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Catholic Priest's Gay Sex Tryst Caught on Tape - Vatican

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Published on Mar 27, 2008

The chatter inside the Vatican on the case of suspended Monsignor Tommaso Stenico is most surprising for the absence of outright denials. A member of the papal council that supervises priests, Stenico faces a Vatican tribunal after getting caught on Italian TV making advances to a younger man, telling him "homosexual sex isn't a sin, son."

Officials and observers of the Holy See express two gut reactions: concern that Stenico, 60, will spill the beans on similar cases, or hope that he will, and forcing the tribunal to clean up an "underground" culture of homosexuality in the papal city. Virtually no one is denying everything, except for Stenico, who says he is not gay and that he was just posing as "a thief among thieves" to test a theory that the gay population is out to damage the church.

Gay priests are nothing new, of course. And in church circles there have long been concerns about a supposed "homosexual ring" in the Vatican, only no one had any idea how real or extensive the ring was. Now, at a time when many Roman Catholics remain angry about the church's secretive handling of priest sex abuse scandals, the Vatican will be under heavy pressure to investigate itself fully. While Catholic doctrine doesn't condemn homosexual orientation, sodomy is one of only four sins that the church says "cry to heaven for vengeance?" The general feeling among Vatican officials is that if they don't take decisive disciplinary action, this could get very ugly.

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