Gay priests are being sent by the Vatican to an Italian monastery to be ‘cured’ of their ‘inappropriate sexual tendencies’
- Vatican has been sending gay priests to be ‘cured’, Italian press claims
- Priests who ‘show inappropriate sexual tendencies’ sent to monastery
- One gay former priest claims he was dismissed after refusing to go
The Vatican has been sending homosexual priests to be ‘cured’ at a monastery in the Italian Alps, it has emerged. Priests who come out as gay are removed to the monastery in Trento, northern Italy, by the Vatican to be ‘treated’ alongside drug addicts and paedophiles, Italian press claims. One former Catholic priest who came out to the Vatican has revealed that he was dismissed from the church after he refused to go to the monastery to ‘rediscover the right path’.
Priests who ‘show inappropriate sexual tendencies’ are sent to the Venturini monastery in Trento for ‘a period of training, personal reflection and enlightenment’, according to Italian press reports quoted in The Independent.
The head of the monastery, Friar Gianluigi Pasto was quoted by the Independent as telling Italian newspapers that the institute was not ‘specifically for gay and paedophile priests’ but did not deny that such ‘treatments’ had taken place in the past. This comes just days after the Vatican fired a high-ranking Polish priest on the same day he revealed that he was gay. Father Krzystof Charamsa, 43, came out as homosexual and also revealed that he is in a relationship with a man. He was fired shortly after his revelation, but the Vatican denies that his dismissal has anything to do with his sexuality.
Speaking after his dismissal, Father Krzystof, who held a post in the Vatican’s branch for protecting Catholic dogma, urged the Catholic church to change its ‘backwards’ attitude to homosexuality.
‘It’s time for the Church to open its eyes about gay Catholics and to understand that the solution it proposes to them – total abstinence from a life of love – is inhuman,’ he told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, saying he wanted to challenge the Church’s ‘paranoia’.
‘I know that I will have to give up my ministry which is my whole life.
‘I know that the Church will see me as someone who did not know how to fulfil his duty [to remain chaste], who is lost and who is not even with a woman but with a man!’
Pope Francis is currently leading a three-week gathering of bishops from around the world, known as a synod, on the theme of the family in the modern world, and touched on the subject of homosexuality in his opening on Sunday.
Francis dedicated one third of his homily to the topic of love between man and woman and its role in procreation.
‘This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self,’ he said.
He also spoke of the ‘true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan,’ a clear reference to heterosexual marriage.
But Francis also stressed that the Church must be more welcoming, charitable, compassionate and merciful to all people, particularly those whose lives have been wounded and who those find it difficult to adhere to all of the Church’s regulations.
The leader of the 1.2 billion member Church said the person ‘who falls or errs must be understood and loved.’
‘The Church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock,’ he said.
In its explanation of the firing of Father Krzystof Charamsa on Saturday, the Vatican said his very public coming out was intended to put undue media pressure on the synod on gay issues, which are expected to be only a small part of the bishops’ discussions.
The story made the front page of nearly all Italian newspapers, with one headline calling it ‘An Earthquake in the Vatican’.
At a preliminary synod last year, bishops watered down a initial statement that was seen as a major change of tone toward homosexuals. That statement spoke of ‘gifts and qualities’ of homosexuals but was changed after a backlash by conservatives.