Police Reportedly Break Up Gay Sex Party In Vatican City

Neighbors' complaints drew authorities to the apartment, owned by the aide to a cardinal.

Police reportedly broke up an “orgy” in June in an apartment belonging to a Vatican priest, according to Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano (The Daily Fact).

Details of the incident are slim, though neighbors’ complaints reportedly drew authorities to the apartment, which is owned by the Con­gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The official tenant is the secretary of Cardinal Francesco Coccopa­l­merio, a key adviser to the Pope Francis.

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It’s been reported drugs were found on the premises, as well as a group of men engaged in sexual activity. The priest, who was purportedly in line for promotion to bishop, was taken for questioning.

While sex scandals have plagued the Catholic Church for decades, reports of impropriety in Vatican City have increased in recent years: In 2015, leaked documents indicated that several properties around Rome owned by the Vatican were being used as brothels and massage parlors where priests pay for sex, according to sources.

News of the arrest comes just weeks after Australian cardinal George Pell, another top aide to the Pope, was hit with multiple sex abuse charges.

Interestingly Cardinal Coccopa­l­merio has voiced some support for the LGBT community: After the 2014 Synod on the Family, he expressed disappointment that the Church was not addressing the positive elements of gay relationships.

We have both doctrine and people to consider. Let’s consider a very problematic topic, extremely current: the topic of homosexual couples. If I meet a same-sex couple, I observe right away that their relationship is illicit: that is what the doctrine says, and I reaffirm that with absolute certainty.

Nevertheless, if I stop at doctrine, I don’t see the people anymore. But if I observe that two people really do love each other, say they practice charity towards the needy… then I can also say that, while their relation remains illicit, in those two people there emerge positive elements. Instead of closing my eyes to those positive aspects, I want to underline them. It is a matter of being objective and recognizing, objectively, the positive points in a given relationship, that is illicit in itself.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery