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Priest defrocked over gay Facebook chat

A priest in southern Italy has been defrocked for allegedly making gay sexual advances to a man on Facebook.

Priest defrocked over gay Facebook chat
Online gay chat was deemed "morally reprehensible" by the church authorities. Priest photo: Shutterstock

The priest was sacked from his post in Taranto after a 32-year-old man contacted church authorities to expose him, Corriere della Sera said.

The 32-year-old man, from Rovigo in north-east Italy, claimed he was contacted by the unnamed priest around six months ago. An unemployed labourer, the man said he was going through a difficult time when he received a Facebook message from the priest.

“I thought it could have been a sign from heaven, I needed spiritual help,” he told Corriere.

After a few days of chatting online, the priest allegedly revealed he was gay and soon after began making sexual advances towards the labourer.

“He told me he was excited looking at my photos and asked me to send an intimate photo,” the man claimed.

The pair also had a video conversation via Skype, during which the priest was allegedly naked.

One of the sexual fantasies allegedly shared by the priest involved Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus according to the Bible.

The labourer did not disclose how he responded to the advances, stating instead that he was not gay and did not want to risk losing the spiritual support of the priest.

“He told me that he liked guys, especially young ones, and that he could do everything for them, also help them to buy clothes, mobile phones and recharge costs,” he claimed.

The priest allegedly said he had organized orgies with a Swiss Guard and priests, although church authorities have not said anyone else was involved.

Online gay chat was deemed to be “morally reprehensible” by the church authorities and “absolutely not compatible” with priesthood. 

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CHURCH

Church files on paedophile priests ‘destroyed’, cardinal admits

A top Catholic cardinal admitted on Saturday that Church files on priests who sexually abused children were destroyed or never even drawn up, a move which allowed paedophiles to prey on others.

Church files on paedophile priests 'destroyed', cardinal admits
Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Photo: Daniel Roland/AFP
“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created,” German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said in a speech to a landmark Vatican summit on tackling paedophilia in 
the clergy.
 
“Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them. The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offences were deliberately not complied with, but instead cancelled or overridden,” he said.
 
Marx was speaking on the third day of an unprecedented meeting of the world's top bishops which Pope Francis has called in an effort to get on top of a crisis that has dogged the Roman Catholic Church for decades.
 
The ongoing scandals have escalated into a crisis which has touched many countries across the globe, with recent cases affecting Chile, Germany and the US. Investigations have revealed that in many cases priests accused of assaulting minors were transferred to other parishes as bishops turned a blind eye to protect the Church's reputation.
 
“The rights of victims were effectively trampled underfoot, and left to the whims of individuals. These are all events that sharply contradict what the Church should stand for,” Marx said.
 
The cardinal said it was essential that victims felt “that they can trust the system”.
 
“There are no alternatives to traceability and transparency,” he insisted, adding that attempts to cover-up scandals risked seriously undermining the Catholic Church's credibility.
 
Francis has told his bishops he wants “concrete measures” drawn up against child sex abuse, though survivor groups in Rome for the summit have accused the Vatican of fine words but little action.
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