• 07:59
  • 27.04.2018
‘Gay sex, dodgy banking’ in Vatican
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27.04.2018

‘Gay sex, dodgy banking’ in Vatican

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The Italian journalist who was put on trial by the Vatican for publishing confidential documents has written a new book alleging a host of Catholic sins, including gay sex in the Vatican’s youth seminary.
Gianluigi Nuzzi’s Original Sin went on sale Thursday. At a news conference, Nuzzi said his lawyers had hand-delivered a copy to the Vatican’s criminal prosecutor, saying at least one of the seminarians was a minor at the time of the alleged escapades.
The Vatican didn’t immediately comment.
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The book reproduces documents from the Vatican’s scandal-marred bank, showing multimillion-dollar accounts in the names of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II and their private secretaries. And it alleges that hidden powers in the Vatican were blocking the reforms of Pope Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
The book delves into the case of one of the Vatican’s biggest mysteries, the 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee.
And it gathers together years of exposes into the gay subculture of the Vatican. The new claims concern the Vatican’s St. Pius X pre-seminary for middle and high schoolers who are considering a possible vocation to the priesthood.
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Nuzzi reproduces a letter and testimony from a gay ex-seminarian who recounted how an adult, now a priest, used to come into his dorm room and have oral sex with his roommate.
The book reproduces a 2014 letter from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the ex-seminarian, saying it had determined that no sexual abuse of a minor had occurred but that it was referring the case to the Vatican’s office for clergy.
Nuzzi told reporters Thursday that the roommate was indeed younger than 18 when the encounters began. Neither the roommate nor the priest were identified.
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Nuzzi and fellow journalist Emmanuele Fittipaldi were put on trial in a Vatican court in 2015 after both published books based on leaked documents that exposed greed, mismanagement and corruption at the highest levels of the Catholic Church.
In July 2016, after an eight-month trial, the Vatican’s criminal court declared that it had no jurisdiction to prosecute them. The court did, however, convict two other people for conspiring to leak the documents, and absolved a third.
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Meanwhile, Pope Francis has outlawed the sale of cigarettes at the Vatican in a bid to lead by example on healthy living.
“The Holy Father has decided that the Vatican will cease to sell cigarettes to employees as of 2018,” the Vatican said in a statement on Thursday.
“The reason is very simple: the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people,” it said, adding that smoking claims more than seven million lives every year, according to the World Health Organisation.
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“Although the cigarettes sold to employees and pensioners in the Vatican at a reduced price are a source of revenue for the Holy See, no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk,” it added.
Francis, who has only one lung, does not smoke. He has let the locals keep their other guilty pleasure, tax-free alcohol.
The cigarettes and booze are sold in a luxury duty-free shop, opened in 2003 in what was once the Vatican’s magnificent railway station but is now home to everything from designer handbags and shoes to flat-screen televisions.
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Only those with a pass — Vatican employees or pensioners — can shop there, and many pick up goods, food and even fuel inside the city for Italian friends on the other side of the tiny state’s imposing walls.
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It came after Pope Francis took snap-happy bishops, priests and pilgrims to task on Wednesday, telling them mass was a time for prayer, not an opportunity to whip out camera phones.
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“At a certain point the priest leading the ceremony says ‘lift up our hearts’. He doesn’t say ‘lift up our mobile phones to take photographs’,” he chastised those gathered in Saint Peter’s square for his weekly audience.
“It’s so sad when I’m celebrating mass here or inside the basilica and I see lots of phones held up — not just by the faithful, but also by priests and bishops! Please!”
The 80-year old Argentine pontiff is no stranger to the world of social media, boasting over 14 million followers on his English-language Twitter account alone, and often posing for selfies with enthusiastic young pilgrims.
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But he has a conflicted relationship with mobiles.
In February he told youngsters to get off their cell phones during family meals, warning that the death of face-to-face conversations can have dire consequences for society, even resulting in wars.
He has called the internet, social media and text messages “a gift of God” if used wisely, but has also tried to persuade today’s youth to swap their smartphones for pocket-sized bibles.
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