Stock image of a Swiss Guard member at the Vatican.
Former Papal Guard Says He Received Sexual Advances at Vatican

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on January 06 2014 7:30 PM ET

A former member of the Swiss Guard, the pope’s security force, has alleged that during his tenure he was solicited for sex by many Roman Catholic clergy members, including bishops and cardinals.

The guard, whose name was not published, told Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that he had received as many as 20 "unambiguous requests" from clergy for sexual liaisons, according to The Local, an English-language Swiss news publication. One of them, he said, came from "a dignitary close to Pope John Paul II," The Local reports.

The man told of being invited to a Vatican official's room in the middle of the night, receiving gifts of liquor, and being told he would be "dessert" after dinner with a priest. He said he reported the sexual advances as harassment, but his superiors took no action. He accused the church of "hypocrisy" because of the contrast between its stand against sex outside marriage, including gay sex, and what he alleges he experienced. Also, Catholic clergy take a vow of celibacy.

Spokesmen for the Vatican and the Swiss Guard said they gave no credence to the former guard’s report.