him.

Balducci was being investigated by police over allegations of corruption when the claims of gay sex were revealed. He is alleged to have steered government contracts towards preferred bidders.

Excerpts of the wiretaps and police documents were published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

They showed that the pair had been in regular contact before Balducci was arrested last month and that they had discussed gay sex.

According to the newspaper, police said they were part of an organised male prostitution network and one of the men referred to was a student for the priesthood.

Baldacci remains in custody after being arrested last month. His lawyer has refused to comment and the Vatican has not released any statement on the claims.

A news magazine called Panoramas is due to publish an interview with Ehiem tomorrow. According to the Guardian, Ehiem will say: “”He [Baldacci] asked me if I could procure other men for him. He told me he was married and that I had to do it in great secrecy.”

The Catholic Church sees homosexuality as a sin and “intrinsically disordered”, while the Pope has spoken out against it a number of times.

The scandal is the latest to rock the Vatican, after investigations found endemic abuse of children in church-run institutions.

USA: Denver Catholic School Kicks Student Out For Having Lesbian Parents: here.

Is compulsory celibacy part of the problem? Here.

15 thoughts on “Vatican gay prostitution scandal

  1. Bishop demands sex abuse probe

    Netherlands: A leading Catholic bishop has called for an independent investigation into the sexual abuse of children by priests after 200 alleged victims contacted help services last week.

    What started last month as allegations of repeated incidents within a single cloister last month has quickly spread and the victims’ support organisation Hulp en Recht has now received 200 complaints.

    Rotterdam Bishop Ad van Luyn apologised to victims and ordered the investigation.


  2. Pope’s brother Georg Ratzinger admits hitting choirboys

    * Richard Owen
    * From: The Times
    * March 10, 2010 9:01AM

    THE Pope’s brother has given a rare insight into a pervasive culture of violence at Roman Catholic institutions, admitting that he hit children while he was choirmaster at a German boarding school.

    Georg Ratzinger led Germany’s leading Catholic boys’ choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen, for 30 years until 1994. The school and its choir are at the centre of allegations of sexual abuse over several decades.

    In an interview with the Catholic newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse, Monsignor Ratzinger, 86, said that he had no knowledge of sexual abuse but admitted that boys were often punished harshly, sometimes in an arbitrary manner. “I myself handed out slaps repeatedly, although I always had a bad conscience about it,” he said.

    Monsignor Ratzinger said that, although conducting the choir was “always a joy”, he had often become depressed when things did not go as he wished during choir practice. Clipping boys around the ears, he said, was a “standard response to failure or misbehaviour”. However, he added: “I was happy when in 1980 corporal punishment was banned by law.”

    The Catholic Church in Germany, like the US and Ireland, has been rocked by revelations of physical and sexual abuse. Catholic bishops in the Netherlands announced an inquiry yesterday – to be conducted by a Protestant – after 200 abuse victims came forward.

    The Vatican has condemned the mistreatment of children by clergy and claims that the Catholic authorities in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands acted quickly when they learnt of the allegations. “Mistakes made by the institutions under the responsibility of the clergy are especially reprehensible, given the educative and moral responsibility of the Church,” said Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman.

    However, liberal Catholics, especially in Germany, have questioned how much the Pope knew of sexual abuse in his country’s Church when he was a professor of theology in Germany in the 1960s and Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1971 to 1982.

    The German Government has gone so far as to accuse the Vatican of suppressing the truth. On Monday Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the Justice Minister, said that a “wall of silence” was imposed on Catholic-run schools by a 2001 Vatican directive which declared cases of abuse “subject to papal confidentiality”. It was issued at a time when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope, was head of doctrine.

    The Vatican has switched to crisis management amid the sex abuse allegations and the threat of lawsuits across Europe and North America. Last month the Pope summoned Irish bishops to Rome and lectured them about the “heinous crime” of sexual abuse. He is due to issue a pastoral letter on the subject before Easter to Irish Catholics.

    In Germany, the allegations surfaced in January, when an elite Jesuit school in Berlin admitted sexual abuse of its pupils by two priests in the 1970s and 1980s. Other Catholic schools have since been implicated as more victims have come forward.

    A delegation of German bishops, headed by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, is to meet the Pope in Rome on Friday to discuss the claims.

    Monsignor Ratzinger pleaded ignorance about paedophile priests but admitted that some boys at the Regensburg school had been treated brutally. In the interview he spoke about the “very violent” headmaster, who was in charge between 1953 and 1992, and who for legal reasons can be named only as Johann M.

    “I knew that Headmaster M often handed out severe slaps – and also that these slaps were often delivered at the smallest of pretexts,” he said.

    He was a low-ranking functionary within the school hierarchy, he added – “practically a king without a kingdom” – and was unable to intevene.

    Some former pupils described the headmaster as a sadist who imposed “a reign of terror”, and said they found it improbable that the choirmaster knew nothing about the sex abuse.

    Monsignor Ratzinger said that he was willing to testify to inquiries into abuse but told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “I was not with the choir when the cases being referred to happened. The events being referred to date back 60 or more than 50 years ago.”

    When he was choirmaster he had exercised discipline to achieve “a high musical and artistic level” but not terror, he said. The problem of sexual abuse “was never discussed. At the beginning of my time there were a lot of problems with the reorganisation of the choir, which were the main focus of interest”.

    Franz Wittenbrink, a composer who was a pupil at the school, told the magazine Der Spiegel that there was an “ingenious system of sadistic punishments connected to sexual pleasure” and claimed that the headmaster had a habit of “taking two or three boys into his room in the evenings”, giving them wine and masturbating with them.


  3. CDA stalwart to lead Catholic abuse research

    Wednesday 10 March 2010

    Former parliamentary chairman and CDA member Wim Deetman is to chair an independent investigation into reports of sexual abuse at a number of Catholic boarding schools.

    The far-ranging investigation was ordered by Catholic bishops on Tuesday following mounting reports of abuse by priests at schools and seminaries in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Since the end of February when newspapers reported claims of abuse at a boarding school in ‘s-Heerenberg in the 1960s and 1970s, over 350 people have come forward, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, one former priest at the boarding school told tv show Nova in a telephone interview on Tuesday he had abused a boy. ‘I must offer my deepest apologies,’ the man said.

    He did not rule out abusing other boys at the school. ‘I also want to offer the others, if there are more, my apologies for my actions 40, 41 years ago,’ he said.



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  12. Pingback: Far-right homophobic cardinals blame gays for child abuse | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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