The UK's Daily Mail is reporting that three Catholic priests were caught on tape having sex in Rome's gay nightclubs. The news has reportedly "shocked ... the devoutly Catholic country".
A reporter for Panorama magazine, who works for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (who happens to own all Italian media), hired a "gay accomplice" help him scope out Catholic priests in Italian gay bars.
Panorama said, "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." Well, all except for one, whom the magazine called Carlo, who "willingly put on his cassock to have sex with the reporter's gay accomplice."
Now, if you can get past your initial knee-jerk repulsion to this revelation, consider this: The Vatican, and the Catholic Church generally, has a long history of priest pedophilia, which is illegal, and which, for the most part, has been kept secret. The majority of priests who have admitted having sex with young boys identify as heterosexual, not homosexual. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XVI has predictably decided to scapegoat the gays, announcing in 2008 a crackdown, or "gay witch hunt", if you will.
So why go out to gay nightclubs with the intent to bust gay Catholic priests, who were not doing anything illegal, and weren't doing it inside the church?
Stay with me here before you condemn me to hell for all eternity. I'm simply saying gay priests are people, and have just as much of a right to have consensual sex as anyone else, as long as it's legal and it doesn't hurt anyone.
Let's rewind a bit. The vow of celibacy was introduced in the Church of Rome in 1079 by Pope Gregory VII, a.k.a. Hildebrand of Sovana. It took 60 years for it to be codified. Prior to that, Catholic priests were free to have sex, and even marry and have children. Pope Gregory was despised by by many for his overreaching of papal power. He excommunicated Henry IV, twice no less, and was described as a "rough and violent peasant, enlisting his brute strength in the service of the monastic ideal which he embraced." Gregory VII was so despised, he died in exile in the small Italian town of Salerno.
Now fast-forward about 1000 years to the present. Despite the fact that Gregory VII was reviled and exiled, the Catholic church continues to cling to his rotten-to-the-core vow of celibacy. Granted, Catholic priests know what they're getting into when they take the vow, but they are also human, and as such, by nature they have basic needs. Many of them have satisfied the need for sex illegally, with children, and it's been covered up for God knows how long by the church. I'm guessing around 1000 years.
I'm willing to bet you that if hidden cameras were placed in every priest's quarters and every little hidden-away spot in the Vatican, Silvio Berlusconi's head would explode when he saw the tapes and realized the Vatican is a hotbed of gay sex. Is it wrong when grown men have sex with children? Yes. Is it wrong when two consenting adults have sex? No.
So before you go condemning the priests who were caught on camera in gay nightclubs having sex, think about who the Catholic vow of celibacy came from, and just how unrealistic it is, even to men of the cloth. Isn't it about time the Vatican wised up and stopped pointing the finger of blame at gay men for its own pathetic failures to fight human nature?
I welcome your comments, condemnations, and prayers for my soul.
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