Vatican bank 'gay scandal' uncovered

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Monsignor Battista Ricca was appointed to a senior position at the Vatican bank in June. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP
10:55 CEST+02:00
L'Espresso, the Italian weekly, alleges that Monsignor Battista Ricca, who was recently appointed to a key position at the bank, had gay relationships during his time at the Vatican embassy, or nunciature, of Montevideo in Uruguay.

The scandal was recently brought to the attention of Pope Francis, who will soon “make decisions” about what to do next, L.Espresso reported.

Ricca, who was formerly of the diocese of Brescia in northern Italy, is alleged to have had an affair with a Swiss army captain named Patrick Haari in 1999 after Haari secured a job at the nunciature.

Priests and nuns there reportedly appealed to the Vatican to have Haari removed, but were unsuccessful.

In 2001, Ricca was also reported to have been caught more than once in homosexual encounters, the magazine claimed. He was beaten up after one such encounter and had to call on the help of fellow priests, the magazine said.

The commission of cardinals that oversees the Vatican bank appointed Ricca as secretary for the board and the commission itself in June.

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A few weeks earlier, the Pope was reported to have acknowledged the existence of a “gay lobby” and a “stream of corruption” in the Vatican.

Later in June he set up a commission to investigate corruption at the Vatican bank. Just two days later a senior cleric, Nunzio Scarano, was arrested for money laundering and corruption. 

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