Three gay priests in Rome have been caught visiting gay nightspots and having casual sex in an undercover operation conducted via hidden cameras by a journalist from Italian magazine Panorama.
The story leaked by e-mail yesterday and states that video footage will be made available. An Italian Catholic diocese has responded to the article, denouncing the gay priests for their "double life" and saying
they should not be in the priesthood, according to the BBC.
This is the latest in a series of sex scandals that have caused embarrassment for the Vatican and the Catholic Church, which forbids priests to have sex and considers homosexuality a sin.
Panorama magazine, which is owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, described what it found during the investigation as "deeply disturbing" as it detailed how three priests happily took part in gay events and had casual sex. Panorama also reveals in the preview of the article, "By day they are regular priests, complete with dog collar, but at night it's off with the cassock as they take their place as perfectly integrated members of the Italian capital's gay scene."
The magazine also reports that one priest, referred to as Carlo, willingly put on his cassock to have sex with the reporter's gay accomplice.