An Italian cardinal has forwarded to the Vatican a dossier listing priests and seminarians believed to be gay -- a dossier compiled by a paid escort that contains social media communications, erotic photos, and more.
The file includes the names of 34 priests and six seminarians, Newsweek reports. Francesco Mangiacapra, the escort who compiled the information, said he was tired of hypocrisy on the part of Catholic priests.
"The aim is not to hurt the people mentioned, but to help them understand that their double life, however seemingly convenient, is not useful to them or to all the people for whom they should be a guide and an example to follow," Mangiacapra told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The dossier contains WhatsApp messages and photos "that offer evidence that Catholic clergy members were interested in gay sex," HuffPost reports.
Cardinal Cresenzio Sepe, who leads the archdiocese of Naples, Italy, received the file from Mangiacapra and forwarded it to the Vatican because "there remains the gravity of the cases for which those who have erred must pay the price, and be helped to repent for the harm done," he said in a statement posted on the diocesan website Thursday. He said none of the priests named are in his archdiocese. Mangiacapra said he chose to share it with the Naples archdiocese became he lives in the city.
Catholic clergy members take a vow of celibacy. For lay Catholics, the church teaches that the only acceptable sexual relationship is between a man and a woman in marriage. People with same-sex "attractions" are expected to refrain from acting on them. In 2015 a partnered gay priest who worked at the Vatican, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, came out and was quickly fired